1. New Feature - COMPARE
In the Release on Sept 21st a new feature called COMPARE was introduced. It is accessed within a stage. The COMPARE feature allows chemists to compare and edit multiple formulations, test results, or really any record containing data they have captured that needs to be compared and analyzed side by side. Specifically, this feature allows users to prepare, compare, analyze, visualize, and edit their data in one consolidated view without having to click around and save each record singly and in the aggregate.
The COMPARE feature set enables chemists and lab personnel to:
- Compare multiple records (digital forms) side by side
- Clone historical records, pull them into the comparison and edit these records, if necessary, saving both the original version and the new
- Choose which fields will be compared
- Group information by selected fields
- Highlight the best one
- Comment in the comparison view
- Save the aggregate comparison set as well as the individual records
Key End User Benefits
The key benefits of COMPARE are to:
- Work efficiently when dealing with iterations or nuanced datasets like formulations or test results
- See relevant data at once in an overview or expanded view
- Facilitate identification of what’s changing, by how much, what correlates with change or what’s causing change
- Reduce the amount of clicking around
- Automatically save every iteration singly and in aggregate automatically for potential future reuse, so the chemist doesn’t have to do it manually
COMPARE Set Up
The COMPARE feature is something that needs to be set up in Alchemy’s configuration portal. We will be reaching out to Business Owners and SMEs to discuss how COMPARE might be applied at your company.
Once set up, the COMPARE feature is accessed by clicking the NEW button next to the stage name. You will get a drop-down of records that can be viewed in the COMPARE feature. In this example, in the Formulation stage, Formulation records can be compared. To use COMPARE, go to the Formulation stage in the left nav and click New > Compare > Formulation to start a comparison of Formulations as shown in the image below:
Once clicked, you will notice in the left navigation bar a new COMPARE section with an icon and name of a new COMPARE view. Additionally, in the main pane you will see the initial COMPARE table for creating a compare view as shown in the image below:
Adding records from the current process
To start importing Formulation records, click on the blue highlighted text 'Add Records' link in the COMPARE table and from the drop-down select 'Existing' as shown in the image below:
A new window will pop up for selecting which previously created Formulation records you want to pull into the COMPARE view. This window is the same one you get when you select 'Import from existing record'. After selecting the Formulation Record you want to import it will be highlighted in bright blue. Then click the ADD button on the bottom right side as shown in the image below:
Repeat this action until you pull all relevant records that you wish to compare.
In this next image, 4 Formulations from the current project were selected:
Adding records from another process
Records from different processes can be pulled into a COMPARE view as well. By choosing to pull in an 'Existing' record from the drop down when clicking on Add Records (explained in chapter 'Adding Records from the current process'). In the pop up window you can select records from other processes too.
When you pull them into the Compare view, the columns will appear gray with a lock icon at the top as shown in the image below:
The lock prevents you from changing historical records. You can compare records like this or if you want to make a change to a previous formulation, you can clone the Formulation record and edit the data contained within if you need to. (See section below called 'Clone Record' for more detail and pictures showing how to do this.)
The lock feature together with clone and edit, will keep your super set of formulation records clean, searchable and reusable in subsequent projects.
To start building out a COMPARE view for a project, specific fields from the selected records can be chosen to line up side by side. Click on the blue highlighted text 'Add Fields' as shown in the image below:
A drop-down with all the fields from the record will appear. In this example we selected the Material and Added Material [g] fields as shown below:
After making these selections, the result when lined up looks like this in the image below:
By default, the COMPARE view is grouped by Rows. By clicking the blue highlighted text 'Grouped By (Row)' some other options can be chosen. In the image below, the other options listed in the turquoise box are Material and Added Material [g]:
Depending on which fields were selected to be compared, grouping can be done by any of those fields.
In the screenshot below, the data was grouped by Material:
Fields can be hidden to get a more streamlined simple view, by clicking on the eye icon on the right side of the ‘Fields / Records’ box in the image below:
Fewer rows of data will be displayed as shown in the image below, but they can be brought back easily by clicking the closed eye.
Records that are in the COMPARE view can be cloned. This means that a clone (i.e a copy) of the original record will be made and be visible both in the navigation on the left hand side and in a new column in the COMPARE view. The new version will have its own name to be distinct from the original.
To clone, click on the light blue / dark blue double square clone icon next to the record name as shown in the image below:
In this case we cloned formulation record LWR-001-04/2020. A new record with the next number in this particular naming sequence, LWR-001-05/2020, was created, and added into the next column after the current record in that stage. As seen in the screenshot below, the new formulation record is listed in the navigation and is a new column in the COMPARE view.
In COMPARE view, data in records can be edited. All the information that is changed in the Compare view is immediately changed in the underlying individual record too (in this case, values of Blue B 354 were changed in the COMPARE view so each individual Formulation record was changed accordingly) as shown in the before/after images below:
Highlight A Record
Any of the records in COMPARE view can be highlighted with a color to be more easily identified visually.
Sometimes it is important to be able to reorder your columns of data. Records can be reordered by simply dragging them across columns.
Our standard collaboration features in the form of comments, @mentions and comment resolution is also available in the COMPARE view as shown below:
A comment is a particularly useful way to highlight to yourself or a colleague something specific that you notice in a particular field.
Alchemy Video Demonstration
If you'd like to see an example of the COMPARE feature in action, done by one of our Customer Success Managers click on the link below.