What, if any, is the best method to search for orphan data in OpenLab CDS?

I'm currently writing an SOP regarding OpenLab administration. Specifically, I'm having trouble determining the best method of identifying orphan data as it relates to review of chromatography data in the GMP laboratory. Orphan data is unusual in that it could indicate that an analyst is intentionally placing data in another location not obvious to the reviewer (e.g. test injections for problematic method run prior to full sequence). There are two ways that I know of to perform a search.

1. Via ECM classic client and performing a filtered audit trail search using user name and/or dates. The populated information doesn't seem particularly useful to a reviewer/auditor IMHO.

2. Via Control Panel/Data Analysis and Search Results. Include results from all users and Search across projects boxes are both checked. This seems like the best route but it seems that it isn't possible to customize the search by date. Although you can use the quick search option. In my case, if I use the quick search option, no data is found.

Any help or insight that you can provide would be appreciated!

  • Hello,

    I cannot tell what ECM or CDS version you are using and that can make a difference in the search capabilities. Take a look at the attached guide on page 50 for information on searching with ECM 3.x and CDS 2.x. You are not extracting any CDS metadata keys for your data that is why the name, acq operator, acq date and instrument name columns are blank for your search results. It also limits the search metadata in later versions. You should be able to use the quick search by dates with the current user to see what was created in defined time frames. If you need more advance searching of the metadata use the advanced search in the ECM client. Please note to search anything outside the 15 general file metadata fields you will need to setup filter keys on the LCDF structure in ECM. You should at least have the OpenLab CDS 2.x injection data filter keys applied to your results folders. I would avoid adding peak filter keys as that will cause the db to grow unless you need to be able to search against peak results. Also adding keys will not filter any existing data already in ECM, if you need to search data already present in ECM you will need to rekey any structures where you add filter keys. 

    Marty Adams

  • Hi Marty,

    We are using ECM 3.6 and CDS 2.7. Thank you, this information is extremely helpful! I will dig into these resources/examples.



  • Hello,

    With those versions you should have the maximum current ability to search ECM from DA. You might be able to search for what you want using the advanced search function in ECM using upload user and upload date which are always extracted from every file. I would still suggest long-term figuring out what metadata would be useful to search and have that extracted in ECM. 


  • Marty,

    I discovered that the advanced search function in ECM indeed works really well using upload user and creation or upload date.

    I agree with you regarding metadata extraction. That was my thinking as well. The CDS was just put in service in Q3 2023. The ECM was not set up with the relevant filters/keys at that time. Therefore, all data that has been generated so far would need to be rekeyed to extract the desired metadata if I understand this correctly. I actually attempted that for one of the folders but I'm still having a little trouble getting this to work in Data Analysis. The columns are still blank as indicated in my original post.

    Here are the operations I performed.

    1. Rekeyed location. In this case, 2023 Q3.

    2. From OpenLab filter options, the following keys were added:


    The keys don't exactly match the column descriptions in Data Analysis when selecting "search results." The columns (as you know) include:

    1. Result Type

    2. Name

    3. Path

    4. Acquisition Operator

    5. Acquisition Date Time (yyyy-MM-dd)

    6. Instrument Name

    Basically, this was just an exercise to determine if I could successfully execute a Quick Search.

    Any thoughts on where I might have gone astray?



  • Anyone have thoughts on my last question related to this post? Would this be a situation where I would need to work with an Admin to set up the filters/keys properly in the ECM so that data searches in OpenLab Data Analysis list the proper info related to available metadata?



  • Dan,

    Did you check to make sure the rekey extracted the meta-data? You can check the file properties in the LCDF where you added the filter and extracted the metadata. I assume you were unable to search, or the columns were still empty for the search returns. You can see below an example where I only rekeyed one file in the project with the meta data filter as shown. You can see the search worked for multiple files but only the one file had the information in the columns available. If you are still not getting the results you want open a support ticket with informatics and they can look at the issue. 

    Marty Adams

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