Data Science: Data Management and Warehousing for a Veterinary School

Now, users can dynamically create prospective studies in a few seconds.

A large university’s school of veterinary medicine (SVM) prides itself on its teaching and research capabilities, offering extensive learning resources to its students, faculty, and staff. One key resource is a pet hospital database, which houses information on the diagnosis and treatment of animals from 500 hospitals in 44 states. The information is used to promote evidence-based veterinary healthcare; evaluate health outcomes; characterize the frequency and distribution of disease; and provide early warning of emerging infectious diseases. But analysts were not able to access this valuable data fast enough. With custom development in SAS and ESRI, the database required programming expertise and extensive time to write and run programs. The SVM needed to: • Increase speed of reporting and analysis • Eliminate complex programming to access data • Make the database user-friendly • Expand graphical and geostatistical data presentation to enhance analysis capabilities • Share research among veterinary schools and clinics and develop collaboration among industry experts for experiments, research, and disease control

woman working in medical lab

Challenge

A large university’s school of veterinary medicine (SVM) prides itself on its teaching and research capabilities, offering extensive learning resources to its students, faculty, and staff. One key resource is a pet hospital database, which houses information on the diagnosis and treatment of animals from 500 hospitals in 44 states. The information is used to promote evidence-based veterinary healthcare; evaluate health outcomes; characterize the frequency and distribution of disease; and provide early warning of emerging infectious diseases. But analysts were not able to access this valuable data fast enough. With custom development in SAS and ESRI, the database required programming expertise and extensive time to write and run programs. The SVM needed to:

  • Increase speed of reporting and analysis
  • Eliminate complex programming to access data
  • Make the database user-friendly
  • Expand graphical and geostatistical data presentation to enhance analysis capabilities
  • Share research among veterinary schools and clinics and develop collaboration among industry experts for experiments, research, and disease control

 

Experis Solution

Experis worked with the university SVM, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the pet hospital to create a Web portal and data warehouse to support fast, interactive reporting of all information contained in the pet database.

Experis used Oracle Database 10g to create a data warehouse. We worked with the SVM to identify the required analysis functions and the data to support these projected analyses. We constructed new data structures, such as index organized tables and materialized views, to provide high-speed dynamic reporting. For ease of use and wide access to many users, we developed a front-end Web application using SAS and Java.

Dimensions for analyses include time range, species, diagnoses, lab results, exam results, treatments, location, hospital and pet attributes such as age, weight, and breed. Outputs include tabular reports, charts, time plots, forecasts and maps.

The website and data warehouse include forecasting levels and locations of diseases and outbreaks; early diagnosis and tracking of outbreaks; alerting veterinarians of important conditions and diagnosis; alerting. The veterinary school now can now present data graphically for analysis. Researchers now can study the effectiveness of treatments over time with subpopulations.

 

Results

Experis modeled the data and created database structures in an Oracle warehouse to support dynamic analysis of gigabytes of data across many dimensions. Users can dynamically create prospective studies based on millions of office visits and provide completed analyses interactively in a few seconds.

We created a user-friendly platform in which researchers could easily request and use the data needed. The efficiencies created through the Web portal and data warehouse allow for quick turnaround time for report and task requests. The data warehouse connects the pet database, the SVM and the CDC to create a comprehensive resource for all users.

The veterinary school can now use the pet database for studies that transform the quality of pet healthcare.