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Tools

We use a variety of tools to collect, manage, and analyze data at each phase of the research process, from study start-up to close-out.  Included are tools for data capture, storage, analysis, documentation, archiving, and sharing.  By enabling consistent, accurate and timely research data throughout the study life-cycle we strive to establish an effective data governance strategy and can work with clients who require a variety of file types to be transformed into analytical data. 
By working with the department of Biostatistics you can streamline the process to create a system that meets your research needs.

 

We leverage many technologies to support our research projects.  Among them are:

Domain

Tool

Data Capture / Surveys

REDCap, TELEForm, OnCore, customized applications

Application Development

ASP.NET, Java, PHP, SQL

Databases

SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle

Reporting Formats

ODS, rtf, PDF, Excel, HTML, XML

QA/QC/Analysis

SAS, R, Stata, SPSS, SQL, REDCap

File Sharing/Collaboration

Alfresco Share, Slashtmp, custom websites

Data Extraction / Conversion

SAS, Excel, DBMS/Copy, StatTransfer, SQL

 

SAS® (Statistical Analysis System) is an integrated system of software products provided by SAS Institute Inc. for accessing, managing, analyzing, and reporting of data.  SAS is driven by SAS programs, which define a sequence of operations to be performed on stored data.  The SAS language is designed to manipulate data and prepare it for analysis with the SAS procedures. SAS is one of the main analytics platforms for academic research and data analysis in institutions, companies and organizations around the world.  To prepare data for analysis, the data manager combines all data from the various study instruments and sites, if applicable, and converts the data to a SAS format suitable for statistical analysis.

R (programming language) is an open source software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It compiles and runs on a wide variety of UNIX platforms, Windows and MacOS.  R is an integrated suite of software facilities for data manipulation, calculation and graphical display.

Stata is a general-purpose statistical software package used by many businesses and academic institutions around the world. Most of its users work in research, especially in the fields of economics, sociology, political science, biomedicine and epidemiology.  Stata's capabilities include data management, statistical analysis, graphics, simulations, and custom programming.

SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) software is among the most widely used programs for statistical analysis in social science. It is used by market researchers, health researchers, survey companies, government, education researchers, marketing organizations and others.

REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a secure, web-based application for building and managing online surveys and research project databases.

REDCap provides a secure, web-based environment that provides an intuitive interface for users to enter data and have real time validation rules (with automated data type and range checks) at the time of entry.  The system offers easy data manipulation with logged auditing, functionality for reporting, monitoring and querying patient records, and an automated export mechanism to common statistical packages such as:  SPSS, SAS, Stata, R/S-Plus.  To comply with HIPAA guidelines, processes and procedures have been documented and implemented to ensure the security and protection of the study data within the computer operations center, the servers, and the database. 

REDCap has been used within Indiana University and affiliates since April 2009 and currently supports projects and users within IU, Purdue, Notre Dame, IU Health, VA, Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana, and Wishard Health.  These projects mostly fall under the IU School of Medicine and IU School of Nursing, but also reach into other schools on the IUPUI campus as well as other affiliated campuses within the state of Indiana.  We are also supporting projects being conducted in Kenya, Africa, through IU School of Medicine and Purdue’s College of Pharmacy.

MySQL is the world's most used relational database management system (RDBMS) that runs as a server providing multi-user access to a number of databases.  MySQL is the database system for REDCap and is also the system used for many other research projects such as those being conducted in Kenya, Africa, through IU School of Medicine and Purdue’s College of Pharmacy. 

SQL Server and SQL Server Management Studio.  SQL Server is a relational database server software product whose primary function is to store and retrieve data.  SQL Server allows multiple users to access the same database concurrently.  A SQL Server database offers many features such as triggers, stored procedures, transaction logs, Web application support, and security.  Stored procedures are used to handle database checks and validation rules to ensure data quality.  SQL Server Management Studio is the tool Biostats uses for creating and administering SQL Server databases.

