Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying an Electronic Lab Notebook
- How local are resources and how available are resources for deployment, training and extensions? What is the timeline for availability and cost?
- How easy is it to extend the application? Does it require IT or super users? How long does training take to make modifications and how extensive is the API for modifications?
- How easy is it to get data back out of the system? Is all information indexed and searchable? Can users query and combine data from multiple experiments, not just return a list of experiments?
- What is the typical number of hours of admin time required to upgrade for a major release and a minor release?
- What level of support is offered? How many support staff are there, where are they located and what language do they support? How is the support rated by other customers?
- Is your IP system safe in their system? What is the chance the company will be around in five years? What is the chance that the company will switch technologies and force an expensive migration? What credibility does the company have in the past for delivering robust, scalable, secure, and 21 CFR Part 11 compliant systems?
Primary purpose for ELNs as reported by survey respondents:
|Centralized data repositories||61%|
|Accelerating the documentation and reporting of experimentation||45%|
|Infrastructure for capturing, accessing and sharing experimental information||42%|
|Enabling scientists to collaborate effectively on multi-stage projects||32%|
|Intellectual property (IP) protection||21%|
|Improved communication between instruments and related software||13%|
|Workflow co-ordination across geographic and business boundaries||13%|
|Streamlined regulatory compliance||11%|
|Patent evidence creation||11%|
Nearly 24% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new ELN. The greatest challenges faced in the process include:
|Staff adoption and integration||
|Investing in software that will become obsolete||
|Data migration into the new system||
|Integration with other systems||
|Gaining user buy-in||
Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing an Electronic Lab Notebook:
|Ease of use||83%|
|Service and support||63%|
|Ease of installation||50%|
For more information on electronic lab notebooks, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit www.labmanager.com/ELN