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VDW Data Model

HCSRN’s Virtual Data Warehouse

The HCSRN’s Virtual Data Warehouse is a pioneering common data model designed to support multi-site health system research. The VDW consists of clinical and claims data mapped to a common format to create tremendous efficiencies for data extraction, collection, and management. Resources and tools to help investigators and data analysts leverage the potential of the VDW for health system-based research are offered below.


VDW Resources for Scientists

  • The VDW and How to Use It – An introduction to the HCSRN Virtual Data Warehouse (VDW) for Investigators. This includes an overview of the distributed data model, its data areas and structure, and steps for using it.
  • Examples of VDW Projects – A great deal of research can be conducted using only VDW data. More commonly VDW data supplements other data gathered from subjects (e.g., surveys, research specimens). A list of example projects is provided.
  • Virtual Data Warehouse Q&A – Archived 2011 Virtual Data Warehouse (VDW) orientation presentated by VDW Operations Committee staff. Some content will be out of date.
  • Orientation to the HCSRN and Virtual Data Warehouse – Orientation slides from the 2018 HCSRN Conference, with an overview of the HCSRN itself, and a closer look at the contents and structure of the Virtual Data Warehouse. Includes information about the distributed data network as well as the querying process and research opportunities afforded by a common data model
  • Presentation: Using the Virtual Data Warehouse – Archived presentation by Cancer Research Network (CRN) staff entitled, Using the Virtual Data Warehouse (some content will be out of date)

 VDW Data Model and Metadata

  • VDW Data Model – Detailed data specifications for the VDW data model. Version 5
  • Figure – VDW Data Structure – This figure illustrates the primary data domains of the Virtual Data Warehouse and provides some detail about variables under each domain.
  • Figure – VDW Data Areas – This simple figure illustrates the primary data domains of the Virtual Data Warehouse.
  • Figure – VDW Infographic  Figure depicting VDW data standardization, pooling, and user-feedback loop. Includes header with title, “The VDW and How It Works” and a contextual statement. Four site acronyms shown in left panel.

VSW Resources for Technical Users