I CAN get data!

March 17, 2017

We have posted a number of explanations about why Lurie Children's physicians and staff feel they CANNOT get data (see I can't get data!, or Taming the beast, part 1). This post is about how you CAN get it.

Not only can YOU get data, many of your colleagues get data from us as well – everyday. Indeed, in FY 2016, we produced over 130 Radar Dashboards, 445 Clarity report requests (not to mention the thousands of reports that are scheduled and delivered each month), and we launched a new reporting tool, called Power BI. We currently have 47 projects in flight, and a whole bunch in the hopper.

This post will provide an orientation to some of our data reporting tools, with a focus on those we use with Epic data.

What you can get

Data Analytics and Reporting (DAR) provides analyses and reports via several different routes depending on the data source and your needs. Taking time to learn about the analytic process and different types of dashboards will make figuring out what you need easier. We try hard to we match options to your needs.

When you make a request, we will ask a bunch of questions about what you plan to use the data for and whether it is research. We will also ask you a LOT of questions about the questions you are trying to answer and the measures you want to use.

Table 1 is a good summary of the ways we can deliver data and analyses to you. Each method exists to meet different needs. For example, Reporting Workbench and Radar Dashboards are Epic tools that allow us to deliver data to you in 'real time' – as it is collected in the clinic. These are used, for example, to manage workflows in clinics. But because they are 'real time,' they cannot really let us do complex analytics.

Table 1. Data sources and tools for Epic data


Another way to look at it

In thinking over what to ask for, it can be useful to undestand how the data flow from their source into a report. Figure 1 is an overview of where Epic data come from and how the data flow into the different reporting tools we use. Every night, an 'ETL' (extract, transform and load) procedure is done to transport data from Epic Chroncles (where you enter data every day). This procedure refreshes the data in the Clarity reporting database. From there, additional ETL procedures pull data from Clarity into the clinical data warehouse and the research data warehouse. We can pull data for analysis from any of these three places using Crystal Reports, Power BI, SQL or SAS.

Power BI is the first tool we have that allows us to pull and combine data from many different sources at once (e,g., Epic, Lawson, Sunquest). That capability opens many new doors for reporting and analytics. We will share more about this tool in a coming post.

Figure 1. Data sources and the flow of data to different reporting outlets


Just ask

DAR takes requests through the Data Resource Center. You can ask for anything, but what we can deliver includes: Clarity reports, Reporting Workbench reports, Radar Dashboards, data feeds, quality improvement analytics, research analytics, statistical support, population health analytics, strategic dashboards, access to SAS (for free), datamarts, Sharepoint databases ....

Some of these items are produced entirely by DAR, some are produced in partnership with Imformation Management, the Center for Excellence , and other close partners around the organization. If you don't know what you want or where to start, just make a request at the Data Resource Center. Someone will get back to you and help you through the process.

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