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Johns Hopkins Biostatistics Center

Data Informatics Services Core (DISC)

services diagram

The Data Informatics Services Core (DISC) collaborates with research faculty and staff from the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, offering several options for this collaboration depending on the researcher's needs and interests.

This collaboration includes assistance in developing and implementing, or reviewing, data capture tools and data management systems. DISC includes data managers and administrative staff. DISC also coordinates with JHBC’s Biostatistics arm to enlist their expertise in study design and analysis requirements for the best interests of the research study. DISC provides support for REDCap which is a secure web-based application for flexible data capture and management with thousands of worldwide installations.

 What We Offer

  • REDCap support for database design, setup and modification of the database, user support and custom programming for project requirements as needed.
  • Writing programs to perform data management tasks in major statistical packages, such as:
    • Conversion of data structures
    • Data cleaning and preparation for analysis
    • Maintaining data’s quality assurance over the life of the project
    • Protection of PHI fields, as required
    • Creation of additional fields (summaries, new fields based on combinations of other fields)
  • Review of database design and data capture instruments

NOTE: Data entry and data monitoring services are not provided.

Why and When to Engage DISC

Engaging DISC in the development and implementation of data management aspects of the research study facilitates better organization and use of data capture tools, better accuracy of data capture with defined coding of variables, and a better interface to analysis requirements. DISC can assist with suggestions for data capture tools, form design, improving data quality and best practices for data management. The research study benefits from efficiencies and data accuracies based on an organization and documentation of different data streams (lab, survey, mobile, longitudinal), consistency in coding and naming conventions, security as needed, improved data handling, and managing data in a reproducible manner.

The most effective time for engaging DISC is in the planning stages of the study before data capture begins. This facilitates ensuring that the data are set up correctly from the beginning of the study with respect to their subsequent uses and allows the data to be captured as intended to meet the study’s objectives.

Collaboration and Consulting Options

JHBC offers a range of options to provide data capture/management support for JHU faculty and staff.

Collaboration and Consulting Expectations

Consultation and collaboration require a mutually agreed-upon understanding of, and respect for, the expectations that will guide this relationship. These expectations will be part of the initial discussions and may include the following categories.


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