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Data Management Center


The Data Management Center (DMC) is responsible for providing data management needs to all projects within IDRC.  The main IDRC Data Management Center was established in 2005 in Kampala and in 2008 a satellite Data Center was opened in Tororo to facilitate the Tororo based studies.  The Data Management team consists of approximately 40 staff members based in Kampala, Tororo, Mbarara, Mbale, and also in our surveillance sites throughout Uganda.  Typically, at any one time, there may be between 5 and 10 large projects being managed by the DMC, including clinical trials and surveillance studies. 

The DMC is also responsible for providing IT support to all staff members.  Currently, the IT infrastructure is comprised of 6 servers and more than 200 computers/laptops.  Each data center has a 1 Mbps full duplex Internet connection to serve the users.


Data Management System

For studies/trials using paper data collection, IDRC has designed and developed a custom Data Management System that is used to manage the data, using  SQL Server as the backend for all data storage.  MS Access is used for double data entry and SAS programs are used for comparing 1st and 2nd entry and generating discrepancy reports.  DTS/SSIS packages are used to automatically import/export any new data and stored procedures written in T-SQL are used to automatically generate new data queries on a daily basis.  There is a web interface to the whole system written in ASP.NET to allow users to view the data, view reports, and even modify the data they are authorized to access.  With regular backups and a full audit trail, the whole system is regulatory compliant (21 CFR Part 11).


Other Data Collection Methods

  • We also collect survey data electronically using Questionnaire Development System (QDS) software on tablet computers.  This method has proven to be very successful, allowing us to have high quality data in almost real-time in a cost effective manner.
  • Using low cost mobile phones and FrontlineSMS/FrontlineForms, we currently collect ACT drug stock levels at 12 health centers throughout Uganda.  Data is transmitted on a weekly basis to the main DMC via SMS messages.
  • We have also developed custom made software which integrates administering questionnaires, capturing GPS coordinates, and capturing individual fingerprint information.


Specimen Tracking

An in-house barcoding system was developed for specimen collection, storage and tracking.  Hand-held scanners are used to quickly scan barcodes for specimen storage or retrieval purposes.  We have also recently implemented FreezerW