Advantage LIMS Upload


Source: APG

Starting as of January 1, 2007, the APG Advantage LIMS Upload will give you the ability to enter your data using almost any LIMS (laboratory information management system) export file. No typing required. It may seem too good to be true, but the Advantage LIMS Upload is ready.

Why did it take so long?
APG’s data transfer protocol started 18 months ago with a single laboratory and their LIMS provider. It took six months to design a system that would meet their needs. The LIMS manufacturer finally integrated the requirements into their software and another three months passed. During that time, the laboratory contact was transferred, and the new contact had too many other issues. So the project died.

A new paradigm – no hassle
The initial project failed because it was too much hassle for the laboratory. From my perspective, the project would never again be at the mercy of a LIMS manufacturer or lab’s IT group. Therefore, APG’s Advantage LIMS Upload conforms to the lab’s export file format rather than the lab’s system conforming to APG’s file format. APG’s Advantage Upload system provides a graphical user interface for the lab (or an APG representative) to map the columns in the data file to the APG Advantage Upload fields. The system then remembers these mappings. That is all the setup that is required.

The Advantage Upload system has been beta-tested over the past six months by a dozen labs, and we are confident that it will work for your laboratory. Below is a quick Q & A to address some of the concerns that APG has heard over the past six months.

Am I able to edit my data?
You are always in control of your data until the study closes. You can upload additional data at a later time or manually enter additional data. You can also manually update data that has been uploaded. For example, you upload a file with 400 data points. You then find an issue with one of your analysis prior to the study close. You can simply type a new value for the updated analysis or upload a new file. The choice is yours.

Am I able to review my uploaded data?
Yes, once your data has been uploaded you can click the confirmation icon to download a printable-PDF copy of the data. This is the same process as reviewing data that was manually entered. You also receive a confirmation email at midnight eastern time that details all data that has been entered.

How do I send my data to accrediting authorities?
Once the data has been uploaded, you will be asked for your reporting requirements. This is exactly the same as the manual data entry process.

Should I include the analyte units?
Yes, it is not required but it is highly recommended that analyte units be included. The Advantage Upload system compares the units specified in the file to the required units. If there is a discrepancy you are prompted to make a conversion. By specifying units, you will never have a conversion error.

What LIMS export file formats does the APG Advantage Upload support?
The Advantage Upload supports any delimited file format. Tab-delimited or comma-delimited is preferred. Spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel files can be converted to comma-delimited files in a matter of seconds. Detailed instructions are provided in the help files for the Advantage Upload.

My LIMS does not store NELAC methods and Technologies. Will I have to enter these?
No, the Advantage Upload system populates the NELAC method codes and technologies for you. You are however always in control of your data so you have the ability to change this information if required.

Can the Advantage Upload support analyte non-detects?
Not spiked or non-detected analytes are able to be uploaded. The Advantage Upload can use the reporting limit or the detection limit if they are specified in the file. It can also use the PTRL if the limit is not specified in the uploaded file.

Can the Advantage Upload support multiple methods?
Yes, it handles multiple methods. Using the graphical user interface, data can be automatically split into multiple methods.

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