How Lab Analytics for the Whole Lab Works

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Problem: Lab Analytics is information about the utilization of assets in the lab, including people, equipment, supplies and samples. Lab Analytics data helps laboratories better understand how laboratory personnel and physical assets are being utilized, and how these assets affect the results of samples being analyzed. This information allows labs to make better decisions about their assets and their processes.

Traditionally, information is gathered on an application-by-application basis with each application only able to report its own data. That makes it difficult to find answers to questions such as:

  • Which instruments are in use more than 80 percent of the time?
  • Which samples could be affected by a faulty HPLC column?
  • Is my east coast lab faster than my west coast lab?

For example, as part of an investigation process you want to find out why some results done last month are incorrect. You might go to various instruments and print out raw data, go to your chemical inventory system to report on the chemicals that were used to make reagents, or look at ELN worksheets for the analysis results for these chemicals.

Having to gather information produced by many different applications and then compiling that information into an informative report can be difficult, tedious and time-consuming.

Nexxis LA (Lab Analytics) simplifies the process of quickly creating reports and charts using data from all laboratory systems.

Solution: Lab Analytics for the whole lab introduces a more holistic approach to reporting, allowing you to look at all of the data in the lab at the same time. For example, a single report will include a list of samples, the raw data for each sample, information about the reagents used to prepare the samples, and analysis information for the chemicals that were used to make the reagents.

To accomplish this, the right data needs to be collected and it needs to be stored in centralized locations in a format that is both structured and searchable. An easy way to do this is to use an integration tool that is designed to both capture and store the information as it is being produced. For example, the integration tool used to connect instruments to LIMS can easily perform this function with little or no additional implementation costs. Data also needs to be linked (cross referenced). Result data in LIMS needs to be linked to its raw data, in SDMS. Information about reagents needs to be linked to the ELN worksheet that was used to produce the reagent. This worksheet, in turn, needs to be linked to users, instruments and other assets (e.g. pipette serial numbers) used to produce and test the reagent. Once the information is linked it is much easier to report. Lab Analytics reports are easier to create when data is stored in as few locations as possible. Using the SDMS for storing both raw data and ELN worksheets is better than having a variety of instruments and ELNs storing their own data.

Nexxis LA (Lab Analytics) is a new module of Nexxis iLAB and Nexxis ELN. Its design allows users to report data from the whole lab. By following the principles described above, Nexxis LA is able to extract data from all of the systems in the lab, and coordinate the information into a single source, quickly generating reports such as:

 Instrument utilization by time, by location, by test

  • Efficiency of personnel: compare people and sites to each other
  • Efficiency of processes: compare and analyze different procedures
  • Productivity throughputs
  • Complete history of a sample (instruments, columns, reagents, personnel, etc)
  • List of samples affected by an un-calibrated instrument
Categories: How it Works

Published In

Confident? Magazine Issue Cover
Confident?

Published: February 1, 2011

Cover Story

Confident?

Our third annual confidence survey reveals that survey participants—ranging from technicians to corporate management—believe their research organizations will be just slightly better off financially than they were a year ago and that business conditions in their market sectors will somewhat improve to support or attract significant research investments.