What Is In A Name Besides Letters?

Disclaimer: This is based on a fictional story in this fictional world.

Deciding on a name for your company or product is among the first steps an entrepreneur takes. Entrepreneurs often angst over the perfect name for their EDC tool. That name is a break or make deal for many. Your users will either identify with it or completely turn the other way and use your competitor’s EDC system.

It seems straightforward. Who wouldn’t want to stand out?

A rose by any other name is still a rose…

Let’s look at some Mythological names for several {EDC} systems.

  1. Medidata Rave: “Rave” at first thought, it is not an unique name. The traditional meaning of ‘Rave’ was to show signs of madness or delirium (rave. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer) but most recent and contemporary meaning is ‘wild party’. For many of us, during the college years, we associated the word ‘Rave’ with underground parties, fun, entertainment and much more. I have been to several White Sensation parties here in Europe. Rave is my favorite name by far.
  2. Cmed Timaeus: Timaeus resonates with ‘Amadeus’. You know, the famous ‘Mozart’, Austrian composer, widely recognized as one of the greatest composers in the history of Western music. If you were born near the 80’s music era then this music video will come to mind.
  3. RDC: In contracts, RDC is “running down” clause, provides coverage for legal liability of either the shipper or the common carrier for claims arising out of collisions. Oracle RDC stands for ‘Remote data capture’. It is easy to remember and catchy.
  4. InForm: Is it ‘information forward’? Information in the form? InForm has been around for several years now. It started becoming popular in the 90s. There has been several modifications and upgrades but the name has stayed the same. It is now part of a group of systems own by Oracle.
  5. OpenClinica: I believe this name refers to the ‘open’ source capability of this tool. Open-source software (OSS) is computer software with its source code made available with a license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose. (St. Laurent, Andrew M. (2008). Understanding Open Source and Free Software Licensing. O’Reilly Media. p. 4. ). I believe some users may confuse this name with Oracle Clinical, another popular CDM system.
  6. ClinCase: In computer science, CASE tools can be used for simple operations such as routine coding from an appropriately detailed design in a specific programming language, or for more complex tasks such as incorporating an expert system to enforce design rules and eliminate software defects and redundancies before the coding phase. (“CASE”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online). I personally has not used this tool but was asked recently so I added it to the fictious name list.
  7. RedCap: This is a catchy name as well. It can infer many meanings. Cap for capital letters, the cap or ceiling placed on mortgage rates, to protect or to seal? the hat that you wear, a member of the military police. Some further research, wikipedia has the following description of ‘redcap’: Redcaps are said to murder travellers who stray into their homes and dye their hats with their victims’ blood (from which they get their name) (Briggs, Katherine M. (1967). The Fairies in English Tradition and Literature. London: University of Chicago Press. p. 57) Regardless of definition, it is still a creative name.

You want a name that your employees and customers will want to say

Should You File For a Trademark? Here is some information about trademarks.

Having a brandable business name is one of the reason for the growth of business. Every EDC system is different and choosing the right name is key on getting the attention your {EDC} tool deserves.

One final reminder. When searching the list of fictitious names (also called “doing business as,” or DBAs) for your county and looking for names in your “class” (or industry) on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website (www.uspto.gov), be sure to look up variations on spellings, too, because names that sound alike can’t be registered in the same class. Also check Register.com to see which Internet domain names remain available.

what happens when you find out that your {EDC} name is also the name of another business in a different city/state? Keep it simple, as short as possible (check domain availability) and don’t play too much with spelling alternatives.

What is your favorite {EDC} name? Can a name make or break your chances of business success?

Comments? Join us at {EDC Developer}

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)

 

Credit: The title of this article was an inspiration from a recent readingKate Of Gaia With Michael McCracken – What Is In A Name Besides Letters.” What an eye opening that was.

Fair Use Notice: This blog/article/video contains some copyrighted material whose use has not been authorized by the copyright owners. We believe that this not-for-profit, educational, and/or criticism or commentary use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the copyrighted material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law).

If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Fair Use notwithstanding we will immediately comply with any copyright owner who wants their material removed or modified, wants us to link to their website or wants us to add their photo.

Disclaimer: The EDC Developer blog is “one man’s opinion”. Anything that is said on the report is either opinion, criticism, information or commentary. If making any type of investment or legal decision it would be wise to contact or consult a professional before making that decision.

Disclaimer:De inhoud van deze columns weerspiegelen niet per definitie de mening van {EDC Developer}.

 

 

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Central Designer : Custom Function

A few days ago I received an interesting mail from M. Gupta from my other personal website EDC Developer in which Gupta asked: “Custom Function not working. Hi Anayansi, I have developed a custom function in C# for Central designer but looks like it is not even executing could you please share the steps to create and deploy the custom function”.

