Next-Gen Sequencing User Survey

Outsourcing is still the rule and data analysis, the bottleneck.

Nov 1, 2014
Christi Bird

In May, The Scientist, in collaboration with Frost & Sullivan, an international market intelligence and consulting firm, conducted a brief survey of our readers about their use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. The majority of NGS work is focused on disease-related and basic research. While only 40% of respondents perform in-house NGS, that percentage is expected to increase by 4% in the next year. Half of those surveyed plan to perform RNA-Seq in the next two years. The most significant bottleneck in NGS workflow is the length of time spent analyzing and interpreting data, with 32% of the respondents outsourcing the work to in-house bioinformatics colleagues or third-party companies.
—Christi Bird, Senior Industry Analyst, Life Sciences, Frost & Sullivan

All figures are rounded


TIME ALLOTMENT: The most significant bottleneck in NGS workflow is the length of time spent analyzing data. A quarter of researchers surveyed report that performing NGS data analysis requires more than a week, while 32% of the respondents outsource this task to their organizations’ bioinformatics group or to a third party. (Global, 2014)PURCHASER CONCERNS: Data accuracy and operating costs are the top criteria when purchasing sequencing instruments. However, if data accuracy is equal between two instruments, operating cost, breadth of applications, read length, and throughput assume greater importance in the purchasing decision. (Global, 2014)

NGS SOFTWARE ANALYSIS BUDGETS: In-house annual budgets for NGS data-interpretation software are more than double the amount spent by those who outsource. While the overall average budget for NGS software is approximately $8,500, this figure masks the dramatic differences between in-house (from $13,000 to $14,000) and outsourced (from $4,500 to $6,300) NGS data analysis. (Interpolated Mean Scores) (Global, 2014)