We’ve also done our share of rote work, running the same analyses on ever new datasets or trying to make sense of old spreadsheets to make a shaky best guess at some piece of information desperately needed by the researchers we were supporting.
The former kind of experience is what gets people into the life sciences in the first place, we suspect. The latter is not. It’s frustrating for everyone involved, it’s expensive and unproductive, and it’s how errors happen.
The problem lies in the application of an explorative, ad-hoc, distributed, and manual working mode to tasks that aren’t unique and groundbreaking.