First of all, sorry it took me a little longer to respond. My time is limited and I don’t often get this kind of emails from my EDC Developer personal site (this website is for recruiters / potential clients for consulting assignments). Here at {EDC} Developer wordpress, I shared knowledge-based and industry related practices.

anayansigamboa - c# programming
image credit courtesy of Google

Before you can start rules programming in Central Designer, you must make sure you have the following rights assigned to you:

Study Rule Design (either as a study designer or rule writer):

  • Import User-defined functions
  • Define/modify data entry rules
  • Define/modify constants

Some companies assigned a group of people to write rules (rule writers but without access to other modules/features in CD) and the study designer is in charged of the eCRF study build (forms design). That way, while a study designer is building a form, the rule programmer can start edit checks/rule programming activities on other forms.

Remember the custom functions are programs written outside Central Designer. Functions allow you to encapsulate a piece of code and call it from other parts of your code. You may very soon run into a situation where you need to repeat a piece of code, for multiple visits for example, and this is where functions come in.

You will need Visual Studio or C#. Once you program and test your code and assuming it is working, you can load it onto CD (see user rights and refer to the annotated eCRF).

Example: Query rules may not run as expected on initial submissions for an itemset, if there is a calculation rule that sets the value on an item in a different visit, and the calculation rule is attached to the same form as the query rule.

In a previous article about troubleshooting in CD, I discussed some ways to troubleshoot rules. It will give you some insights about what to check when a rule is not working.

Something else to consider during rule development:

  • Source control your code and binaries using VSS or similar tools.
  • dll versioning may cause existing functions to stop working.
  • You can deploy functions on a study or library level. Any changes will affect other studies.
  • Remove anything that is not being referenced
  • Try using Try-Catch
  • Remember to reference CD (still called PhaseForward or see other functions provided by Oracle/PhaseForward during the initial installation) still under the old name – PhaseForward
  • Unit test (extensively) in a test environment

Rules Unit Testing:

  • Turn on rule tracing in the InForm event log
  • Check the log (warnings / errors can give you some clues that something is not right with an edit check calling this new custom function
  • Write and run test cases for data-entry rules, global conditions or workflow rules (this is very important)

Now we are ready for testing in InForm (this requires deployment).

And if it all else fails, try this article about Learn How to Avoid The 10 Most Common C# Mistakes.

Good luck and thank you for connecting.

Comments? Please post it below.

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)

Project Manager: Influences

As a project manager, you should be familiar with a variety of techniques to manage and motivate your team. One way of developing the team is to start a ‘team development’ process to enhance or develop a person’s skills both within the group, and individually, for the goal of enhancing project performance. Team development is most difficult when team members are accountable to both a functional and a project manager. But as a project manager, you are still responsible for managing relationships. Development as a team is critical to project success.

During Team Performance Assessment, if people improved individually and as a team, it should be reflected in improved project performance. Another reward achievement that I would like to see repeated is the ‘Recognition and Rewards’ program. Rewards should be immediate and in tune with preferences. Some team members prefer gifts, other perks, others recognition from a group, others extra time off, etc. Team members should receive feedback on a regular basis.

anayansi gamboa motivation
Team – Motivation

The sources of power for a project manager, penalty (creates hostility); formal or position power (based upon a position such as a boss); and reward (power to give bonus) are not very effective way to influence and motivate other individuals. The most effective source of power is the ‘expert’ based on a knowledge or skill that earns power and respect and the role model because others are willing to follow.

But not everyone can be motivated. The project manager must create a working environment that is encouraging to development of the team member and leave it up to the team member to respond positively.

Comments? Join us at {EDC Developer}

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)

 

Society of the Sojourner – Part II

Well it’s been quite a journey since my last post – sojourner. To sum it up I would say that I have come to the realisation that the world we live in, with its social structures that we have come accustomed to, are quite different than what they appear.

Anayansi decided to change her name to “Sojourner” literally because of her belief.  She openly believed that God told her to change her name, and it is so interesting how her name (Anayansi) has a profound meaning [She was an indigenous woman, a woman in love, who opened her heart to the blond conquistador with his steel armour, newly arrived to win glory in the Isthmus of Panama-KEY TO HAPPINESS]. She changed her name to “Sojourner” because she planned to travel.

anayansigamboa sojourner Panama
Images courtesy of Google -Panama Kuna Island, San Blas

As for my story, what I feared in 2007/2008 when I began to awake to the political and social turmoil going on in the United States of America is now coming true, I decided to return to my home country.  I had a fear then for the lack of respect for the sovereignty of individual human beings. Government has a monopoly on human beings. Without a birth certificate or passport or ID, you are nobody even though we are alive, living flesh and blood man; we are who we say we are and no government ID can change that. We have been brainwashed in believing, we are some name written on a passport ID.

