Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Taming ‘biggish’ data
  1. Charles McDermott1,
  2. Paul Robert Greig1,2,
  3. Alan Inglis1,
  4. Rosemary Warren1,
  5. Helen Higham1,3
  1. 1OxSTaR, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  2. 2Department of Anaesthetics, Guy’s and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Anaesthetics, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Charles McDermott, OxSTaR, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK; charles.mcdermott{at}ndcn.ox.ac.uk

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Introduction

Data can be powerful, it can illustrate an organisation’s health; report progress; justify costs and highlight areas for improvement. However, collecting and managing large amounts of data has its challenges. Spreadsheets and paper records work for simple datasets but become increasingly hard to organise and prone to error as data demands rise.1 2 This report aims to highlight some of the tools and technologies available today for making sense of data in the context of a healthcare education centre.

Background

Oxford Simulation Teaching and Research (OxSTaR) is the University of Oxford’s simulation centre. Over 2500 healthcare professionals attend over 250 courses per annum. We needed a robust system to capture, safely store and report data from a rapidly growing portfolio of training and research activity. Design of a new database provided several advantages over our pre-existing methods of data management. Unlike an assortment of spreadsheets and paper files, databases allow for superior organisation of big datasets.1 They also provide a centralised, single point of access, giving staff more control, simultaneous access to the system and improved security/backup.1

In addition, we wanted to address the issue that our current systems lacked interoperability. Databases can provide the basis for a connected information technology (IT) system; they are designed to integrate with other applications, extending the versatility and usefulness of a data system.1 Later in the report, we explore applications …

View Full Text

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.