Learning From the Pros: Modern Data Management for Clinicians and Scientists

Learning From the Pros: Modern Data Management for Clinicians and Scientists

This is a talk I gave to the University of California, Irvine Dept. of Urology Grand Rounds on 3/6/2017. I discussed generally how large web applications work, desirable traits out of any data management system, why Excel leaves much to be desired for long-term data management and that REDCap can be that happy middle ground.

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Scott Burns

March 06, 2017
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Transcript

  1. LEARNING FROM THE PROS MODERN DATA SYSTEMS FOR CLINICIANS AND

    SCIENTISTS Grand Rounds Department of Urology University of California, Irvine March 6, 2017
  2. DAMNIT EXCEL! THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY? Grand Rounds

    Department of Urology University of California, Irvine March 6, 2017
  3. WHO AM I?

  4. NOT A PHYSICIAN

  5. NOT A SCIENTIST (ANYMORE)

  6. I BUILD SOFTWARE

  7. None
  8. A BRIEF OUTLINE ▸ How Internet Applications Work ▸ Desirable

    Traits of any Data Management System ▸ Excel is not your friend ▸ A happy middle ground?
  9. None
  10. SERVER Internet Database

  11. DESIRABLE TRAITS IN DATA MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS BRIEFLY… ▸ High Availability

    ▸ Auditability ▸ Strong Role-Based Access Controls ▸ Data Validation ▸ Programmatic Access
  12. DESIRABLE TRAITS IN DATA MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS HIGH AVAILABILITY ▸ Accessible

    from multiple locations ▸ Simultaneously accessible ▸ Capacity & Stability to tolerate high loads ▸ Data Retention ▸ Data Back Ups ▸ Failure Contingencies
  13. DESIRABLE TRAITS IN DATA MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS AUDITABILITY ▸ Automatically generated

    trail of operations that create, update or delete data. ▸ Handled as part of the application, not the user. ▸ Always know who altered and when it was changed ▸ Really good systems may require comments
  14. DESIRABLE TRAITS IN DATA MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS STRONG ROLE-BASED ACCESS CONTROLS

    ▸ Not every user should have the same capabilities! ▸ Read-Only ▸ Write-Only ▸ Admin ▸ Only superusers can alter schema (design of data)
  15. DESIRABLE TRAITS IN DATA MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS DATA VALIDATION ▸ Before

    accepting or delivering data, apply validation ▸ Reject for: ▸ Invalid types ▸ Improper Formatting ▸ Cross-field inconsistencies ▸ Prevents entire classes of downstream problems
  16. DESIRABLE TRAITS IN DATA MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS PROGRAMMATIC ACCESS ▸ Render

    & accept data in formats accessible to machines ▸ Create, Read, Update, Destroy operations ▸ Enables workflows that: ▸ can “infinitely” scale ▸ are not susceptible to random errors ▸ can be tested to prevent systematic errors ▸ are extremely cost-effective
  17. EXCEL IS NOT YOUR FRIEND

  18. EXCEL IS NOT YOUR FRIEND EXCEL IS YOUR ENEMY BECAUSE

    IT ▸ does not automatically generate strong audit trails. ▸ allows any and all schema changes. ▸ Does not provide strong access controls. ▸ Is not available anywhere except your local machine. ▸ Is file-based and does not provide methods to merge disparate changes. ▸ enables analyses that are not reproducible or testable. ▸ doesn’t care about data validation and will often coerce values behind the scenes.
  19. SO…?

  20. REDCAP!

  21. A HAPPY MIDDLE GROUND? REDCAP IS… ▸ a web-based application

    for creating & managing online surveys and databases. ▸ Features: ▸ Strong Role-Based Access & Permissions ▸ Data Validation and rich field support ▸ Automatic audit logs of data creation & updates ▸ HTTP-based API for automated export & import
  22. SERVER Database Internet SERVER SERVER YOU REDCAP

  23. SERVER Database Internet SERVER SERVER YOU REDCAP BROWSER

  24. A HAPPY MIDDLE GROUND? REDCAP PROVIDES ▸ High availability. IT

    professionals manage the service. ▸ Scalability. Multiple people importing/exporting data at the same time. ▸ Role-based access to updating records, project-level fields. ▸ Audit trails. Know exactly who changed data when. ▸ Programmatic access. Your data is free from the confines of a file.
  25. SERVER Database Internet SERVER SERVER YOU REDCAP BROWSER API YOUR

    SERVER
  26. A HAPPY MIDDLE GROUND? WITH THE REDCAP API, YOU CAN…

    ▸ Export and Import data to create, read and update data on a per-record basis. ▸ Upload, download and delete files. ▸ Apply complex transformations to your data in a repeatable and verifiable fashion. ▸ Stop relying on humans to perform very specific, mission- critical data workflows. ▸ Focus on doing what you do best and let machines do the rest.
  27. A HAPPY MIDDLE GROUND? DATA ENTRY TRIGGERS ▸ Requests to

    the API occur only when you make them (scheduled or on-demand). ▸ Data Entry Triggers are a way for REDCap to tell your system when data has been entered or updated. ▸ Based on this notification, you could make API requests and run a workflow exactly when data needs to processed.
  28. SERVER Database Internet SERVER SERVER YOU REDCAP BROWSER API YOUR

    SERVER DATA ENTRY TRIGGERS
  29. LET’S TALK ABOUT ROBOTS

  30. REPORTING

  31. ANALYSIS

  32. EXTERNAL SYSTEMS

  33. QUESTIONS?

  34. THANK YOU!