LIMS Master Data Best Practices Part 1: Defining the Terms

Globalization and outsourcing trends, along with technological advancements that have dramatically increased the volume, complexity and variety of data, have created significant data management challenges for modern scientific laboratories. Most laboratories have responded to these challenges by implementing a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) that automates business processes and data capture associated with laboratory workflows.  With these systems comes vast amounts of data.  Ensuring you are managing your LIMS Master Data properly begins with understanding the key terms

LIMS implementations usually demand a substantial investment of time, money and resources, typically costing hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars and requiring hundreds of person days to accomplish. Failure of a LIMS project can be a huge waste of time and resources, and a financial disaster for the organization involved. As such, it is critical to get a LIMS implementation right the first time in order to preserve your return on investment.

One important facet of any successful LIMS implementation and/or migration is the design and configuration of master data. In our experience, many companies involved in LIMS implementations tend to focus on software testing and configuration and put off dealing with master data until the end of the project. This is a huge mistake. Master data design and configuration is typically a much bigger job than anticipated and has multimillion-dollar impacts down the road on things like operational efficiency, time to market and LIMS return on investment (ROI).

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