When we hear the word Lab, we get a broad image in our heads. It is the location having cutting-edge technology and infrastructure. This view, however, cannot be applied to every lab working around us since reality differs from perception. Many laboratories still rely on physical labor. Such laboratories preserve records in files or save data in an excel spreadsheet. This method of storing and handling data is not only obsolete but also has an influence on lab performance, which cannot be compromised. As a result, it is critical to improving your lab, which is simple to achieve with the adoption of a laboratory information management system. Let’s see what should you choose LIMS software or Excel.
Why should you go for LIMS instead of Excel?
- Better Processing
It is critical to standardize processes in a laboratory. This instills confidence in your testing services’ quality, consistency, and accuracy. When laboratories utilize Excel spreadsheets, it is to store or report test findings, which is merely one stage in the whole sample analysis process. As a result, you will utilize procedural controls to ensure consistency, but this increases the likelihood of a human mistake. When mistakes occur in the lab, they must be properly probed to find the root cause of the issue. Thorough investigations take time, and sometimes that extra time puts a strain on quality control laboratories to satisfy turnaround requirements.
When laboratories use an electronic data management system like LIMS software, they may regulate and automate processes in the sample analysis process. This can include sample reception, labeling samples, test allocation, job allocation, specification comparison, and final reporting. Most LIMS may be tailored to your laboratory workflow, allowing you to install system controls to standardize your process.
2. Reports are few.
The built-in reports may have been appropriate when the system was created, but are they still useful today? How frequently do you need to copy data to a new Excel file for additional analysis? And how frequently do you recreate the same graphs?
3. Obtaining information
You may persuade yourself that a collection of 100 Excel spreadsheet files is a very well-done QC system, but it won’t feel that way when you’re manually going through those files to gather batch data, which Excel forces you to do!
Manual data recording leaves the possibility for transcription mistakes. When there is a possibility of transcribing mistake, you must implement independent checks to verify the final data given to the customer is correct. Introducing automation via LIMS can be beneficial on several levels. Are your analysts writing labels by hand? Or how about manually writing labels in a word document, loading the printer with label paper, and printing this out each time a sample comes in the lab? This can take a long time. To automate this procedure, while booking samples in LIMS, you may configure your system to automatically print labels to a dedicated label printer.
5. Traceability and increased security
Spreadsheets in Excel are not fully controlled documents. We can lock and password secure spreadsheets, but as numerous individuals input data, the likelihood of data being mistakenly lost grows. When data is erased from a spreadsheet, there is no way of knowing when it happened or who did it. Implementing a spreadsheet lock might also lead to problems such as single-user editing. You could find yourself continuously chasing down the person who has the spreadsheet open so you can open and change it.
6. Inactive links
The more elaborate handmade systems I’ve come across include linkages to handbook regulations, procedures, and forms. Excellent ideals, but keep them workable. What about renaming the documents or transferring them to a different folder?
7. Capability to Handle Data
Maintaining information in an excel sheet takes a long time and involves several computations. This invariably results in transcribing errors and necessitates further checks to ensure that the final findings provided are correct. Because laboratory volumes increase this burden, laboratories should be encouraged to connect their instruments directly to the LIMS, avoiding transcribing errors and speeding up the process.
Manually transcribing instrument readings to a lab notebook, then to a spreadsheet to complete computations, and maybe back again, necessitates several manual data copies. This invariably leads to transcribing mistakes and necessitates further tests to guarantee the final findings are proper. This burden should drive laboratories to connect their equipment to send data directly into the LIMS, avoiding transcribing mistakes and speeding up the process as the volume of work rises. Matrix Gemini LIMS features an automated software interface that allows data from laboratory devices to be immediately entered. Once configured, such connections operate dependably in the background, eliminating the need for paper entirely.
Data analysis is more accurate and faster in a lab that has LIMS software, which can automate and speed up the entire process. The arguments stated here should be sufficient to move your lab from Excel to LIMS. There are several advantages to employing LIMS in the laboratory. You may contact Labscion to ask about and purchase a world-class LIMS for your lab.