Critical Steps in Data Management During a Crisis

Cytometry A. 2021 Jan;99(1):60-67. doi: 10.1002/cyto.a.24265. Epub 2020 Nov 24.


Data management is essential in a flow cytometry (FCM) shared resource laboratory (SRL) for the integrity of collected data and its long-term preservation, as described in the Cytometry publication from 2016, ISAC Flow Cytometry Shared Resource Laboratory (SRL) Best Practices (Barsky et al.: Cytometry Part A 89A(2016): 1017-1030). The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic introduced an array of challenges in the operation of SRLs. The subsequent laboratory shutdowns and access restrictions brought to the forefront well-established practices that withstood the impact of a sudden change in operations and illuminated areas that need improvement. The most significant challenges from a data management perspective were data access for remote analysis and workstation management. Notably, lessons learned from this challenge emphasize the importance of safeguarding collected data from loss in various emergencies such as fire or natural disasters where the physical hardware storing data could be directly affected. Here, we describe two data management systems that have been successful during the current emergency created by the pandemic, specifically remote access and automated data transfer. We will discuss other situations that could arise and lead to data loss or challenges in interpreting data. © 2020 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.

Keywords: SRL; best practices; data management; flow cytometry shared resource lab; laboratory preparedness.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control
  • Data Management / standards
  • Data Management / trends*
  • Flow Cytometry / standards
  • Flow Cytometry / trends*
  • Humans
  • Laboratories / standards
  • Laboratories / trends*
  • Teleworking / standards
  • Teleworking / trends*