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Decision to integrate
February 2007
by Chris Anderson  |  Email the author
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SOMERVILLE, Mass.óResponding to the requests of mutual customers who use Spotfire's visual data analysis software DecisionSite and GeneGo's genomic, proteomic and pharmacology data analysis tools MetaCore and MetaDrug, the two companies announced they recently completed an integration of the two companies' products. By integrating the products, officials at both companies say the results provide researchers with a tool that will save time in the laboratory and allow for more insights to be drawn from experimental data. "The combination of DecisionSite and MetaCore and MetaDrug allows researchers to bring data from those products together with other experimental data from assays including biological action, chemical structures, properties and activity," says Christian Marcazzo, senior director of life science analytics with Spotfire. "The final evaluation of any experimental results means the combination of lots of biological information with the raw experimental data. Tools like GeneGo really provide a lot of biological context to let the scientists look at their RNAi screening experiments, for example." For GeneGo, making the integration was a two-month process and is available to current users as an upgrade to their existing MetaCore and MetaDrug software. Providing the ability for data generated by its products to be brought into the DecisionSite platform only makes sense, as more and more researchers are looking to gain valuable insight by combining both biological and chemistry data, notes Julie Bryant, VP of business development at GeneGo. "Spotfire has a lot of statistical analysis and visualization tools for general data that our products don't have," Bryant says. "Whereas we're focused on systems biology, pathway analysis, systems pharmacology, biological information, interaction and that makes them a good fit." The project was pushed by common customers of both companies who wanted to use the tools seamlessly. "Before the integration, you could look at the different types of data in isolation and you could do a statistical analysis to try to find out what is important," says Bryant. "But if you do really stringent filtering statistically, you may lose something that is really important biologically. So by using DecisionSite with MetaCore and MetaDrug, you bring it into a biological environment in the context of what is known in the literature and that provides a true picture, a visual context, which makes it easier to see things than you'd be able to do mathematically and statistically with spreadsheets." That visualization capability and the ability of DecisionSite to function across a wide slice of the discovery continuum, with an open platform, and allows the integrations of wide range of analysis tools is exactly what Spotfire aims to provide.  "We try to keep our technology rather horizontal and independent of the domain specific capabilities and we work with our partners and customers to build that in to support their workflow," says Marcazzo. "We don't believe in reinventing the wheel, providing something that may have been built very well by someone else."  
 
Code: E020706

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