Tag Archives: affordable data management tools

Becoming a Data Scientist {EDC Developer + Statistical Expert + Data Manager}

At an early age, I was drawn to computers. I did well in math; I love science and I started enjoying programming when my stepfather gave me a small computer to program games. This was my real experience with programming. I think the programming language was Basic. The computer had some built-in games and basic math problems in it but you could also play around with ‘Basic‘ codes and create your own.

Then I went to a technical school and into college where you take basic classes in information system /technology and took courses in telecommunication management.  Most of the courses were around IP, PBX and Network Administration.  As part of that curriculum, I took a basic programming course and VB.net. I really like that since it has a visual interface (drag and drop to create the interface) and when you click a button you create an event so I like the design aspect of it (I am known to be very creative) then I started to design for people (website design and development, small databases). A lot better than working in telecommunications. I thought VB was a great first language to learn. Later I took a Microsoft Access database development class and we learn database design (relational) and found out I was really good at that.

Before I graduated, I was already working for a well known pharmaceutical company as a database analyst within their data management and biometrics team. They really like what I did with their clinical operations data (investigator data – you know the one that now we need CTMS systems for nowadays). So this was a confirmation that ‘databases’ was my passion. I love designing it, managing and maintaining it.

During my early years in this industry, I spent a lot of time writing SQL codes and SAS programs.  We pulled the messy data (back in those years we used the Clintrial Oracle backend system) and very problem solving oriented. A business question was asked and we would go using either SQL or SAS and go into this messy database and figure it out the answer. I really enjoyed that.

In recent years, I take data from a {EDC} system then write scripts to summarize the data for reporting and put into a data warehouse and then I use a product called ‘IBM Cognos’, which points to the data warehouse to build those reports and worked with different users across different departments (a lot of different audiences for the data) with a lot of different interesting data in there. I have spent time using APIs to extract data via Web Services (usually in XML-ODM format) and generate useful reports in SAS or Excel XML.

People think that being a data analyst is just sitting around a computer screen and crunching data. A lot of it is design-oriented, people-oriented, and problem-solving. So when people ask a question, I get to dive into the data and figure it out the answer.

Next step is to get into predictive analytics and do more data mining and data forecasting.

Are you still excited about becoming a data scientist?

You can start by reading my blog about programming languages you should learn here!

Other tools and programming languages you should learn: Anaconda, R Programming, Python, Business Intelligence Software like Tableau, Big Data Analytics with Hadoop, create new representations of the data using HTML and CSS (for example when you use APIs, XML to extract data from third-party sources).

Anayansi, MPM, an EDC Developer Consultant and clinical programmer for the Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and Medical Device industry with more than 18 years of experience.

Available for short-term contracts or ad-hoc requests.  See my contact page for more details or contact me.

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Case Study 1: Stand Alone Satellite Office Solution

Integrated Into Sponsor’s Clinical Data Management (CDM) Environment

Anayansi gamboa - offshore Panama Data management





The Scenario:

The Sponsor was in need of a data management team to function in an integrated manner as an extension of the Sponsor’s CDM team. Based on geographic and offices constraints, coupled with the large volume of work, hiring individual contract resources on-site was not an option.

RA eClinica Solution:

  • RA eClinica Data Management Operations collaborated with Sponsor to develop CDM metrics, collaboration model and workflow, enabling the team to work across 3+ protocols
  • RA eClinica provided a full solution of 5+ CDM resources, project management, dedicated secure facilities integrating into Sponsor’s eClinical and CDMS databases.

Ra eClinica Results:

  • Develop of a long-term, efficient and cost-effective CDM solution.

RA eClinica is a established consultancy company for all essential aspects of statistics, clinical data management and EDC solutions. Our services are targeted to clients in the pharmaceutical and biotech sector, health insurers and medical devices.

The company is headquarter in Panama City and representation offices with business partners in the United States, India and the European Union. For discussion about our services and how you can benefit from our SMEs and cost-effective implementation CDISC SDTM clinical data click here.

Castor EDC – Data Management Made Easy!

I recently was approached by a group of scientists that have developed a unique EDC system for researchers. Usually, you have a group of developers or gurus / geeks around some science major staff trying to understand how the EDC system they purchased works. But to hear that the system was actually developed by the scientists itself was news to me. So the email piqued my curiosity.  And as the email stated ‘our goal is make professional data management systems available for every researcher,’ I proceeded to spend time researching more.

As per my previous post, I like to ask the question about ‘names’ so here I asked the founder of Castor the same question…What is in the name besides letters? 

Castor is the Latin name for the beaver family, and the logo is designed as a safe haven (the wall around the dot) for data (the dot in the center), but still accessible, just like a beaver’s ‘lodge’: hard to get into, but safe and comfortable inside.-Derk, founder

Why Castor?

Affordable multicenter EDC, GCP compliance, that is self-managed and you can do everything yourself. The system works on any platform and everybody can use it.

How to get started?

There are NO contracts or third-party involvement. You go to CastorEDC portal and click on –> Register

Anayansi Gamboa - Castor EDC

Create a new Study – once you have registered, you start building your study with ‘form builder’ tool. In order to build a form, you need to create phases (called usually visits like screening, visit 1, visit 2 and so on) and forms (that are referred by Castor EDC as ‘steps’ such as ‘Inclusion / Exclusion Criterias, Demographics, Vital Signs’, etc).

Now that you have defined your visits and forms, you need to add your fields. To the left of the form builder, you will find pre-defined set of fields from yes/no radio buttons to text fields to date fields and checkboxes. There are a lot of field types with several properties for each fields.

Another good feature is called ‘dependencies’.  For example, if you have a RACE field that collects multiple races codes including the OTHER, specify option; you can have a dependency text field appears ONLY when the OTHER option is checked.

Castor EDC Demo Castor EDC - Demo

Is Castor EDC CDISC-Compliant?

Currently, the system is being upgraded to comply with CDISC standards and this feature should be available by end of 2015.

Is castor EDC Affordable?

To calculate your own price or to have an idea of how much it will cost you to run your trial or research project, go to Pricing and Features.

Why people are choosing Castor EDC?

Reason 1 – It is fast –  your trial is up and running in days.
Reason 2 – Affordable – packages to fit any budget. No more Access or Excel to collect data.
Reason 3  – Easy to Use – Everyone can enter data with Castor EDC

Using Castor EDC is very easy, just follow these 10 steps:
1. Create your account.
2. Create your Study.
3. Build your Study structure.
4. Build forms for study data, reports for repeated data (i.e. SAE forms) and surveys for patient questionnaires (ePRO’s).
5. Test your forms via record management.
6. Check your settings , set randomization, record ID generation, and multicenter options.
7. Invite colleagues and participating researchers.
8. Set rights for every individual user.
9. Set your Study to live to start collecting real data.
10. Collect clean and valid data for your study!

Need more information?

See castoredc.com if you need affordable Electronic Data Collection for your study.

If you are looking for a study builder or clinical programmer to support your clinical trials and data management department, please use the contact form.

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