When Platforms Launch Discovery


Platform software development is trending these days, and for good reason. Platform development lets developers get to a robust foundation that addresses broad essentials, like security and reporting, but then enables dedicated teams to build innovative applications on top of that foundation to serve specific users. 

Forbes, quoting blogger Jonathan Clarks, described platforms as structures on which multiple products can be built. By trending toward platforms, the logic functions of applications can be separated out, “so that an IT structure can be built for change,” Clarks argued. He said companies “invest in platforms in the hope that future products can be developed faster and cheaper than if they built them stand-alone.” 

We’ve been convinced that a platform approach is most effective, both for our customers and for us. One of our main motivators is finding better ways to help the scientists, researchers, business analysts and others we serve quickly make sense of the overabundant data they encounter daily. The PerkinElmer Signals™ platform is enabling us to achieve this goal. 

The PerkinElmer Signals Platform

With Signals, we’re taking data integration and analysis to the next level, beyond data visualization. It consists of applications that enable deeper data insights based on context from available research data, search queries, workflows and more.

PerkinElmer Signals portfolio includes cloud-scale products as well as on premise scalable offerings that can grow with demand. Signals also leverages TIBCO Spotfire® enabled scientific workflows and data visualizations. From a basis that empowers data-driven scientific and business decisions, Signals has branched out to offer self-guided data discovery, self-guided data analysis, and visual analytics in the fields of translational, screening, medical review, and lead discovery, with more to come in 2018. We´ve even got Signals Notebook, a web-based electronic notebook for scientific research data management, and have built the Signals vision into existing products, such as E-Notebook.

This approach lets us help customers corral the explosion of data across their enterprises, while focusing on the complexity with specific solutions. The foundation uses tools for big data storage, search, semantics, and analytics to help users get a much clearer and broader view, much more quickly, from an array of disparate data. Each application builds on scientific knowledge to create scientifically accurate and relevant workflows that deliver deeper insights from the data. You get a truly modern, intuitive tool to collaborate, search, wrangle and manage data in familiar yet flexible workflows.

PerkinElmer Signals Lead Discovery

Take Signals Lead Discovery-the applications create greater data awareness for users by helping them to find data they might not even know exists. Using agile guided search and query, Signals anticipates needs and provides flexibility for on-the-fly exploration of compounds and their activity against a target.

It also brings the benefit of index-based search to Lead Discovery. For example, Signals Lead Discovery can capture search constraints and search attributes. A patent-pending algorithm lets users search chemical structures within the Apache Lucene-based indexing system, meaning it is possible, in a single query, to capture chemical-structure search constraints along with other search attributes. 

Secondly, it is suitable for both chemical and biological activity data. You can shape and annotate biological activity data into a hyper-scalable structure to perform precise quantitative searches that are seamlessly integrated with structure search. You can rapidly execute queries like “Retrieve all assay results for compounds containing a certain substructure where the activity in one of the assays is less than 15 nm.”

The lead discovery workflow, for example, enables scientists to:

discover data of interest 

immediately confirm the meaningful intersection of compounds of interest with assay results they require 

seamlessly deposit that data into a fit-for-purpose template SAR analysis 

Using search features, scientists can find their project, navigate assay hierarchies, discover how much data is available, merge substructure search results with their select project, and begin filtering for assays of interest. Or, Signals Lead Discovery can show results for compounds in range. This data is ready for SAR analysis.

No Programming

Importantly, no new programming skills are needed for working with Signals. Its composable wizardry lets users interchange components to configure the workflows they need, resulting in rapid, agile application development. When programmers don’t have to concern themselves with entirely new query syntax, or anticipate all joining operations in advance, it avoids the trouble of “schema after” that indexing systems are designs to avoid.

With a platform built on best-in-class technologies like TIBCO Spotfire®, PerkinElmer Sgnals frees organizations from being overly IT and programmer dependent. Self-service discovery and analytics, driven by powerful visualizations and easy configuration, keeps scientists focused on their science. When tools do a better job of managing and presenting the data- scientists, researchers, and business analysts gain more time for critical thinking and analysis, essential for discovery.

Are you ready for Signals? We’d love to show you around the Signals platform and the applications best suited for you. 


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