Bio-IT Preview Leveraging Informatics for Data Analysis

Leveraging an Informatics Platform to Derive Scientific Insights

BioIT World presentation preview from Thermo Fisher Scientific

Each year the latest innovations in the Bio-IT space are featured at Bio-IT World in Boston. One of this year’s hot topics will undoubtedly be data science. The world of Bio-IT is full of exciting technological advances, but it is a challenge for life and data scientists, statisticians, and administers to keep up. Scientists need to determine which of these technologies will be the most beneficial to their research and help them to analyze their results.

Data scientists (and statisticians) are looking for something more. They’re looking for clues, trends, and missing pieces to help them interpret the data in new and complex ways. Data analysis software enables them to find previously unseen connections—allowing multifactorial analysis of data sets to uncover new answers or groupings. Additionally, revealing a previously unrecognized empty space in a data set can be just as interesting. Empty spaces can prompt new analysis or new research to uncover why nothing is there, or to find what has yet to be found.

Using data visualization to uncover missing spaces in data sets

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the creation of the periodic table. We all know the periodic table of elements—that ever-expanding, properly organized set of data, that neatly depicts the properties of the elements that make-up of our universe.  In 1869 Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev organized elements’ physical and chemical properties by their atomic mass and grouped them in his periodic table. After he assembled the table, he quickly realized that his system of analysis revealed gaps. He was missing hard evidence that elements existed to fill these empty spaces, but he used data from known elements to make accurate predictions about the properties of eight elements that were yet to be discovered. Mendeleev’s first table created a data visualization framework, a roadmap in essence, for future discoveries by the scientific community.

Data analysis applications for laboratory information management systems (LIMS)

Today’s scientists face a similar challenge to Mendeleev. How do they interpret the data they have (or don’t have) to make new scientific discoveries? Unlike Mendeleev, today’s scientists have tools that can help them in this process. Organizations can utilize tools like Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) and Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELN) to manage their scientific workflow and aggregate their data. By connecting an organization’s informatics infrastructure to data analysis and visualization tools, scientists have an intelligent platform to manage their laboratory operations and derive knowledge from their data. Our vision and solution for this is Thermo Fisher™ Platform for Science ™ software.

As technology changes and biomedical research advances, the underlying data changes in both complexity and size, requiring more sophisticated tools and the ability to connect data across multiple disparate sources. By leveraging best of breed tools, scientists can connect their data and accelerate their science. An example of this is the R statistical programming language, and RStudio™ products integrated into Platform for Science software. It allows scientists to keep up of with the diverse new set of laboratory data types and standards turning data into knowledge.

Peer reviewed and published techniques or algorithms can be configured into a Shiny™ data analysis applications or web services that integrate directly with Platform for Science software. In some respects, Platform for Science software, like the periodic table, is a tool to help advance current science, while anticipating changes and providing the framework to incorporate new informatic solutions.

Ultimately, scientists want to uncover insights hidden in their data that may exist in many different silos, but data can be a large, complex, diverse, and everchanging. Data standards also change from company to company, from industry to industry and evolve over time. The ability to expose and aggregate all this information to uncover multiparametric insights will be enhanced with tools like Platform for Science software.

For more information please attend our presentation, Leveraging an Informatics Platform to Derive Scientific Insights, at BioIT World and stop by both 447.

Data Science Webinar

If you are unable to attend BioIT, watch our webinar: SmartLab Digital: Digital Transformation of the Lab – How To Enable the Lab through Advanced Analytics, for more information.


Marc Siladi leads the Data Science Team and oversees the strategy and development of statistical analysis software at Thermo Fisher Scientific. His scientific expertise and experience allow him to better understand the problems facing our customers. Before joining Thermo Fisher Scientific, Marc was a Research Scientist at Vertex Pharmaceuticals with hands on involvement in innovative drug discovery efforts to benefit patients with deadly diseases.