Lab Manager | Run Your Lab Like a Business

Cover Story |  September 2012

Insights on Laboratory Data Management Systems

A Lab Manager Magazine technology buyer’s report



Delivering the Paperless Lab Environment – A Game Changer

Trish Meek, Director of Product Strategy for Life Sciences in the Informatics business at Thermo Fisher Scientific, spoke with Lab Manager about how the paperless laboratory concept could prove to be a game changer for pharmaceutical and other life sciences industries, and reports on the impact of achieving a truly paperless lab, which can significantly reduce human error, increase efficiency and facilitate integration, and ultimately foster more robust collaboration both inside and outside the organization.

A Close Look at LIMS and ELNS

Laboratories are awash in data. The two main data management packages in use today are laboratory information management systems (LIMS) for structured data such as pH values or sample weights and electronic laboratory notebooks (ELNs) for unstructured data such as images and chemical formulas.

IT Resources Required for Some Features, Minimal Upkeep for Others

LIMS and ELNs do not pose care and upkeep problems that an IT administrator does not encounter with any database system: performing data backups, building in redundancy, and having a plan for power outages.

Consider a LIMS or ELN Replacement or Upgrade Carefully

Collaborative research is one of the justifications cited most often for acquiring lab data software. While such “soft” benefits are difficult to quantify, the “hard” benefits are easy to measure, after some digging.

A Q&A with Select Laboratory Data Management System Expert End Users

In this Q&A, three expert end-users from three different fields discuss the data systems they use in their facilities, how easy those systems were to learn to use, and how the systems changed things in their labs.