Article Title

The CHI Institute for Research and Innovation Virtual Data Warehouse –– A Case Study of Health Operations Partnership in Development of Data Assets

Publication Date



Virtual Data Warehouse, analytics


Background/Aims: The Virtual Data Warehouse (VDW) was created as a mechanism for producing comparable data across different health care organization sites for purposes of proposing and conducting research. At the core of the VDW are a series of standardized file definitions. The content areas and data elements included in the VDW data specification are commonly required for research studies.

Methods: The VDW specifications were used as a foundational guide for the development of an organizationally shared Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) enterprise data store. This shared organizational data capability became the upstream source from which the CHI Institute for Research and Innovation was able to establish a VDW, along with other research industry standard models such as Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership or Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside databases.

Results: In order to collaboratively build a repository with our parent health care organization, several key elements needed to be established. First, effective governance structures needed to be employed including cooperative buy-in into shared timelines and priorities. Second, VDW specifications had to be translated to be more easily consumable by a nonresearch audience. Third, organizational reporting needs were compared against VDW model capabilities to understand their relevancy beyond research analytics and identify enhancements that were needed to make base VDW model capabilities to broaden the applicable audience of the model. Fourth, cooperative approaches to understanding data quality had to be developed. Finally, the process of ongoing governance and prioritization of improvements and expansions were established.

Conclusion: The approach of research analytics sharing in the development of organizational health operations data assets has brought a number of benefits in establishing a VDW. However, the shared approach also highlighted areas where additional work is needed to establish synergy between research analytics and health operations analytics efforts.




July 6th, 2016


August 12th, 2016