Integrate Legacy Systems like a Founding Father

What the Hip-Hop Musical Hamilton Can Show Us About Informatics

With the Fourth of July right around the corner and the staff at Core walking around humming the score from Hamilton, we thought we’d take a closer look at the Hamilton phenomenon. Referencing Hamilton isn’t pandering (OK, maybe a bit), but we like what the musical says about our industry. It’s the juxtaposition of old data and a new way of accessing and using the information.

Alexander Hamilton’s life was locked away in old books and even one mammoth biography. Bringing this show-stopping masterpiece to life took a new way of dealing with the information. This evolution made the story of “the ten dollar founding father” more accessible to the audience.

“But what does this mean for informatics industry?” you ask.

Think of it this way – Hamilton the musical was born when legacy data was made available through a new platform with a musical interface, allowing the communication, interpretation, and analysis of historical information with new sets of partners and collaborators. It is influencing current and future endeavors, all because the old information was made accessible in a new way.

If those old, dusty history books could be the basis for the hottest show on Broadway, it’s reasonable to believe that the data hidden in old lab notebooks and legacy systems could hold information vital to some of our next great scientific discoveries.

Don’t Throw Away Your Shot

Having a LIMS that is unwieldy and/or unmanageable keeps lab managers and IT and R&D VPs awake at night. Organizations are worried about losing their legacy data and all of the metadata that comes with it.

But the fear of leaving that system for something new can be even more frightening. Many lab groups are resigned to increased hours spent managing aging systems (including LIMS and ELNs), to ensure the quality and accessibility of their data. They don’t like the situation they are in, but have hard time seeing an exit strategy. They are being ruled by an old informatics system that is costing them time and lots of money, and frankly, not giving them as much as they would like in return.  Sound familiar?

It’s time for a revolution a la Hamilton…It’s easier to fight for change when you know the status quo isn’t working. At Core, we constantly hear potential customers say they need a change. Core’s RESTful API allows integration between legacy systems and Core’s lab informatics platform. The old data stays, retains its quality and metadata, and is reportable and searchable in more robust ways than in the past.

“The World Turned Upside Down”

In the musical, King George is certain the colonies will return as soon as they realize how hard it is to rule. He croons, “You’ll be back, time will tell…” He is certain they will come to appreciate him and request a chance to return to the old ways. He is wrong.

Once your data (or your country) is removed from an oppressive system, returning to the old ways is not an option. Data points and workflows designed to work specifically in a very rigid informatics environment can be freed by a flexible, platform solution.

In Hamilton, the war is over before intermission. In the second act, the founding fathers deal with the ugliness of starting a new country. The battles of choosing a system of government and how it should be run, might be eerily similar to differences of opinion in your organization about how to run your labs and manage your information (though without the duels and rap battles…we assume…).

What Comes Next?

Your old data is not stuck in the past. The integration possibilities enabled by Core Informatics’ Platform for Science can unlock virtually forgotten information in an organization’s legacy system to help create something spectacular.

When you unlock your data with an integrated lab informatics platform, you’ll find there’s still a million things you haven’t done, so don’t you wait.