Consultancy and Analysis

We help you plan information systems and automated processes that will support your objectives now, plus allow for growth and evolution as technology changes. We have experience in networking, systems design, data modeling, and scientific workflows.

We take the time to learn about your research methods and goals, defining the business rules that will make your informatics applications work clearly and consistently. We analyze how your researchers and managers use information, who needs to communicate with whom, and when and where information management tools will aid the research and decision-making process.

Then, we help you select the best development environment, software tools, and data sources available. Our professional consultants use the best of the new technology, firmly supported by a robust field-tested information infrastructure. We integrate our tools with your own applications and software from third parties.

Finally we work together with you to design and implement the plan - not just the software application, but the training, documentation, online help and other support that make a complete solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. With discovery researchers using new techniques to produce more compounds faster, how can I implement a more streamlined way to register new compounds into my system without losing control of quality?

A. A corporate compound registry that contains high-quality, standardized structures and validated data is fundamental to later decision-making. We have implemented many variations on registration systems that use powerful programming tools, and friendly user dialogs to validate your information as it is entered into the system.

Q. We have a very special, proprietary process for handling our data. Can you create a custom interface to software that reflects our special needs?

A. We take the time to understand your special workflows and work together with you to write specifications. We feel that by investing in a well thought out set of business rules to be built into your application we will ensure that your information system conforms to your work processes and can be modified as those processes evolve.

Q. We are spinning our wheels implementing a specific part of our application. Can we get the help of an consultant on a per-day basis?

A. Whether you have a specific question, or just have trouble finding a trained developer to add to your staff, Smooth Design consultants are available on a daily, weekly, or even a long-term on-site basis. If you have questions that can be answered by telephone, you may want to sign up for our Consultants On-Call telephone support program.

Q. We are experiencing poor performance of our computer system. Before we add new hardware, can you help us tune our system for the best performance?

A. Database applications often have different requirements for good performance than CPU-intensive applications. We can examine the types of applications that you have running and determine what may be causing the bottleneck. You can save money by avoiding new hardware purchases by changing various parameters, adjusting system load, modifying the way applications work, or configuring your network differently.

Other development problems that we can tackle are database conversions, user-interface design (with paper prototypes and user interviews), and integration of third-party software.

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