Article Title

Technologies for Managing Virtual Data Warehouse Access and Identifying Appropriate Levels of Staffing at CHI Institute for Research and Innovation

Publication Date



information technology, research administration, contracting, operations


Background: CHI Institute for Research and Innovation (CIRI) has implemented a number of tools to enable users to achieve self-service access to its virtual data warehouse (VDW) and make requests for additional data (not provided by VDW self-service). In addition to our tools for managing the access to historic retrospective data, we have integrated a clinical trial management system for protocol management, study accounting, electronic data capture and patient management. Identifying tools that can help automate delivery and monitor demand are essential components of our technology strategy.

Methods: Our strategy for developing or selecting technology assets has been guided by the following factors: 1) functionality –– does the tool do what we need it to do or desire it to do? 2) usability –– is the tool or technology easy to learn and use for persons of all levels of ability, and can it be used broadly to support various types of research? 3) security –– does the technology provide adequate measures to ensure security of data stored and/or accessed? 4) interoperability with other tools; and 5) cost of the technology, initial and long term, with consideration of open source options.

Results: To date, we have implemented tools for clinical trial management of both sponsor- and investigator-initiated trials, a data query tool to allow end-users to access the VDW to perform simple queries and prep-to-research activities, electronic data capture for collecting study-specific data and patient-reported outcomes, and a grant management system. We also have implemented a tool for tracking project deliverables and staff time, which we are using to quantify demand and identify need for additional resources. We are currently evaluating tools for data visualization and for streamlining acquisition of additional data assets to compliment the VDW.

Conclusion: Having a strategy around development and implementation of technology assets is critical for ensuring safe and broad access to our data resources, and for monitoring demand among users in order to identify needs for appropriate resources. These tools will enable CIRI to expand the scope of research conducted at Catholic Health Initiatives and to create a network of researchers who can collaborate on studies without being co-located by creating virtual research organizations across our facilities.




June 30th, 2017


August 10th, 2017