The two ways of running a bioinformatics project

Collaborating with a professional bioinformatics consulting company versus an academic research group

For most researchers in biology and medicine, collaborating with an academic bioinformatics group is the default option for getting their high-throughput (e.g. NGS, microarray or mass-spec) data analyzed. In theory, this kind of model offers biologists easy access to bioinformaticians while providing the dry lab with valuable real-world data to use in developing and benchmarking novel bioinformatics tools.

Working as a project manager in a bioinformatics consulting company, I often hear from our clients how the collaboration-based solution has not turned out optimal in the end.

These researchers got interested in outsourcing data analysis to a bioinformatics service company once they heard such option is available. When we ask our customers why they ended up using an external bioinformatics consulting company, the same few top reasons come up again and again.

The most profound difference between a commercial service provider and academic partner is in project management. Unlike an academic group, we do not have papers of our own to publish, which means our focus is on your needs. Projects outsourced to Genevia are always managed by a professional project manager, with the sole responsibility of running the project to reach your goals. This makes a big difference compared to academic collaboration where the interests of the partnering groups are rarely in perfect alignment.

Having a project manager saves time and provides optimal output

To give you an overview, I outline here the positive side-effects that a professional project manager in a bioinformatics consulting company can have on your research. The dedicated project manager ensures the following:

1. The analysis is up to the standards of high-impact academic publishing. This includes selection of the methods, production of result tables and visualizations, reporting them in an organized manner, and writing methods descriptions for your manuscript.

2. No time is wasted in delivering your results. We use project management methodology borrowed from the software industry to allocate the right amount of resources to your project in order to meet the deadlines. Unexpected issues may arise in a research project, but any changes or delays are always communicated promptly.

3. Your questions are heard, answered and taken into account in planning the project. Listening to the customer is our first priority. The project manager has a discussion with the customer before, during and at the end of the project via teleconferences and email. We make sure to have you involved to the extent you wish and that you understand the results we deliver.

4. Your project gets the required resources. A good bioinformatics consulting company has a pool of specialists from which the project manager selects the most qualified professionals to analyze your data and makes sure they are available when they are needed.

5. You get the most out of your budget. Consulting costs, but so does your time. The project manager is devoted to utilizing your budget and time wisely. This involves, for instance, selecting data analysis pipelines and methodology with the best payoff both quality and timewise.

In summary, with a project manager your project is professionally led and taken care of, which is enough to make the difference. Planning your next project involving high-throughput measurements, why not ask for a quotation for the data analysis from a bioinformatics consulting company?

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