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Developing an interactive visualization tool for exploration and analysis of laboratory data: Study Data Browser

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 — Poster Session I

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
FAES Terrace


  • HM Hall
  • SW Bartlinski
  • GK Ha
  • T Ahmed
  • S Xu
  • KJ Footer
  • BB Smith
  • JW Croghan
  • A Rosenthal
  • DB Parrish


The Integrated Research Facility conducts research on emerging infectious diseases and biodefense pathogens, facilitating the development of medical countermeasures and the improvement of medical outcomes for patients. As part of this research, investigators collect and access animal study data that is captured in a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). Researchers needed a way to monitor sample collection and review data following key study activities, and export data for further analysis following study completion. With data residing in multiple tables, the ability to query and analyze study data requires technical knowledge and is time-intensive. To overcome these challenges, we developed a web-based data visualization application called the Study Data Browser in collaboration with the Software Engineering Branch at NIAID. Source data from the LIMS were mapped to a standardized clinical data model and integrated into a clinical database located in a secure SQL server environment. Users access the data through dashboards created in Tableau, a data visualization tool. Virologists, veterinary pathologists, and radiologists with different domains of expertise can query and visualize subject data for scheduled and collected samples, lab test results, and imaging parameters of interest. Researchers can identify trends by comparing lab test results over time between subjects or study groups. Data for selected cohorts can be easily reshaped and exported for further analysis in a preferred statistical program. Through interactive Tableau dashboards that support daily automated data loads, the Data Browser enables researchers to easily access updated study data and focus on data exploration and hypothesis generation.

Category: Research Support Services