Your team is working on a project that has amassed enough handwritten data that you could start a library. You store them in boxes, but as your lab and research grows, you spend more and more time looking for the correct page in the correct notebook from the correct box. It may be time to consider centralizing your research with an electronic lab notebook. See more about the Electronic Lab Notebook Best Practices in this link. In the meantime, here are 5 reasons why your lab should switch to an ELN and what to consider before implementing one.
1 It Centralizes Your Research
Consolidation and data management are key components when it comes to lab research. The highest priority is always to ensure your team members can access the information they need when they need it. Whether you use notebooks or a combination of platforms like Excel or Dropbox, switching to an ELN will finally allow you to store everything in the same place, simplifying your procedures and helping you save time searching and retrieving data.
2 It Increases Your Quality and Reproducibility
The most difficult thing to do in a lab is to recreate an accurate desired effect. Using an ELN helps you safeguard exact details so you can easily replicate or deviate from stored data. Start from any point in your project. Your research will never be deleted. Now, in just a click, you can return to previous research notes, or you can pick up where a colleague left off, no matter if it was five minutes or five years ago.
3 It Secures Your Findings and Promotes Compliance
Digitalization not only helps centralize notes and streamline the process, it also ensures your data is safely kept. With end-to-end encryption, electronic lab notebooks like the all-in-one solution developed by Pillar Science allow you to limit access to your notes to the intended recipient(s). Pillar Science’s advanced tool also provides an ISO and GxP compliant research environment following FDA 21 CFR part 11. The following checklist will provide an FDA 21 CFR Part 11 list of compliance items that we automatically include in our Electronic Lab Notebook:
4 It Streamlines Project Management
It is imperative that your team is always on the same page to maximize time and efficiency. With an all-in-one ELN, you can access your schedule from anywhere, delegate tasks, share data with specific members or even book equipment remotely. Pillar Science even offers an audit trail so you can track every detail (date added and by whom) that could be pertinent to your analyses. With the data being updated in real time, this gives your team the opportunity to work closer together while shrinking the possibilities of human error.
5 It Can Be Easily Integrated
A good ELN is low maintenance and extremely user-friendly. Pillar Science allows you to set the transition at your own pace, thus making it easier to adopt a standardized workflow. On average, users have taken only 11 days to become proficient with the Pillar Science platform.
What to Consider Before Implementing an ELN?
Before you decide to join the world of digitized data, understand that it is only as efficient as the lab employees make it. While it should be easy to adopt and use, some labs may find it more difficult than others to apply and acclimate to this new technology. Here are a few things to consider before deciding which electronic lab notebook is best for you and your team.
Is It Appropriate for Your Research Team / Data Size?
Does your team consist of a large group of researchers? Is your data being kept in the possession of each member, causing a break in communication? Gathering and importing all analog and paper files into digital files can be an arduous process, especially with a growing team. These oft-had problems can be solved with an ELN that offers a streamlined process to digitalization.
Is it an All-in-One Solution?
When shopping for an ELN, make sure you inquire about additional features such as project management and equipment booking options. A good electronic lab notebook should centralize ALL your research activities so you can perform several tasks through the tool such as creating assignments, delegating tasks, verifying progress, sharing findings, booking equipment remotely, tracking equipment maintenance, logging time, and more.
Will It Support Your Growth?
Going digital is often a sign of growth and your ELN should be able to support that. Choose a customizable solution that provides long-term improvements of your team’s research, efficiency and cohesiveness.
Pillar Science’s Electronic Lab Notebook provides you with a modern day and user-friendly interface that allows you and your team to quickly find and access the information you need when you need it. Do you want to switch to an ELN but don’t know where to start? Book a consultation or request a demo and let us help you centralize your research.