Automating data delivery and databasing – Case Study

Top Pharma Company
Assistant Director


Institution: A top Pharma Company
Market: Chemistry & Pharma
Number of Employes: 200 discovery and development chemists
Uses for tool: Circa 100,000 sample per annum
Market: Third party ELNs (Biovia, IDBS)
Type of installation: In-house developed, long standing tool for data delivery to chemists (upkeep – maintenance/bug fixing a challenge)


  • Short term: To greatly simplify access of all chemists to their analytical data, review of the data and re-storage.
  • Mid term: To enhance the use of analytical data and avoid work repetition through lack of awareness or visibility of previous work.


The solution implemented has several elements:

  • MnovaMnova Database
  • Databasing automation
  • Workflow driven data access and review


The workflow is very simple and unified / standardised. It is therefore easy to teach new chemists and has little room for error / problems.

Improvements on previous system:

  • Data are databased in real time, automatically (no errors, nothing is missed)
  • Data are available to chemists as soon as acquired
  • Data are processed and templates applied in Real Time
  • Sample Number, Experiment ID, User ID, date and all other relevant metadata are harvested in Real Time and made available for searching
  • PDFs are generated and archived in Real Time
  • Search the system from a greatly simplified interface, within Mnova
  • Data are retrieved by Sample Number, Experiment ID and other clear identifiers
  • Data can be searched by date, user, project, etc., if ‘lost’
  • Structure, peak and multiplet search are also available
  • Chemist can reprocess and, after reprocessing, the following happens with one single click:
    • Resetting of reports – Apply templates
    • Resave to DB with new version number, tagged as human reviewed
    • PDF generated on the fly and archived

Improvements on previous system:

  • Time saved
  • No browsing around file systems to find data, just enter identifier
  • Easily find ‘lost’ data (if you don’t know where it is, the DB will find it)
  • Retrieve already analysed data with one click
  • Reprocess, reanalyse and reset layout of data with one click
  • Resave to DB, version and archive PDF with one click
  • No need to specify save locations, the system knows
  • Better information
  • All data for a given identifier (e.g., Sample Number) are presented to chemist, so he can see analytical data or structure, other chemists analysis, etc., which he may not have been aware of

The chemist workflow in detail



  • 1 min saved per chemist per dataset opened (not browsing complex file directories, just enter unique ID)
  • 1 min saved per chemist at report layout (no need to layout report or report any parameters or information, the system knows what it must report)
  • 1 min saved per chemist at saving and databasing (laying out report, saving processed and laid out file, saving to DB, generating PDF, saving PDF to specific file location are all done with one single click – one click for all operations)
  • 5 datasets per chemist per day (average number of samples generated by chemist in a day)
  • Fully loaded cost per chemist: €250,000 per annum (€1,000 per working day)


Economic value:


  • Followed a workflow analysis – design specification process / several iterations, 1 month
  • Customization and implementation development – 1 month
  • Alpha testing by acceptance team, including bug fixing and iterations – 1 month
  • Deployment: this requires a packaging process and for this size installation and given the customer resource dedicated to it takes about 1 month


  • Mnova Suite (x 200, 1 per chemist)
  • Processing Real Time Solution (x12, 1 per instrument)
  • Mnova Spectral DB (Server x2 for production and replicate, client x 200, 1 per chemist)
  • Smart Analysis plugin (x200, one per chemist)