The key to unlocking the power of groups comes down to a few simple rules.
- File annotation is critical. When it comes to utilizing groups for batch operations, nothing is more helpful than using keywords in your data. If you didn’t annotate during acquisition, you can always generate a keywords series or a value series in FlowJo to help get patterns in your dataset, or copy and paste columns of keywords in from Excel.
- Use descriptive group names. “Group 1” is far less helpful than “Reactive Memory T Cells”. Using helpful group names can make orienting yourself or colleagues to your analysis easier.
- Gates, samples, statistics, and other nodes can belong to one or many groups.
- You needn’t always use staining protocols or keyword values to define a group. You can create an empty group and drag samples into it as you go. This can be helpful for secondary compensation groups, for samples that serve as outliers in your dataset, or any other experimentally driven reason.
- After batching statistics in the Table Editor, you can create a new group (e.g. to speed sample selection for batch operations in the Layout Editor) from statistics by selecting the rows in the finished table and choosing ‘Create Group from Selection’ from the Edit menu of the table.
- If there is a keyword that discriminates which data file should be in which group, double-click within that keyword cell, click on the Workspace Tab, and within the Keywords band, select ‘Create Group from Keyword Value’. This will create a group for each keyword value.