Informatics in the Environmental Laboratory

Author: Joe Liscouski

Date: October 2022

Can a laboratory operate successfully without the use of laboratory informatics? To some, the answer is always “yes, informatics makes it easier, but it isn’t a requirement”, and that is true in a technical sense, but in reality, the practical answer is “not anymore”. The use of informatics in the environmental industry is an example we’ll be looking at in this piece.

The environmental industry is a complex mix of government institutions, academic labs, and private facilities that have to address a large workload of testing and research all carried out under strict sets of regulations and guidelines that frame their operations. You could do this work in a paper-based setting, but the cost and inefficiencies of their operations would render the organization ineffective and obsolete in modern times. Today’s labs – faced with budget limitations, difficulties in finding qualified people, and a heavy workload – will find laboratory informatics as essential to operating as successful, and where appropriate, profitable, institutions.