Informatics Research Seminar: Can Truth Have a Single Source? The Challenge of Aligning Health Research and Health Delivery Data

January 13 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Speaker: Stephen Blackwelder, PhD
Presented from Duke University

Broadcast Link: Seminar




Like many academic medical centers, Duke University hosts academic non-medical researchers as well as faculty researchers in the school of medicine and in the research institutes. As analytic modeling techniques have matured to engage with “big data” in a variety of industries, statisticians and data scientists are likewise eager to apply these tools and techniques to healthcare data. Privacy regulations peculiar to healthcare make such analysis more challenging than in some other industries; institutional policies over access to these sensitive data were not drafted with statistical or social science research agendas in mind. Moreover, the needs of big data analytics differ importantly from the typical business intelligence needs healthcare system data warehouse environments were designed to support. Healthcare systems have approached these challenges in a variety of ways. In a comparison of these approaches we will evaluate the viability of the enterprise data warehouse as the much-heralded “single source of truth” in healthcare analytics.

Speaker Bio

Stephen Blackwelder, PhD, leads the data warehouse, business intelligence, clinical and operational reporting, and analytics support for Clinical and Translational Research. He is responsible for transforming data into actionable knowledge. Dr. Blackwelder is responsible for the design, development, and maintenance of the enterprise data warehouse, and for creation of a portfolio of information services to support Duke Health’s clinical, research and educational missions as well as its operational and financial goals. Information infrastructure elements such as source data governance, best use practices and use adoption, and the development of a flexible architecture for delivery of sensitive information to a diverse group of stakeholders. In collaboration with the Chief Health Information Officer, Dr. Blackwelder is currently launching Duke Health’s Analytics Center of Excellence. This shared services resource team integrates these focus areas together into a one-stop shop for enterprise data analytics support across the health system and the research enterprise.