Frequently Asked Questions

"As the owner of a commercial toxicology laboratory, how would CETIS enhance our productivity and profit margin?"

If controlling time and costs, as well as maintaining high data quality, are important to you, then CETIS not only represents the most efficient means of analyzing toxicity data, it also results in the highest possible data quality. Labs have reported that CETIS requires less than one-tenth the time required to input and analyze toxicity data compared to traditional software solutions. Assuming a lab processing 500 samples per year and technician costs of $20/hr, this can represent an annual savings of $9,000. In the first year of implementing CETIS, these savings far exceed your initial investment in the software.

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"I do not have a licensed copy of Microsoft Office Professional or Microsoft Access. Can I still run CETIS?"

Yes, you can download the Access 2007 run-time installation kit from Microsoft. Although it is highly recommended that you have at least one copy of the full version of Access to edit the back-end database should that become necessary, you can effectively run CETIS with the free run-time version of Access 2007. The installation kit and instructions can be downloaded from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads.

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"I am new to Microsoft Access and I am unfamiliar with it's use, specifically composing SQL queries. Will there be a significant learning curve in trying to use CETIS?"

You will need to know almost nothing of the Structured Query Language (SQL) because CETIS does all the work for you behind the scenes. Although you will need to know very little of the Access application to successfully use CETIS, the more you learn about Access, the more you can apply to using CETIS.

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"Does CETIS come with a user's guide?"

CETIS is shipped with a printed manual that discusses all aspects of using the software, as well as documentation on how the statistics are calculated.

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"What user support is offered?"

Email and phone support is provided free of charge for one year. After one year, phone support is offered on a case by case basis.

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"What is the updating policy for CETIS?"

Licenses are granted for an indefinite period, therefore annual renewals are not required. Minor updates are generally free, whereas major updates require a fee for purchases more than one year old.

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"What is your software return policy?"

Software cannot be returned for a refund if any seals are broken or the shrink wrapping is removed. Please consider this return policy before you break any seals or remove the shrink wrapping.

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"Is there an end-user license agreement that governs the use of the software?"

You are bound to the terms and conditions explicitly outlined in the End User License Agreement (EULA) found on the inside front cover of the user's manual. Any deviations from the EULA must be approved in writting by Tidepool, or you risk losing the rights to use the software.

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"What statistical verification has been performed on CETIS?"

When data sets were available in the cited references, the results from CETIS were compared and judged to be identical at the 6th significant figure or better. In cases where original published data sets were not available, either software considered to be industry standard software (i.e., EPA Probit, SAS, S-Plus) or peer reviewed literature results were compared to the results from CETIS. Again, agreement was judged to be identical at the 6th significant figure or better.

Note: Unfortunately at this time, there are no primary or certified data sets issued by any legitimate authority such as NIST that are analogous to toxicity data. This significant deficiency should be considered a high priority by regulatory authorities overseeing the development of new toxicity test protocols.

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"We are a large commercial laboratory and have multiple technicians inputting and analyzing data simultaneously. Can CETIS address simultaneous use of the database?"

CETIS was designed as a split database application, known as a file-server architecture. The front-end application is installed on each workstation and the back-end database is installed on a shared drive such as a server, allowing for simultaneous use of the back-end database. Each front-end installation requires its own license.

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"Do you offer an academic discount?"

A 33% academic discount is offered to qualifying academic institutions. To qualify, the purchase must be made through the institution's purchasing system or the purchaser must provide proof of employment with the institution.

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"Can CETIS be used with the Vista operating system?"

Yes, CETIS can be installed and can run on Vista. Just be sure to disable the User Access Control (UAC) prior to the installation so that the Graphics Server files can be installed. The UAC can be turned back on after the installation is completed.

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"I reside in a country that does not use US locality settings. Is CETIS internationally aware in terms of numeric and date formats?"

CETIS applies country specific locality settings, therefore you enter data and view reports with formatting set to your specific locality.

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"Our laboratory tests both effluents and sediments. Can CETIS analyze data from sediment and ambient water tests, as well as dilution tests?"

CETIS can address both single sample dilution tests, such as effluents and reference toxicants, or multiple sample designs such as sediment or ambient water tests. Multiple sample data sets are fully supported in CETIS from test setup to reporting.

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"The decision flowcharts I need to follow for analyzing my toxicity data can be complicated and overwhelming. How will CETIS help me to insure I am analyzing my data correctly?"

CETIS implements decision-making logic that make most, if not all, decisions for you in terms of selecting the correct method and verifying that all assumptions are met. You can also override and decision and manually select a method and options of your choice.

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"I am required to report and apply Test Acceptability Criteria to my test results. How can CETIS help me implement this review process?"

As part of the normal report generation capability, CETIS has built in Test Acceptability Criteria (TAC) functions that will automatically determine if the test results meet the prescribed criteria. You can add or edit these criteria for every test method in the CETIS database.

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"As a state regulator, I am responsible for managing and reviewing Whole Effluent Test (WET) data received from laboratories and dischargers. How can CETIS help me do my job better?"

A significant degree of the CETIS infrastructure was engineered to allow regulators to electronically receive data from CETIS users, review the data for compliance, and send letters of non-compliance to permittees. The Washington State Department of Ecology is one of the few state agencies that have successfully implemented an electronic data submittal and test review system chiefly based on the CETIS application.

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"I am required to create and monitor quality control plots of my reference toxicant data. This is a very time consuming task and can be fraught with errors. How can CETIS help me better manage my reference toxicant data and create useful quality control plots?"

CETIS provides a very powerful and easy to use QC plotting utility. You only need to click on a reference toxicant record, open the QC plotting utility and CETIS will instantaneously create a plot using the last 20 historical records. The output will flag those tests that fell outside the set warning and action limits. You can also inspect those data points falling out of the prescribed limits and exclude them if they do not belong in the data set.

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"In addition to the toxicity test data, I require an application where I can also input, track and report test measurement data. Does CETIS address test measurement data as well?"

CETIS incorporates the same functionality applied to test measurements as it does to toxicity test data, therefore, you can enter, track, calculate statistics on and report all test measurement data, such as temperature, pH, salinity, hardness, light level, etc. You can also add new parameters if the substantial set of parameters shipped with CETIS are insufficient for your needs.

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"We use a Laboratory Information System for logging in samples, scheduling tests and processing our chemistry data. Can CETIS be integrated into our LIMS?"

We have successfully integrated CETIS into the ChemWare® Horizon LIMS software for a large regional client. Tidepool can provide custom programming to integrate CETIS into your own LIMS. Please contact us for a quote.

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"Why do I need CETIS if I am satisfied with ToxCalc 5.0?"

CETIS is a relational database with many more features, statistical methods, and more extensive reporting. The ToxCalc software is now considered legacy software and may not be revised in the future.

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"We have been successfully using ToxCalc 5.0 for many years and have a large database, but now want to upgrade to CETIS. Can we import the ToxCalc data into the CETIS database format?"

CETIS ships with a free utility that converts the ToxCalc 5.0 database to the CETIS database format. Tidepool also provides a service to perform the conversion for you if the task seems too daunting.

"CETIS has been our laboratory's single source for biostatistical output since 2005. CETIS is a highly configurable program with a great many tools to efficiently and accurately process bioassay data...Thanks to Tidepool's commitment to providing its customers with a great product coupled with excellent customer service, our laboratory runs more efficiently now than it ever has."

-Kurt Rinaldi, Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County