System Updates Newsletter

Update on Time Entry

Dear Valued Customers,
While we are always trying to make operations easier for all users, lately we have dedicated a little extra time to one specific group: associates in cores that offer professional services, such as Biostatisticians in a Biostatistics core. These associates need to be able to quickly and easily account for the time that they spend on various projects so that the core can bill for their services, and the PI can pay for and report on the usage. Mayo Clinic had a proven method for this within their internal systems, and in collaboration with the CORES team at Vanderbilt, this design was adopted into the CORES application. We are pleased to announce that this module is now incorporated and available in the iLab system.

The functionality allows for "jobs" (PI, Fund Number, Core) to be created in the application. Once a job is created, it is then linked to a core associate. When the core associate logs in to enter his or her time, he or she is presented with an easy-to-use timesheet containing only the jobs to which he or she is linked. If the associate is working on multiple projects then the time can easily be split between projects. The screen displays daily totals, weekly totals, and totals by project to ensure the associate has accounted for his or her full work week.

This method benefits the stakeholders involved:

  • Core associates can quickly and easily enter their time in a weekly view
  • Core managers can easily review their staff's time per work week
  • PIs can easily view their charges

We're very excited to see this module go live within the iLab system. Please note that as this is a different workflow than the standard equipment-scheduling process. Those interested in Time Entry will need to work with an iLab team member to turn on and set up this feature.

We believe this will be another value-adding module that will reduce overhead for your core staff. We look forward to hearing your feedback and appreciate your continued support.

Thank you,

Keith Dance,

Head of Product Management
iLab Solutions, part of Agilent Technologies
 



New Features Coming Soon!

1. Catalog Upgrade - iLab's catalogs for Materials Management and Storeroom Management are being upgraded to Rails 4. As iLab hosts over 13.5 million live products for over 36 thousand vendors for a variety of customers, this transition is quite significant. The upgrade brings stronger performance and greater speeds, allowing for much faster processing of orders.

2. Update to Studies - iLab is upgrading its studies functionality to the newest version of its semantic interface. This is a newer, cleaner interface with greater reliability and stability. This update also allows for easier maintenance and future upgrades. 


3. Animal Management: iLab is in the process of developing a practical and intuitive Animal Management Module that builds upon and integrates with our base core facility management software. To ensure that we are designing this module to flexibly meet the needs of a variety of facilities, we are building this product in stages and in collaboration with a number of customer partners.
     The first two milestones for this product line were a Protocols Management component and Animal Ordering functionality, and the first round of development is complete for each.
     The Protocols Management component allows a facility to store the particular sets of data that animal facilities, core facilities, and principal investigators will need to reference in the course of their daily workflows and processes. With this feature in place, iLab can receive an input file containing approved protocols from their institutional Protocol Management system, or approved protocols can be manually entered into iLab. Core Managers and researchers can then associate approved protocols when placing service requests or animal orders.
     Animal Ordering, or Animal Acquisition, allows researchers to place online requests for Animals based on their approved protocols, and the facility administrator can review and approve the request and place the order to the vendor. This module includes workflows for ordering animals from "Approved Sources" (typically common commercial vendors) and "Non-Approved Sources."
     Housing and Cage Cards is iLab's third major phase of development, which is nearing completion. This phase includes the ability to assign incoming animals to facility animal housing locations, the printing and scanning of barcoded animal Cage Cards, and the development of a user-friendly Cage Record Management interface. Within this interface, facilities can quickly search or filter for cages and update various attributes and/or add attachments pertinent to the cage record.
     This current phase will soon be followed by the development of an Animal Census component. Stay tuned for further updates!

4. Configurable Reservations: Cores that offer services with costly setup and/or changeovers often want more prescriptive ways to pre-configure equipment. Further, customers may need to request detailed configurations for equipment in order to meet their needs. With our new configurable reservations capabilities, iLab will give service centers the ability to designate the specific set-up configurations for a particular time frame, and give customers the ability to view the schedule and select the time that meets their desired configuration needs. 

5. Publication Tracker: iLab is nearing completion on its newest product module, Publication Tracker. Several institution and core facility administrators expressed that tracking publications is time-consuming, and that reporting on publications is becoming an increasingly critical part of the grant application and renewal process. To help our administrators solve these challenges, we've broken down publication tracking into the following basic steps:

  • Discover: Quickly identify publications of interest
  • Confirm: Request confirmation of authorship and facility contribution
  • Report: Download publication data for reporting purposes

Throughout the build, we've focused on delivering the following key values:

  • Save managers' time by making it easier to find publications to which core facilities may have contributed. This is accomplished by providing a dynamic query builder which can reflect on customers and members of the facility to generate lists of relevant publications.
  • Increase data quality and save managers' time by distributing the process of confirming publication contributions directly to researchers
  • Save researchers' time by providing simple confirmation interfaces instead of emailing back and forth excel spreadsheets
  • Improve facility insights by providing rich and detailed data exports that can be customized to meet a variety of different reporting needs.

By combining publication data with other reporting data available in our standard reporting module, core facility administrators can help understand which services are proving valuable and where to invest additional time and money. It is our hope that providing this tool will help facilities become more efficient at securing additional funding and at planning their growth.

The first version of our product supports a deep integration with PubMed. We will be working very closely with additional partners to identify other data sources for integration. 
 

These features are expected to deploy to the iLab system over the next few months. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your iLab representative.
 



iLab's Complimentary Webinar Series


Publication Tracker
Join iLab experts Andreas Hagan and Sarah Becker as they provide explanations, useful tips, and a Q&A session on iLab's newest module, Publication Tracker. This webinar will take place on January 25th, at 1:30 PM EST. Click here to register!

This session will provide informative new perspectives on how to use Publication Tracker to boost your reporting capabilities and maximize time spent tracking publications for the purpose of securing funding.

Topics to be covered in this complimentary webinar include:

  1. Discovering publications of interest
  2. Confirming contribution/authorship of publication
  3. Reporting features around publications
  4. How Publication Tracker:
    • saves managers time
    • increases data quality
    • saves researchers time
    • improves facility insights
  5. Walkthrough of functionality
  6. Q&A

Please go to our webinars webpage for more information: http://www.ilabsolutions.com/webinars/



2017 User Group Conference:

Registration is now open for our 2017 User Group Conference, which will be 20-22 February 2017 at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida. All administrators who use iLab are encouraged to attend. Click here to register!

More information about iLab's 2017 User Group Conference can be found here: http://www.ilabsolutions.com/user-group-conference-2017