By: Matt Dunie (President & CEO) & Marie Linvill (Vice President of Product Management & Customer Success)
This year LabArchives™ usage is up more than 30% YTD, approximately 50% greater than the same period from two years ago. This trend has been accelerating over the past 18 months and to prepare for the continued projected increase, we’ve put more time and resources into our Cloud Operations, Enterprise Success, and Customer Success teams. As of today more than 600 organizations around the world are using LabArchives to document their research, schedule equipment, and/or manage their lab inventories.
We measure aggregated usage to ensure our systems and processes are scaled properly to meet projected demand, the key metric for us being the Weekly Unique Users. We are constantly planning around system utilization metrics and use the following four questions to assess our preparation:
- Is our infrastructure scaling appropriately?
- Is our Customer Success team staffed appropriately?
- Which of our three primary data centers do we expect to be busiest?
- Will the projected usage impact our release cycle?
It is also critical that we understand the day-to-day realities of research, education, and institutions overseeing these endeavors by asking: What is driving the user growth?
We asked customers and customer-facing staff what is driving user growth and what issues or concerns they were looking to solve when they chose to license our solution for their organization. The answers had common themes:
Reasons for user growth:
- Ease of use / Fast to start.
- Over time, benefits of use increase.
- LabArchives supports many disciplines.
- Support and Training is key to buy-in from users.
Drivers to license the platform:
- Protect Intellectual Property and research work product.
- Provide a workflow tool to researchers which is very easy to use and can scale in complexity.
- Enable access to research workflow products at varying levels of any research organization.
- Enable users of any research discipline to use the same product.
- Provide tools to assist in matters of research replication and reproducibility.
- The solution must have an emphasis on ease-of-use, scalability, and ability to customize, combined with appropriate emphasis on information security.
- Provide proof of data creation (immutable time/date stamps with who, what, when metadata).
- Take over end-user support burdens.
- Enable customization and a customizable platform.
- Provide a tool which has components created specifically for both STEM education and real-world research use.
When user counts grow, or when usage frequency grows, it is validation that LabArchives is doing the right things—and that we are doing those things well. But, it is very important to note that this is not a static situation. In fact, we are continually looking to ensure proper scalability for our systems and our staff to address the needs and concerns you have regarding research data workflow and management.
Therefore, we want to hear from you! Let us know what we can do better, what you want to see in our products, and how we can better support your efforts toward Better Science.
It is not clear what you are actually discussing. Has the number of users increased or have users been using labarchives more in the past year?
Daureen, Great Question! The answer is both. The raw user count has increased by 33% Year-Over-Year. The frequency of use by the respective user community has also increased. This is typical of longer term users as the benefits of the system grow with use – revisiting older data, reviewing previous work, appending current projects, etc. We see this in several places in our operations metrics: Overall storage is up significantly. Number of new users in on-board and training sessions has increased. Raw unique user counts have increased (which is the basis of the article). To ensure system capacity, we look at all of these metrics in real time to project longer term trends, and then add resources (systems and staff) accordingly.