I would like to go into the issues I have with the whole government system but lets just not waste time. Let’s just say, once you are awake, your eyes can never closed again. It is like a light bulb is on 24-7.

So while I was preparing to travel back to Panama [“Panama” is of indian origin, from a word meaning “the abundance of fish” or “the abundance of butterflies”], a friend of mine from the States told me to visit this psychic lady from down town (she was the one interested in having a palm reading). I don’t believe it much so I went along. After her reading, the lady asked me if I wanted a palm reading. I said, “why not.” Nothing to lose as I am already here.

All I can remember her saying ”…soon you will meet someone and move…I see a lot of water surrounding this place…lots of water…” I said to myself. “That must be Panama.” We have the canal, rivers, lakes and two oceans…When her last words were “I see a trip to Europe”. That was 2008 and now fast forward to 2014.

anayansigamboa sojourner Panama
Images courtesy of Google – Panama Canal, Amador, Balboa, Punta Pacifica

My decision was, that I must leave this city; it was not place for me; yea, I felt on called it spirit to leave it and to travel east.

It’s been 5 years since I got out of Dodge for the…onto Society of the Sojourner III -to be continued. Until then…

anayansigamboa sojourner Panama
Images courtesy of Google – Panama City, Balboa, Pacific Ocean

 Saludos y hasta luego!

Notes: sojourner means a temporary resident. Who knows that one of the most beautiful stories of the Spanish Conquest belongs to Panama? The story in question is related with Vasco Núñez de Balboa, who was a Spanish explorer and conquistador. He was the first European to see and stand in the waters of the Pacific Ocean, on September 1513. He claimed the Pacific Ocean and all its shores for Spain, which opened the way for Spanish exploration and conquest along the western coast of South America. But it was the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand de Magalhães (not Balboa), who, because its waters seemed so calm, gave this ocean the name Pacific (meaning peaceful).

anayansigamboa Panama Pacific Ocean
Courtesy of Google – Balboa, Parque Anayansi, Pacific Ocean

What is your story? Leave your comments below.

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)

As the 3 C’s of life states: Choices, Chances and Changes- you must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change. I continually seek to implement means of improving processes to reduce cycle time and decrease work effort.

Fair Use Notice: This article/image/video contains some copyrighted material whose use has not been authorized by the copyright owners. We believe that this not-for-profit, educational, and/or criticism or commentary use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the copyrighted material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law).

If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Fair Use notwithstanding we will immediately comply with any copyright owner who wants their material removed or modified, wants us to link to their website or wants us to add their photo.

Disclaimer: The EDC Developer blog is “one man’s opinion”. Anything that is said on the report is either opinion, criticism, information or commentary. If making any type of investment or legal decision it would be wise to contact or consult a professional before making that decision.

Disclaimer:De inhoud van deze columns weerspiegelen niet per definitie de mening van {EDC Developer}.

Disclaimer: The legal entity on this blog is registered as Doing Business As (DBA) – Trade Name – Fictitious Name – Assumed Name as “GAMBOA”.

Your Strongest Characteristics

The reason I am writing is that I am looking for a new challenge and I felt we might have some areas for discussion, or at least you might be able to point me in the right direction.

My services basically represent a low-cost alternative to the traditional consultancy companies, which usually demand high prices for their services. My services are always the right partner for you – no matter if you are looking for an interim solution due to personnel shortage in your company, if you demand creative and unconventional solutions or if your project requires up-to-date knowledge – direct cost savings.

My current work and skills:

I’m currently working on several initiatives but there is always room for new challenges. I hold a project management degree and several certifications in different fields.

 My style?

I’m a quick-learner, flexible to change, achievement oriented and proactive.

 What you will gain from working with me:

  • Clarity on what you want
  • Tools and approaches for getting it
  • Insight into your patterns that work and roadblocks that don’t
  • An ability to see options and take action, in other words, results.

 What you can expect from me:

Honesty, straightforward yet sensitive advice and confidentiality.

Are these the kinds of skills you look for in a project leader?

Comments? Join us at {EDC Developer}

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)

As the 3 C’s of life states: Choices, Chances and Changes- you must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change. I continually seek to implement means of improving processes to reduce cycle time and decrease work effort.

Subscribe to my blog’s RSS feed and email newsletter to get immediate updates on latest news, articles, and tips. I am available on LinkedIn. Connect with me there for technical discussions.