 

 

ASP.NET is a Web application framework that allows programmers to build dynamic Web sites, Web applications and Web services.  ASP.NET developed applications are accessible on a global basis leading to efficient data management.

BIOSTATS Custom Project Website Design with ASP.Net and SQL Server focuses on ASP.Net programming while coding quality sites for our research projects.    We utilize the .Net environment and SQL server to develop fully scalable websites from the ground-up.  For complete data storage and retrieval our web solutions include:

  • Project requirement specifications and architectural structure and design
  • Full development of the website, backend infrastructure, automated processes and/or web services

Oracle is an object-relational database management system (ORDBMS)[2] produced and marketed by Oracle Corporation.

TELEForm® is a forms processing application that allows data managers to customize data collection forms that can be read and interpreted by a scanner. Researchers record data onto paper forms which are then scanned into the computer interpreted once by the TELEForm software, and then verified by a data entry clerk and data are stored in SQL Server. Images of forms can be stored electronically, providing an additional back-up of the data. Example: TELEform data collection form.

OnCore enterprise-class clinical and translational research software used to integrate information systems (e.g., laboratory, clinical trial management, and billing systems) and common operational components (e.g., regulatory, administrative, and finance) with an appropriate balance of centralization vs. decentralization.

Alfresco Share is a browser-based platform application for social content management and collaboration and is the primary tool we recommend to researchers that need a site for teamwork and partnership.  Share provides a rich web-based environment for managing documents, wiki content, blogs and more.  It simplifies capturing, sharing and retrieval of information across virtual teams. Team or project members can rapidly find relevant content, experts, look at past or similar projects and keep on top of any relevant changes to make them more efficient.

The following functions are provided out-of-the-box with a number of options available to developers and administrators wishing to customize Share to better fit into their environment.

  • Site management
  • Document libraries
  • Wikis
  • Blogs
  • Discussions
  • Calendaring
  • Link management
  • Site and user dashboards
  • Site membership services

More scalable and open than SharePoint and provides security and user management with users, groups and roles, and Document-level security with single sign-on through NTLM or LDAP

Slashtmp is a web-based file storage and distribution service available to IU researchers via a secure log-in with the Central Authentication Service.  With Slashtmp you can upload encrypted files for others to download or create a space for others to upload encrypted files for you to download.  BIOSTATS personnel can create the links needed to transfer secure files.

Slashtmp has two versions:

  • Simple: for transferring non-sensitive research data.
  • Critical: must be used when transferring data that's subject to HIPAA or FDA CFR 11 regulations, or other information classified as critical at IU (e.g., Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, or bank account numbers).

SQL (Structured Query Language) is a programming language designed for managing data in relational database management systems (RDBMS).  It can be used to create the database structures to hold data such as MySQL or SQL Server, to populate the database, and to query it.

ODS, or Output Delivery System, is a method within SAS of controlling the output from SAS Procedures and reporting on results.  ODS can be used to output results using several types of format including:

  • Basic SAS output (Listing)
  • Output in HTML format (html)
  • Output to Acrobat (pdf)
  • Output as Rich Text Format (rtf) (Can be read by Microsoft Word)
  • Output to Postscript

ODS can also be used to data sets and graphs associated with procedures

DBMS/Copy is an utility software that allows users to read and write datasets in different formats: SAS, Stata, Gauss, SPlus, SPSS, etc.

Stat/Transfer is a data conversion software utility designed to simplify the transfer of statistical data between different programs.

PHP is a general-purpose server-side scripting language originally designed for Web development and can be embedded into HTML to produce dynamic Web pages.

Java is an object-oriented programming language used to create internet applications.  Compiled Java code can run on most computers because Java interpreters and runtime environments, known as Java Virtual Machines (VMs), exist for most operating systems, including UNIX, the Macintosh OS, and Windows.

Department of Biostatistics | 410 W. Tenth St., Suite 3000 | Indianapolis, IN 46202 | Ph: (317) 274-2661 | Fax: (317) 274-2678