Time series data

Dear openBIS community,

Have you been wondering (like I am wondering) about storing and retrieving instrumental time series data (e.g., environmental conditions, ovens, climate chambers… etc.) in openBIS? What are the options that you suggest from your experience?

Thank you and best regards.

In my opinion, the way you store time-series data depends on a few factors:

  • Its granularity
  • The volume of data
  • The approach to analysis

In general, the consensus seems to be to store only the metadata inside of openBIS objects, e.g the starting time of the measurement that produced a particular time-series, the device used, the setting of the chamber etc. The data itself would then be uploaded as a dateset in its raw form.
I know of a few groups where the time-series itself is stored in objects with a timestamp attribute within a collection. This approach however is only used to record very sparse time-series such as maintenance logs.

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In general you want to:

  • Store on the general metadata what you want searchable.
  • Store data structures that you want to fetch as a unit on non searchable fields.

The next major openBIS version provides in addition to the current property types:

  • number arrays
  • text arrays
  • json

And a “hidden” json metadata field at the object level, so there is no need to fetch properties to access this one.

These will give more options for people wanting to create custom UIs that plot time series data.


Just wanted to point out that these features have been merged to master and are available on development builds.