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Data Integration Solutions Largely Ineffective, Unprofitable Expenditures for Life Sciences Companies Due to Insufficient Front-End Planning, According to 3rd Millennium
CAMBRIDGE, MA - May 6, 2002 -- In a recently released White Paper assessing the promise and reality of data integration for biopharmaceutical R&D, 3rd Millennium stressed that many life sciences companies have not benefited from their data integration solutions due to poor planning and flawed selection and application of technology solutions. 3rd Millennium is a private, bioinformatics consulting firm helping clients implement bioinformatics systems that support early-stage biological research and discovery activities. (download White Paper).
Many recent studies have emphasized how the explosion in biological data resulting from genomics technologies holds the promise of rapidly improving drug discovery and development. At the same time, there are relatively few examples of how this influx of data has significantly improved the drug discovery process. One of the critical challenges of the post-genomic era is integrating these new sources of biological data. Data integration, which involves unifying data that are scientifically related, but originate from unrelated sources, has become a complex challenge due to the wealth, complexity and lack of standardization of new data types and sources.
"Through the integration of a vast range of information now available, researchers and program directors can discover relationships that enable them to make better and faster decisions about targets and drug candidates. However, even though powerful data integration technologies exist, the challenge of determining the best solution has doomed many investments. Companies are often undermined by how much more difficult it is to match their objectives with the right data integration solution than for other software investments. And if a company selects incorrectly, it might end up with a solution that only partially addresses its requirements," said Roland Carel, Ph.D., Senior Systems Architect for 3rd Millennium.
In this White Paper, 3rd Millennium provided an overview of the four main approaches for solving data integration problems, which are database federation, data warehouses & datamarts, specialized databases and point solutions. 3rd Millennium also detailed the organizational contexts in which each approach is most beneficial, with an additional review of database integration products and technologies such as SRS, DiscoveryLink, the K1 integration middleware, Genomax, and XML. And finally, 3rd Millennium detailed the key considerations companies must address when framing their data integration needs.
Key issues cited by 3rd Millennium in selecting a data-integration solution include:
> Determining the precise scientific questions being asked.
> Managing the disparity among data sources.
> Determining the best technology solution.
3rd Millennium predicts that data integration will become even more important as organizations increasingly focus on bridging the gap between biology and chemistry in drug discovery and as highly data-driven approaches such as systems biology become more prevalent.
"While superior data integration capability does not guarantee results, making the wrong data integration decision is detrimental to R&D programs. We believe implementing the right data integration technologies might prove critical to ultimate success," Carel added.
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