Study design and IRB application

Although CDW analysts are available to help refine data requests and operationalize research questions, analysts do not provide methodologic consultation to help investigators develop their research questions, study designs, or statistical analysis plans. Analysts do not provide assistance developing IRB applications beyond a discussion of which CDW data elements to include. For assistance with study design and IRB preparation, investigators can access the following resources: 

Data management, programming, and analysis

While the CDW works with investigators to provide data in a user-friendly format, it does not offer data cleaning, data management, or data analysis services.  Generally, the CDW does not conduct any calculations nor derive variables beyond simple counts. The CDW does not calculate descriptive statistics (mean, minimum, maximum, etc.) or do statistical programming. Data are provided in a raw extract format. For assistance with data cleaning, management, or analysis, the following contacts may be helpful: 

Self-Service Platform:  TriNetX

TriNetX is a self-service platform that allows BUMC researchers to identify cohorts, participate in sponsored trials, understand therapy and disease landscapes, and conduct analyses without statistical software. A subset of data from Epic and legacy EHR systems (Logician/Centricity) is transformed into a de-identified limited dataset and uploaded to TriNetX every 1-2 months. Dating back to 2000, the data in TriNetX include diagnoses, medications, laboratory results, encounters/visits, vital signs, and demographics. 

BUMC researchers with Human Subjects research training and an active BMC account may use TriNetX. Contact Nicholas Trombley, Research Coordinator, BU CTSI, at [email protected] for more information or to request access.  

The CDW is intended for research purposes only. For all other data request purposes, please submit a ServiceNow ticket at