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Category: LIMS

Why database tuning, and revisiting the queries, indexes, and reports are important for a high-performance LIMS system?

A LIMS system that is unresponsive is a major concern for lab users, and it is the responsibility of IT to ensure that the system is kept in excellent condition. Database tuning and revisiting queries and indexes are essential for achieving high performance in a LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System). Once in year LIMS system must be tested for performance. IT teams must communicate and conduct workshops with their business to identify performance bottlenecks.  I call it the “LIMS performance checklist” Here it is

  1. Database tuning: Over time, as the database grows and more data is added, the performance of the database can degrade. Database tuning involves optimizing the configuration of the database to ensure that it is running at its best. This may involve adjusting settings such as memory allocation, storage configurations, and other parameters to improve performance. Without regular tuning, the database can become slow and unresponsive, which can negatively impact the performance of the LIMS system.
  2. Query optimization: The queries used to retrieve data from the database can have a significant impact on performance. Poorly written queries can take a long time to execute, and may even cause the database to crash if they are too resource-intensive. Regularly revisiting queries and optimizing them to improve performance can help ensure that the LIMS system is responsive and fast.
  3. Index optimization: Indexes are used to speed up database queries by allowing the database to quickly locate specific data. However, if indexes are not optimized, they can actually slow down queries by requiring the database to perform additional operations. Regularly revisiting and optimizing indexes can help ensure that queries are executed as efficiently as possible, leading to improved performance of the LIMS system.
  4. Data growth: As data is added to the LIMS system, the database can become slower and less responsive. Regularly revisiting the database schema and making updates to optimize performance can help ensure that the system continues to perform well as the amount of data grows.
  5. Reports: Badly constructed reports gobble up all the CPU power. An report that takes more than 1 min will frustrate all the lab users and they develop hate
  • Reducing the amount of data: Narrowing down the date range and applying filters can reduce the amount of data that needs to be processed, which can significantly improve the performance of the report. By limiting the amount of data that needs to be retrieved and processed, the report can be generated more quickly, leading to faster and more efficient performance.
  • Reducing server load: When generating reports, Crystal Reports can put a significant load on the server. By reducing the amount of data that needs to be processed, the load on the server can be reduced, leading to improved overall system performance.
  • Reducing network traffic: When running a report, Crystal Reports retrieves data from the database and sends it over the network to the client machine. By reducing the amount of data that needs to be retrieved and sent, network traffic can be reduced, leading to improved performance and a better user experience.
  • Improving data accuracy: Narrowing down the date range and applying filters can also improve the accuracy of the data presented in the report. By focusing on a specific subset of data, it’s easier to identify any errors or discrepancies in the data, leading to more accurate and reliable results.

In summary, regular database tuning, reports and revisiting queries and indexes are essential for maintaining a high-performance LIMS system. By optimizing the database and fine-tuning queries and indexes, labs can ensure that the LIMS system remains fast, responsive, and efficient, even as data grows and the demands on the system increase

Time to Implement LIMS?

A Laboratory Information Management System or LIMS is a software application that automates the proceedings of a laboratory, right from the intake of a sample, through its entire life cycle in the laboratory. In plain words, LIMS is an upgrade from spreadsheets, which cannot safeguard against human errors. Automation not only reduces errors but also increases the speed and efficiency of laboratory operations. Some of the key benefits of LIMS include:

  1. Saving time spent in maintaining records.
  2. Easy data traceability and accessibility.
  3. Elimination of human errors and improved efficiency.

In short, implementing a LIMS saves time, money, and effort. Your laboratory personnel is not drowning in entering data manually and maintaining them correctly, thus enabling them to focus more on their research. That roughly translates into more business and profit capital for the laboratories.

Is it Time to Implement a LIMS?

Now that we understand what a LIMS is and what benefits it offers, the next question that arises is when to start using one. Before we address the elephant in the room, here are a few questions for your consideration:

Are you meeting the turnaround time for your processes? In other words are your laboratory personnel able to meet all the steps listed in your SOP’s without deviations and delays in process execution and validation?

