Research Informatics, Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What services are provided by the Research Informatics

    We are primarily responsible for all the applications used by research at Huntsman Cancer Institute. We assist in the purchase of products for research, maintain products that have been purchased, create applications when none exist on the market, and find innovative ways to interface with and share data across these applications.

    In relation to application maintenance, we also provide support and training, run query searches, recommend improved data modeling, and assist in process improvement.

  2. What applications does RISR maintain?

    We support three main types of applications for research: Admin Apps, Clinical/Research Apps, and Genomic Apps. If you would like a demonstration of any of our applications, please contact the RISR Director. We also maintain the UPDB database software and UPDBLimited query tool.

  3. How do I obtain access to a RISR application?

    Submit a request on the Application Access Request service page and indicate which application you wish to have access to. Most requests of this type are handled within one full business day. However, some applications may require additional approval outside the department before the full information is made available to you

  4. What do I do if the application isn’t opening up properly on my computer?

    CATG can help you get your computer setup properly to run any of the RISR applications. Just submit a request to Computer Support, and they’ll send someone out as soon as they are available.

  5. What do I do if I need training on an application?

    Submit a request to the I Need Help service page service page, and we’ll contact you to setup a basic training session. Because of the customizability of many of our applications, we generally assist in the setup for an organization. Then we recommend that each organization also have their own training to ensure that the data is being entered in a consistent manner.

  6. What do I do if the application isn’t working properly?

    Submit a request to the I Need Help service page service page. We will work with you to find an immediate work around to the problem, then will find a way to prevent it from happening again in the future (whenever possible).

  7. How do I submit a query request, and how long will it take to get the results?

    To submit a query request, please go to the Query Request service page and submit a request to the best matching type of query to be run. Most queries generally only take a few days to a week. However, some queries, either because of the complexity of the data or output may take longer.

  8. What types of query requests can you run?

    We are primarily responsible for running complex queries on data associated with all the applications we maintain. We can also run queries on data that has been made available to us from the EDW for our research patients, as well as U of U Tumor Registry data, Flatiron data, and Foundation Medicine Tumor Mutation test results.

  9. Can I query the data myself?

    For self-service requests, we provide an adhoc query tool called iQ that allows users to query for most data fields available from CORE, itBioPath, CCR, and RSR (including any custom data elements). The tool understands the connections between data, your permissions to that data, and includes pathways that connect the information from various systems, including CORE, CCR, itBioPath, Tumor Registry, and Foundation Medicine mutation test results.

  10. Who else can help me with my data needs such as importing data into RISR products, running reports out of them, or configuring the product to fit my needs?

    The Pop-Sci Data Team at HCI is another great resource for all your data needs. They are familiar with the RISR product suite, and often import, configure, and report on data associated with our products. Just submit a request through the RSR and CCR Support system, and they will get someone assigned to help you as soon as possible.

  11. I work with your applications regularly, and have some ideas on how to improve them. How should I get you those ideas?

    Just submit a request through the I Have an Idea service page service page. You will be contacted to make sure we are on the same page for development. Once we have the improvement added to the project’s backlog for prioritization, the submitted help request will be closed. Depending on resources and complexity, it may take a while for the changes to be made in the application.

  12. I went to a conference and saw some new technology that could help us with research. What should I do to purchase it?

    Please contact the RISR Director if you wish to purchase new software. We may already have a solution using technology we have in-house. If we don’t, we will need to be a part of the purchase process to ensure proper maintenance and integration.

  13. I have a new idea for a grant that may require either collaboration or data collection on a large scale. At what point do I need to get RISR involved?

    As soon as you have a formal idea and are working to obtain a grant, contact the RISR Director. We can help you figure out the most cost-effective solution for data storage and/or sharing. We can also help in the definition of your data needs using resources already available to you.

    If you are beyond this point, have painted yourself into a corner with XLS spreadsheets, and have decided you need something better, still contact the RISR Director. It will take us longer to analyze what you have and where it needs to go (along with the migration path of what you have done), but we can help you get organized in the end.

    We care about good quality data.

  14. I need to get critical data out of the textual clinical notes or path reports, can you help me?

    Yes. We have a team of developers who are trained in natural language processing (NLP). In this process, they can help you extract discrete fields from textual reports. If you are interested in doing this, please contact the RISR Director.

  15. I am a new researcher and want to bring over my data from another institution, can I do this?

    Yes. We have regularly worked with other institutions to import data. Please contact the RISR Director to begin a consultation.

Contact Us

Research Informatics Director
Andrew Post, MD, PhD

Research Informatics Associate Director
Shirleen Hewitt, DBA


HCI Senior Director Oversight
Aik Choon Tan, PhD

Faculty Advisory Committee Chair
Aik Choon Tan, PhD

Faculty Advisory Committee Members
HCI Research Executive Committee