Copyright©2009 Antony Williams
I was a generator of analytical data for a number of years. I am an analytical scientist by training..NMR jock to be precise (if you are interested in my work see here.) However during my tenure at Kodak our team ran a walkup laboratory and we generated a lot of data. In those days it was a few 10s of gigabytes per year. We generated NMR, IR, Chrom and LC-MS data…lots of it. At that time we had our own NMR processing software that was written in house. That was replaced later by commercial desktop processing software. We used instrument based data processing processor and produced simple reports at the end of the work.
When I left Kodak for ACD/Labs I led the development of the SpecManager product extending it from 1D NMR processing software only into IR processing, chromatography processing, 2D NMR processing, LC-MS processing and into an even broader set of analytical techniques. By the time I left ACD/Labs, EACH of these areas had their own product managers – NMR, MS, UVIR and Chrom….4 in total. My focus with these tools was always based on structure identification and qualitative data analysis.
LC-MS is one of the most useful, sensitive, high-throughput technologies available in the majority of laboratories and the data generated can be in the 100s of gigabytes every few months. High-throughput quantitative analysis software tools have generally been the domain of the hardware vendors but one person that I watched with interest as he took on the domain of high throughput quantitative analysis was Joe Simpkins. Joe was a co-founder of the Opans CRO lab and they needed BETTER software than was available from the vendors. So, Joe built it. Over the next few years the software was optimized for their lab, then the labs of their users. Ultimately their lab software was sold to their customers as it offered possibilities that the hardware vendors couldn’t address in terms of usability and specifically vendor neutrality. The software business grew and now Joe Simpkins has split off a company called Virscidian and has already added to the team. Components of his Analytical Studio software are already licensed to Agilent and it only makes sense that the other vendors will be looking at the Virscidian capabilities moving forwards.
Virscidian is one of those small companies I like to watch. They are small, nimble, highly skilled, networked in the industry and focused on providing the optimal solutions for the user. (Also they are my friends so I watch very closely…and help where I can). It just makes sense to connect ChemSpider to their solutions as we have to many of the other MS vendors….watch this spaceStumble it!