anayansigamboa Data management team

7 questions to ask yourself before you choose to set up your own Clinical Data Management department

The arguments to set-up your own Clinical Data Management department are various. You want to learn something new. You can do Clinical Data Management yourself because you could allocate resources for it. Conducting Clinical Data Management in-house could get you more in control of your clinical study data. Clinical Data Management done in-house could cost you less. You could perform Clinical Data Management better yourself. You want to spend your Clinical Data Management budget internally. You see a chance to make (more) money. You see a chance to (better) serve your Customers. You want to complete the gap in your clinical service(s).

Before you make the final decision you could ask yourself 7 questions:
1. For what type of studies should I want to conduct clinical data management myself? For all the studies I conduct? For the first clinical trials in the market application process? For phase III/IV clinical trials? Or for clinical studies conducted post registry?

2. Does a Clinical Data Management group fit in, and does it add value to my company’s core business? Is dedication to the Clinical Data Management performance part of my daily business targets?

3. Do I have enough studies, enough workload for Clinical Data Management to return investments? Is the cost-benefit ratio in my advantage?

4. Can I allocate enough resources, e.g. time, capacity, knowledge and money to the Clinical Data Management department to get clinical data quality from it?

5. Is this the right moment? Right now, should I invest in setting up a new department in my company? Is my company ready for the next step; an own Clinical Data Management group?

6. What are the benefits for my organization when we can conduct Clinical Data Management ourselves? What will it bring us?

7. What are the requirements for this Clinical Data Management department regarding the type of studies and the amount of studies. What are our user requirements for a Clinical Data Management system(s)? What is the capacity we need to handle that Clinical Data Management system and what information do we need?

The number one question in my experience; is a Clinical Data Management department a logical fit within your companies core dedication? Logical like ‘clinical research to get your products accepted for marketing’ or ‘providing clinical research services’. Dedicated Clinical Data Management can start returning investments.


This is an ezine of Maritza Witteveen of ProCDM. For Clinical Research Directors who struggle with clinical data management to get reliable, quality clinical study data successfully. Receive tips and the free e-book ‘Five strategies to get reliable, quality clinical data’ by subscribing via

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Anayansi Gamboa, MPM, an EDC Developer Consultant and clinical programmer for the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industry with more than 13 years of experience.

Available for short-term contracts or ad-hoc requests. See my specialties section (Oracle, SQL Server, EDC Inform, EDC Rave, OpenClinica, SAS and other CDM tools)

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2 thoughts on “7 questions to ask yourself before you choose to set up your own Clinical Data Management department”

  1. Hi Ana, Another important piece of DM function, departments is document retention and archival at the End of a Study. The documents may be stored at an off-site retention facility or internally but my experience has been using an off-site storage facility due to securities. But I also worked for a large pharmaceutical a couple of years ago and they have an entire building for their storage and archival documentation. Only authorized users were allowed to retrieve study documentation and a log kept for any in or out archival of documentation.

    Retention of study documentation is also important shall there be an FDA audit. Our SOPs specified a 3-4 years retention period.
    Cheers, Leo

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