Data Analysis and Informatics
Data Strategy: Sharing and Repurposing Data
In today’s world, no lab is an island. Samples, protocols, data, and ideas need to be shared seamlessly within organizations and across scientific communities to streamline the path to impactful progress. In addition, the vast amounts of data generated for each sample can be overwhelming to analyze and maintain securely. Lastly, determining if data and results can be compared apples-to-apples between different protocols, studies, or organizations can be almost impossible.
In this talk, we will provide an overview of how blockchain can be a tool to achieve immense improvements in sample accessioning, data transfer, and workflow compliance using the ledgers inherent in the technology. Application of blockchain to these workflows can provide advantages such as elimination of ID duplication, reduction of missing or incorrect data, and decreased workflow errors and omissions, among others. When different organizations are part of the same blockchain, data integrity, protocol choice, and protocol adherence are transparent to all organizations involved. This shared technological ecosystem decreases barriers to communal data, study, and protocol repositories and increases the likelihood of productive collaboration.
Despite these benefits, implementation of blockchain technologies is not without challenges, requiring new tools, strategic thinking, and updated approaches. To assist participants in evaluating opportunities for employing blockchain technologies within their own laboratories, we will provide an overview of some considerations organizations should take into account, offer practical steps to evaluate potential blockchain use cases, and discuss potential limitations of the technology.