  1. Is your laboratory personnel spending too much time managing daily transactions and maintaining documentation of transactional processes?
  2. Is your business facing losses due to erroneous test reports?
  3. Is data-retrievability a major issue for your day to day laboratory operations?
  4. Are you able to maintain data integrity, meet customer expectations and deadlines and take major decisions simultaneously?

Any laboratory investing in a LIMS needs to ask these questions to themselves. Each of these questions roughly translates into a telltale sign that it is high time for your laboratory to implement a LIMS. Let’s take a closer look at these answers:

  1. If the answer to this question is no, you need to consider investing in a LIMS. Maintaining turnaround time is one of the basic requirements for the smooth running of a laboratory. Your personnel should be able to refer and follow set SOPs without deviations and difficulties.
  2. If you are thinking no to this question as well, here is your sign number 2. Daily transactions and documentations, while highly important activities, should not make up for the bulk of your personnel’s responsibilities or job roles.
  3. A yes here means you are close to tough times. Erroneous test reports translate to lost business opportunities. Errors in reports often rise from manual data entry and human intervention. A LIMS automates this, thus eliminating error percentage.
  4. Pulling up data easily saves time. Time is money and thus, needs to be saved. A LIMS stores all data in one place, making retrieval easy.
  5. Fast decision making is critical for improved business transactions. Another requirement is meeting customer expectations by providing service at par with the industry standards.


The questions discussed above and the answers that followed each point in a direction that says what an ideal laboratory operation looks like and what could be done to achieve it. There are multiple parameters to consider while implementing a LIMS. If the questions discussed above apply to your facility, it may be time you start looking into a LIMS to automate your laboratory workflow and choose a vendor that best fits your requirements.

Choosing a LIMS

Choosing a LIMS is complex, but NXG is here to help. With the most modern platform, industry accelerators, and comprehensive services, it’s never been easier to deploy a solution that meets your needs.

The basic function of a LIMS is to track samples and store sample workflow related information from the time it enters a laboratory until it is disposed. In this blog, we highlight some important factors to be considered while evaluating a LIMS solution for your laboratory. Finding a LIMS with desired features requires several factors to be considered, right from the deployment process, services offered, customization costs, and support and training packages offered by the vendor.

Here are some important factors that must be considered while selecting a LIMS:


When choosing a LIMS platform, technology plays a significant role. A LIMS built on a technology platform that serves as an enabler and helps in the implementation process is much more conducive to your laboratory environment than a LIMS built on archaic platform. A solution that enables to scale, is flexible and leaves a small IT footprint is a robust solution to your operational needs.


It is important that the data is accessed by authorized users, at the appropriate authorization level. Provision should be made that even if there is a breach, the data still cannot be extracted since it is encrypted at rest as well. If the solution is a web based LIMS, should be hosted on AICPA developed, SOC compliant world class infrastructure along with multi-layered application level security. Additionally, ensure that regular database backups are taken and stored in a geographically distant data center for seamless data recovery in case of man-made or natural disasters.

Regulatory Compliance

Some of the regulatory bodies and guidelines laboratories need to follow are – ISO 17025:2017, ISO 9001:2015, HIPAA, GMP AND GAMP, EPA, FDA, USDA, GFSI, FSMA, CLIA. Please check if the LIMS you choose helps you follow and therefore comply with the guidelines applicable to your laboratory.


You may need to consider the license cost, third party tools that may need to installed, customization charges, installation fee, hosting charges, technical support provided, cost of upgrades and the services the LIMS vendor offers.


Configurability enables a LIMS to be modified to mirror laboratory workflows by altering screen designs, menu designs, terminology, report design etc. without the need for a software customization project than needs engineers to write code and modify the product. Configuration enables a LIMS to adopt to the changing operations and business requirements of a laboratory and can be done by laboratory personnel themselves instead of hiring a vendor to do so for them. A LIMS that offers configuration tools should be preferred since it saves on costly customization that require a large budgetary allocation.

Custom Reports

Reporting is an indispensable part of a LIMS because it enables users to get a clear picture of collected data and potential trends. The selected LIMS software should provide custom reporting templates based on your requirements and facilitate professional custom report generation by enabling you to add signatures, company logo, user notes, and images with a caption.

Do cross check all rating and reviews before buying a LIMS.