For a young, growing biotech company, investing in an informatics platform doesn’t always feel like a top priority. Maybe your organization only has a small team, so it doesn’t seem too painful to share data using tools like email, Google docs, and Excel. Or maybe your organization has a small IT or informatics team, so deploying a full-blown platform seems infeasible – especially when R&D’s needs are quickly evolving.
But when it comes to informatics, it’s never too early to start deriving significant organizational benefits. Rather than play catchup later on, you can start streamlining R&D processes and driving R&D with data today. Here are six reasons that informatics is as much a short-term asset for growing companies as it is a long-term investment in developing your scientific platform.
1. It’s easier to be proactive about informatics than it is to play catchup
Every R&D company eventually adopts a mature informatics system. Naturally, when this happens, they also want to import all the data they’ve produced up until that point. But finding, curating, and reformatting years of paper records, email attachments, and spreadsheets is extremely time-consuming and error-prone. And when scientists have been recording their experiments a certain way for years, it’s hard to get them to switch. The longer you wait, the worse these problems get. Instead, it’s easier to put a platform in place today, so you’re formatting all of your data correctly and not losing any of it to silo’d systems.
2. Conserve resources by eliminating duplicated work
Especially for a growing company, every personhour matters. If you’re spending significant time searching for the right data, or running experiments that have already been done, it not only delays R&D over the long term – it impacts the bottom line today. With an informatics platform, there’s no more searching through disparate spreadsheets or inboxes. All the data you need is right at your fingertips, so you can focus on the science.
3. Data (and knowledge) doesn’t get lost when someone leaves
Paper records, desktop files, personal Dropbox accounts – an individual scientist’s approaches to data storage are a mystery to everyone but them. So when a scientist leaves, their data may as well go with them, leading to a significant resource loss for R&D. Informatics platforms maintain this data in a standard, searchable format, so it persists as the makeup of your organization changes.
4. Make better R&D decisions today with standardized, centralized data
Improving the effectiveness and efficiency of processes is a major goal for any R&D organization. This is especially true of growing biotech companies, which have to industrialize complicated and oftentimes completely novel workflows. Using informatics to standardize and centralize data lets you answer questions along the lines of, “What protocol was the most effective at producing desired results?” By answering these questions quickly and decisively, you can develop repeatable, streamlined processes much faster.
5. A new class of informatics platforms can deploy in weeks, not months
Legacy systems are notorious for taking many months, or years, to fully implement. For a growing company, by the time you actually finish implementing a legacy system, your R&D needs might already be different. But with codeless configuration and optimized implementation procedures, a new generation of informatics platforms is streamlining deployment down to the scale of weeks, meaning you don’t have to spend many months deploying a system that might not even work.
6. With flexible configuration, your software evolves alongside your R&D
Growing companies are just that: growing. R&D needs are evolving all the time, and you’re probably still in the early stages of building out your IT and informatics teams. To accommodate R&D change and minimize the need for IT resources, a new generation of informatics platforms offers codeless configuration. You don’t need to depend on vendors to update your platform. Instead, IT can adjust configuration with a point-and-click UI, so your software can evolve alongside your R&D with minimal effort.
Interested in how Benchling can become the informatics backbone of your growing biotech companies?