Five Ways Ovation Helps with Life Science Data Management

Posted by Adam Hasler on Feb 16, 2016 4:39:28 PM

Science answers questions by collecting data and telling the story of its evolution from hypothesis to conclusion. With the growth and acceleration of modern data collection and analysis tools, this story—the evolution of data and ideas—becomes harder to maintain. Researchers and data informationists routinely tell us that managing the explosion of files that contain bits of this story has become an overwhelming headache. Instead of building on new insights gained through stages of analysis, many researchers feel that they’re spinning their wheels going back just to figure out what happened. At Ovation, we’re attacking this challenge head on. Ovation is a Scientific Data Layer as a Service that provides safe, secure cloud-based storage and data access for individuals and teams. Furthermore, Ovation provides tools to capture associated metadata and record conversations in the context of the data itself.  Most importantly, Ovation provides a novel interactive graph that displays the provenance of your entire project!  By tracking and visualizing the relationships between experiments, analyses and conclusions—and all of the files in between—Ovation seeks to take the complications out of data management. We want you to focus on scientific discovery, and leave the data management to us. Here are five ways that Ovation helps helps life science researchers manage their data and communicate their important findings.


 1. Secure, cloud-based data storage

Ovation's data storage gets your files off of your hard drive or shared lab network and into the cloud, so you can have access from wherever you are, and from whatever device. In an era of Dropbox and Google Drive, researchers should expect nothing less than fast, reliable, secure remote data storage services, and with Ovation they get it—and designed specifically for their needs. We provide a visually-driven, well-designed interface for interacting with your files, which live within your project. Just drag and drop files, and even whole folders, right into the browser, and within seconds your important data is in a secure environment that you can access from anywhere. Learn more about the technical stack we use to make secure, cloud-based storage happen.

2. File metadata and easy version control for your files

Ovation not only provides easy storage, but the capability of adding metadata to each of your files, so you'll always be able to keep track of important information about the research you conducted. Additionally, adding a new revision of data is just as easy as adding the data in the first place: drag and drop the new version into Ovation and we'll keep track of it in the context of the original file.

3. Research collaboration management made easy

Organize a team for your project with ease, whether it's the folks in your lab or a consortium of researchers spread across the country or the globe. Project administrators have an easy, visual interface for setting team member permissions, so you can invite others to add new data or modify file relationships, or just come in and take a peak at the project's progress without changing a thing. Have as many collaborators as you'd like, and easily see their contributions and activity. Additionally, anyone on the project's team can post important updates or messages to the timeline, so communication within a team is a snap.

4. Research activities and file relationships

Why stop at simple file storage? Ovation helps researchers record the role of data in a project with activities that help everyone remember the inputs and outputs of experiments and analyses that took place. You can easily drag and drop files from your project's contents into their correct place in activities, or even multiple activities to create chains that represent your project's progress. Activities have their own metadata too, so you can remember who performed an analysis or experiment, or what protocol, test or code they used.

5. Visualizing data provenance

We at Ovation have spent a lot of time with life science researchers (and a couple of us are former life science researchers!), and consistently heard a huge frustration: life science researchers want to see, and communicate, how they arrived at a finding using the data they produced. Dropping all your data into a repository is one thing, but what if you could tell the story of your project, from sources to manuscript, and all the steps in between? So we introduced the provenance graph. Built on the activities you create, we automatically create a visual representation of the flow of data through your project. Clicking on any file shows all the data that preceded it, and all the data that followed. Now, you can see just what sources went into the figure you're using in your paper, or understand more clearly the most consequential activities in a project.


 Ovation's community continues to grow, populated by researchers who want to do science differently. They're tired of scientific software with a poor user experience that adds to their daily workload, rather than solves problems. Ovation is constantly growing and improving, and we want to learn more about your work and how we can help you focus on doing great science. Get in touch at [email protected] anytime. We'd love to chat.

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