Data Systems Services (DSS)

The Data Systems Services unit is a small agile team of programmers and network administration personnel serving the data research needs of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (DEB) research community by providing innovative database and technology solutions on a secure, professionally managed infrastructure for the storage and management of research data.  Services include:

Research Data System Support

Research Data System (diagram) for multi-center studies is a customized hybrid of off-the-shelf software that combines decentralized data submission, centralized and remote data editing, and a centralized database structure designed to collect, transfer, and store data for epidemiologic studies.

Key Features:

  • Variety of input options:  fax/scan, web entry
  • Powerful and flexible data dictionary and ongoing query generation
  • Real-time access to study data
  • Real-time audit trail and meta-data audit trail
  • Comprehensive reports for effective study management
  • Web-based support for the publications process
  • Compatibility with SAS for ease of data analysis
  • Rapid database lock

DSS Programming and Customized Data Systems Services

The DSS has been developing and supporting data management systems for UCSF for over 20 years, starting with the SHEP pilot study in 1980. Our central purpose is to design, develop, and maintain data management systems to support epidemiological research, research education, and clinical trials. We have expertise in the areas of:

  • Data capture, integration, and conversion
  • Integration with 3rd party systems and data streams
  • Study management
  • Tracking databases
  • Public/Private web-based data releases
  • Custom web-based applications and content management systems
  • Custom interfaces for data/file sharing and remote collaboration

For additional information about programming languages, interfaces, technologies, and specialized systems expertise please contact [email protected]

Event Adjudication

The DSS has created customized adjudication event databases for four outcome ascertainment studies. Each study database was specifically designed to meet the study protocol requirements. The databases include features such as:

  • Tracking of event cases and adjudication packets
  • Random assignment of adjudicators
  • Processing rules for adjudicator concordance
  • Tracking of payments to adjudicators
  • Status and reconciliation reports
  • Automated, scheduled assessment of potential event cases in RDS

Network Management and Services

Network Infrastructure
Our computing environment is comprised of a high-speed, secure network designed to address the diverse requirements of the research conducted by our users. The network currently supports over 100 servers and continues to grow. We emphasize high reliability and manageability of the network, while keeping costs as low as possible.  Network facilities and connectivity include:

  • 2 server rooms (1 main, 1 fail-over)
  • Maintenance of lease and service contracts and permits
  • 100BASE-T Ethernet connection
  • 98% or greater availability
  • multiple access points - office desktop, office wireless, remote connection
  • Access to internet and UCSF domain

Biostatistics High Performance Computing System

The Biostatistics High Performance Computing System (henceforth referred to as the "cluster") is a shared equipment facility for statistical computing that is beyond the capacity of a high-end desktop computer. It is specially geared towards high-memory and disk-intensive computing such as some genetics and bioinformatic applications. As a shared resource, it is maintained by contributions from participating research groups.

If you are interested in gaining access, please send an email to Richard Tabor ([email protected]). All Division of Biostatistics researchers can gain access by virtue of their affiliation with the division which supports hosting and maintenance. We invite all interested research groups to a trial access period of a month. If the group is interested in continued access, we request contribution of resources to the shared equipment facility.

For additional information about data systems services available including cost estimates please fill out this online form, or contact [email protected] for more information.