With more than one billion samples stored in biobanks around the world, research advancements, genomics and biomarker development, and reduced research budgets are all driving the need for unified sample intelligence. In the past, samples were treated as a commodity, but in today’s clinical environment you need to know where the sample is located, what it can be used for, and how it has been consented (i.e. how those samples and the intelligence associated with those samples can be used more broadly than initially planned). If these questions can’t be answered, then that sample cannot be used. As a result, there is a need to move from treating a sample as a commodity to treating it as a reusable or valuable scientific asset. Many research organizations are seeking technologies and related strategies to improve sample intelligence and optimization and one of the more popular solutions is data virtualization.