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Is Your LIMS Master Data Green?

In addition to working with some of the most innovative companies in the life sciences industry, one of the greatest aspects of my career with Clarkston is the people. My fellow Clarkston stewards are some of the brightest minds in their respective fields, bringing thought-leading perspectives to the projects we work on together every day. Recently, one such steward, Kevin Joyner, and I discussed how life sciences companies can improve their LIMS Master Data using a somewhat unconventional mindset. Kevin’s used his insights and deep LIMS experience to develop a blog series on LIMS Master Data, check back in periodically or subscribe to our blog to follow along.

Big data is all everyone is talking about in IT, but you can’t afford for all of your data to be “big”. Not all data that becomes big is beneficial, in fact it likely will or already is costing you millions of dollars. The effective management of your data is paramount in an environment where patents are losing protection ($150 billion by 20201), generics are creating increased competition, and rapid mergers & acquisitions ($269.8 billion M&A’s in 2015) drive IT integrations cost up.

Most big data starts with master data, including laboratory information management systems (LIMS). The manner in which this master data is designed has multi-million dollar implications on productivity, return on investment, and ongoing maintenance.

Green Master Data

Everyone is “going green” these days, green energy, green packaging, green factories, but what about “Green Master Data”? No we aren’t talking about turning the servers off at night to reduce electricity, reusing our scientists as validation experts, or recycling old homebuilt excel spreadsheets. Green Master Data is applying a set of concepts towards your people, processes, and technology to achieve value faster in LIMS implementations.

For globally operating companies dealing with a high volume of products, testing procedures, and regulatory bodies, efficiently handling master data is imperative. “Green Master Data” is applying the same concepts of sustainability to our master data, because if your process isn’t “green” it likely isn’t sustainable.

LIMS master data can’t be observed without evaluating it holistically, including constructing intelligent static data, testing procedure, and the processes and tools that support them. Often times LIMS projects encounter master data issues due to volume, static data creation time, testing time, rework created by defects, and lack of harmonization.

The more ambitious the project, the more prevalent these issues will become. That means the current trend towards global systems compounded with the desire to integrate mergers & acquisitions will cause more businesses to experience these issues, preventing your organization from effectively tying all of your disparate systems together and bloating IT costs further.

The issues that arise from master data that isn’t “green” can’t simply be solved by allocating more resources as this will only cover up the issue. Allocating more resources requires scaling to achieve the similar productivity, which will only serve to magnify the problem the more one scales up and reintroducing the problem anytime new products or facilities are implemented. Rather this problem needs to be approached from a different take on master data stewardship. Your master data should serve in a way that it reduces the cost and time to integrate new facilities, provides the flexibility to comply with new markets or regulations, drives costs down, and value up to compete in an increasingly competitive field.

Over this blog series, join us as we apply the concepts of Green Master Data through the lens of:

  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Recycle

References:
[1] Global Generic Drugs Market 2016-2020, 3752442, May 2016
[2] HBM Pharma/Biotech M&A Report 2016, Biopharma M&A in 2015

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