Data traceability, it goes without saying, is one of the foundations of any study. As a scientist or researcher, without the ability to validate research and ensure that every information is accounted for, you run the risk of your efforts going to waste. That’s one of the main challenges of research data management that, fortunately, a lab management software directly addresses.
To underscore the role that software like LIMS plays in this regard, we’ve opted to shine the spotlight on a few of the usual features that directly contribute to it. But, first, let’s layout the main reasons why data traceability should be maintained in research.
Data Traceability Ensures Data Quality and Heightens Efficiency of Labs
These are undoubtedly the two most crucial factors that make data traceability nothing short of a must in any research setting. The context of quality, of course, stems largely from the ability to validate the gathered data and ensure the overall trustworthiness of the results. Data is rarely static, necessitating the need to keep everything recorded.
As for the topic of efficiency, most of it is rooted in the fact that researchers won’t have to spend extra time to amend mistakes or keep data organized. As long as you have a tool that makes traceability possible, it’s already a given that you’ll be able to save more time through the quicker resolution of issues (if they arise at all).
Moreover and as a whole, data traceability also lends itself to ensuring lab compliance. Standards and guidelines will have to be followed, and data traceability makes it a whole lot easier for labs to adhere to them.
How LIMS Software Makes Data Traceability Always Viable and Efficient
For all its pivotal advantages, ensuring data traceability is rarely a walk in the park without the help of tools that are purposefully built for it. It’s safe to say that most LIMS software fits that category. It won’t even be farfetched to say that it’s one of its specialties. This is all the more proven by the following facts and features of, for example, a Cloud-based LIMS
- Paves the way to better audit trails through better, often automated logging.
This fact alone underlines the undeniable value that LIMS brings when it comes to ensuring traceability. The software is often designed with the ability to map lab data according to sample and test numbers as well as sub-samples. Each sample is taken into promptly account, often automatically, for the researchers’ convenience.
- Automated documentation only makes it easier for researchers to meet requirements pertaining to compliance. We’re talking about huge volumes of data being automatically validated and stored.
- Since compliance is pretty much guaranteed, there’s practically no room to question the validity of every sample generated.
- What makes things even better is that other data and metadata are logged, including the person who modifies the sample, his or her location, etc.
- Should there be a need to peruse the sample and its result, its entire lifecycle can be easily accessed as it’s stored within the system.
- The integration of dashboard overviews makes it easy to monitor and keep track of data to maintain quality.
This is another factor that pretty much makes traceability a guarantee. In most LIMS software, this is one common denominator shared by many since it makes it easier for researchers to view their data. Most of the time, these dashboards are even