Efficient Data and Workflow Management

Laboratory Data Management Guide

Capturing data at the point of origin lies at the heart of improving efficiency. This can be achieved in a number of ways, from simply adding a printer, connecting to a PC or integration of a complete workflow and data management system.

The generation of robust and reliable data is essential in any laboratory. But acquiring high quality data is just the start. Once produced, it must be managed securely and traceably. There is a clear market trend towards fully automated data management solutions, taking advantage of continuing software advances.

This guide discusses some potential solutions to help your lab improve its accuracy and ease of data transfer and management, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each. It takes a look at manual data management – still popular with many labs – and evaluates instrument options and accessories to increase productivity. Different levels of data capture, and the time taken to perform them, are compared using real examples. Prospective solutions include:

  • Connecting analytical instruments to a printer, to avoid manual transcription errors associated with documenting and storing data
  • Connecting lab equipment to a computer, allowing direct, unidirectional collection of data to eliminate manual steps and related transcription errors
  • Implementation of instrument control software to guide users through workflows according to SOPs, improving the accuracy of results and ensuring traceability back to the original data