The Edge Software Consultancy


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Morphit: Our tool of choice for most data tasks

Bring to bear the right tools for the data analysis task you need

Bring to bear the right tools for the data analysis task you need

Morphit is our Swiss army knife for data. It contains all the tools you need to read and analyse data from instruments, other systems and databases. Its summarization and visualization capabilities mean its quick to bring data in, manipulate it and export it in whichever format you need.

Just like a swiss army knife it can deal with lots of different types of data and analysis in one package.


I regularly import data from Excel spreadsheets, where data is spread across worksheets. Also machine written files can be quickly imported using the plate reader file importer. This allows me teach Morphit the format of the data in terms of blocks with starting conditions and ending conditions. A new import definition can take time to define but once done, I never need to worry about reading that format again, it just does it.

Sometimes I’ll receive a large file containing for example telemetry data. Its too big to import all the data and I’m going to aggregate it anyhow. So I use the Aggregated Text File reader. This allows me to read every line of the file and then just import the average over say 2000 lines. This reduces the size of the data by a factor of 2000, rendering it useful in Morphit.

The standard text file reader is great at reading columized data with a fixed separator and the Excel reader allows me to read specific worksheets or all the worksheets in a document. These days I rarely use the standard readers, and prefer to use the plate file reader for most jobs because its so much more powerful.

Recent additions which are really useful are the import from a Local Morphit page. This is great to help to scale binders. It means I can choose when I want data to be sourced from other pages, rather than them cascading automatically.

For those with SQL databases to access there is a SQL Database importer, if you’re a BioRails user consider creating an SQL query in BioRails instead. This will not require you to manage local database access. You can focus on using BioRails queries and not need to worry about distributing connection details and drivers.

Analyzing & Manipulating data

Aside from the standard summarization techniques available in Morphit, it also offers a range of tools for analyzing and manipulating data. Curve fitting, Statistics tests, and Non-compartmental Modelling for PK analysis. There are also a range of specific additions for Chemistry and Peptide mimetics available. The extensive function library can be brought to bear, transforming data and generating insights. We’ll try and give more depth on these in future articles.


Once your data is in Morphit tables and summarized appropriately, it couldn’t be easier to get the data out again. There are a whole range of export formats from file formats like CSV, TSV, Excel to automatically formatted Excel documents which are ready to use. You can also export to PDF and HTML formats for display of data. My personal favourite is the templated export, which is most readily used from the instructions. This allows me to write any arrangement of data to a text file, described by the simple layout language, this gives me powerful control over exactly how the data will be written to the file.

Its also worth noting that there are even more options in the Reporting module which can be used to create data files and reports.

Of course when used with BioRails DM, our main route for persisting data is to save it to BioRails. This allows us to free data from documents and enable more advanced analysis such as cross study data science and the application of advanced quality control based on historic data.


As CEO I’m responsible to tracking and projecting the trajectory of the company. For that I use Morphit to track all our financial transactions, project future deals and analyze where we should be investing profits for the future. Often referred to as “eating your own dog food”, this helps us to not only grow the company but also refine our products to better serve real needs. There are many enhancements added to Morphit from the experience of using them for internal tasks that also benefit our customers.

There are many in The Edge that are more proficient with Morphit than I, but its still my tool of choice when it comes to many data analysis tasks.

You’ll quickly find what many of our customers say, “I was reluctant at the start but quickly found, I can solve problems faster and with less effort in Morphit than Excel.”.

Its fun but watch out it can get quite addictive!