Considerations When Selecting an Expert System

Sidebar to the article Expert Systems Help Labs Process DNA Samples by Rhonda K. Roby

When deciding whether to purchase an expert system, managers and analysts should consider their throughput needs, budget, human resources and information technology (IT) support as well as the features of the system and the continuing support of the vendor. Questions to ask include:

  • How many instruments will be used to process single-source samples?
  • On average, how many samples do you plan on processing in a week?
  • How fast do you need to process your data?
  • What is your review backlog?
  • How many analysts do you have on your staff for processing single-source samples?
  • What is the level of expertise for data review in your staff?
  • Do you want the vendor to provide continued data optimization, or do you want to have all optimization control?
  • Do you have information technology support in your agency?
  • Do you have information technology support specifically for the DNA laboratory?
  • Is the provision of an expert system tool at multiple workstations important? Would a single workstation be easier to manage?
  • What is your budget for purchasing an expert system?
  • Do you have the budget for the maintenance and support contracts?
  • What are the needs for your quality assurance program?
  • Would you like to have features in your expert system to help identify quality assurance problems?
  • Which training program fits the needs and philosophy of your agency?
  • Do you prefer training at your laboratory or training at the vendor site?
  • Is a Web-based training program sufficient for your needs?
Date Created: July 15, 2008