A lesson in awareness: do you know what you don’t know about your data?

Data Talks in collaboration with Rescop

January 25, 2024, the game was on. About twenty data savvy individuals gathered at the Biotech Training Facility for the workshop Data Talks organised by CIV Bio Sciences partners Biotech Training Facility and the University of Applied Sciences Leiden (UAS Leiden) in collaboration with Rescop.

As organisations to date create and use data at unprecedented rates, data management and data integrity become increasingly critical. This is also true for Biotech and Life Sciences. You don’t wish to be confronted with inconsistent or missing data. You don’t want to loose track of who did what with a datafile or dataset. To be aware of what you do and do not know about data, the organisors put together a varied programme.

After the kick-off by Sandra Migchielsen, programme manager CIV Bio Sciences – explaining the why of the CIV Bio Sciences Life Long Learning gatherings at the Leiden Bio Science Park – two presentations were held: one on Data management and one on Data integrity.

Data Management

Roland Westweer, Lecturer Data Engineering at the Faculty of Sciene & Technology UAS Leiden, introduced the topic of data and data management. Typical data challenges that organisations may recognise relate to knowledge and skills, data quality, compliance and regulations, as well as dealing with a patchwork of tools. The V’s or characteristics of a collection of data were mentioned: Volume, Variation, Velocity and Veracity. Data management is the practice of collecting, organising, protecting, and storing an organisation’s data. The analysis of data provides insights and supports decision-making. The data management framework DAMA-DMBoK (Data Management Body of Knowledge) is often used to organize data management. A typical data approach considers the interconnected topics of metadata, data quality, and data governance. FAIR data is data that meets the principles of Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability (FAIR). These are important when you want to share and reuse data.

Data integrity

Richard Mulders is Principal Consultant at Rescop, a firm offering Consultancy Services and Software Products aimed at ensuring GxP compliance for businesses. Data integrity is the maintenance of, and the assurance of, data accuracy and consistency over its entire life-cycle. Richard discussed the identification of common data integrity risks and challenges with special attention to the field of Biotech and Life Sciences. The abbreviation to remember: ALCOA. ALCOA is a set of principles that ensures data integrity. Data have to always be Attributable, Legible, Contemporaneously recorded, Original and Accurate. Quick wins to sort your data were provided, such as: Implement individual log-ins, Document the entire data flow including calculations and mutations.

Playing the GxP game!

While the first presentation was mainly a lecture, and the second was full of practical examples, you can find out wether an audience has understood the material by testing their knowledge. For this the GxP game was laid out on the table. (GxP is the abbreviation of “Good x Practice”. The “x” in GxP stands for the field the guidelines and regulations apply to. GMP or Good Manufacturing Practice is an example of GxP typical for the pharmaceutical industry.) Divided over four groups, the attendees entered into battle. The dice was thrown and numerous fun quiz questions were answered. The smartest group was not necessarily the fastest, which made for a hilarious finish.

Data knowledge gaps

The Life Long Learning session was closed with drinks and more data talk. We asked the audience wether they experienced any particular knowledge gaps in the field of data. In terms of Lifelong Learning relevant training courses can be developed and offered to close such gaps only if we are aware of any. To this end all attendees will also receive a survey. We invite you to share your ideas and suggestions for further education with us, at any time. Please contact us at sandra@civ-biosciences.nl.

The CIV project ‘Ecosystem Lifelong Learning’ is part of the broader Human Capital Agenda LBSP and receives a contribution from Human Capital Akkoord Zuid-Holland. Its focus is on vocational talent en training.

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