Checklist: Smart Lab Solutions

We work with a variety of teams and see Smart Lab projects that run the gamut from simple equipment monitoring to sophisticated analysis of multiple data streams. Equipment and lab monitoring gives teams visibility into operational issues and ambient conditions to ensure that everything is operating as expected, while Smart Lab technologies can also help teams understand the other factors that often contribute to repeatability in their work.

Whatever your objectives and wherever your starting point, here’s a checklist of key features and capabilities that are worth considering as you evaluate Smart Lab solutions and strategies to meet your needs — now and in the future.

  • Automated data gathering to ensure that teams have access to all available data to optimize their work. After all, staff have better things to do than manually recording data.
  • High-resolution (highly granular) data that facilitates enhanced analysis and insights. Some applications require more detailed data, so make sure that whatever solutions you’re considering provide that flexibility.
  • Visualizations that quickly and automatically offer insights into large data sets. Having data is the first step, but automatic visualizations make it possible to quickly see what stories the data is telling.
  • Integration to ensure that data can be shared across systems of record in the enterprise. After all, if data isn’t allowed to flow freely, its value to the organization is highly constrained. Make sure to understand whether the systems you’re considering have open APIs (application programming interfaces) that facilitate data integration across applications.
  • Continuous, round-the-clock surveillance of equipment, instrumentation, processes and other variables eliminates data gaps, and creates enormous new data assets that can be cross-referenced for new insights.
  • Comprehensive so that all equipment, environment, and processes can be tracked and monitored without gaps.
  • Centralized because information from all various systems, equipment and workflows needs to be integrated and cross referenced to streamline and accelerate analysis.
  • Cloud-based to ensure on-site and remote access to critical data.
  • Simple because simplicity is the key to setting up a smart lab and team engagement.  Start with an easy-to-deploy system that can grow with your organization and can accommodate additional data streams in the future.
  • Scalable to ensure that solutions can grow in lockstep with your evolving needs.

For more more information on Smart Lab considerations, check out our white paper, The Smart Lab, IoT, and Data-Driven Lab Manager. And if you have thoughts about other items that should be on this list, please let me know ([email protected]).