I don't mean to sound arrogant with this, and hope that it will not be taken this way. This phenomenon just happens to be a source of some frustration on my behalf, so I'm hoping that some of you who are more experienced in the field than myself perhaps are familiar with the same thing and might have some helpful tips for me.
For the last year, I have been picking up bioinformatics skills while my original professional training is as a medical doctor. I've learnt the basics of how to handle a number of tools and how to interpret the results. I've gotten to the point where a biologist can approach me with their data and their biological question, and I am to some extent able to translate this into a particular bioinformatics/data mining pipeline. This is if they have formulated a biological question in the first place.
Often, though, I've experienced that a biologist brings me the data and places the burden of finding a specific question onto me. This might be formulated as "what can you tell me about this data" or "what are the differences between condition A and B", which are very broad questions indeed.
My ersatz solution has been to for example follow a standard pipeline to differential expression and pathway analysis, followed by returning the list of overrepresented pathways to the biologist, explaining the limitations of bioinformatics pipelines in going further with this on my own, and asking them for their feedback on 1) which particular pathways they are interested in pursuing further, and 2) putting the interpretation of how these pathways are dysregulated, into a biological (and publishable) context. This seems to work quite nicely, and creates quite a dynamic workflow with input from both them and me.
Do others have any further tips in this context?