The Iedea Harmonist Data Toolkit: A Data Quality and Data Sharing Solution for a Global HIV Research Consortium
We describe the design, implementation, and impact of a data harmonization, data quality checking, and dynamic report generation application in an international observational HIV research network. The IeDEA Harmonist Data Toolkit is a web-based application written in the open source programming language R, employs the R/Shiny and RMarkdown packages, and leverages the REDCap data collection platform for data model definition and user authentication. The Toolkit performs data quality checks on uploaded datasets, checks for conformance with the network's common data model, displays the results both interactively and in downloadable reports, and stores approved datasets in secure cloud storage for retrieval by the requesting investigator. Including stakeholders and users in the design process was key to the successful adoption of the application. A survey of regional data managers as well as initial usage metrics indicate that the Toolkit saves time and results in improved data quality, with a 61% mean reduction in the number of error records in a dataset. The generalized application design allows the Toolkit to be easily adapted to other research networks.
Lewis, J. T., Stephens, J., Musick, B., Brown, S., Malateste, K., Ha Dao Ostinelli, C., Maxwell, N., Jayathilake, K., Shi, Q., Brazier, E., Kariminia, A., Hogan, B., & Duda, S. N. (2022). The Iedea Harmonist Data Toolkit: A Data Quality and Data Sharing Solution for a Global HIV Research Consortium. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbi.2022.104110