By Rod Fontecilla, Brian Jones, DO
A data repository is a critical piece of infrastructure for any healthcare organization. It empowers organizations to make better decisions by giving them access to a wealth of data that would otherwise be siloed in different departments or systems. But designing a data repository can be a challenging task with various factors to consider, from the volume and velocity of data to its veracity.
1. Assess Data Needs
The first step in designing a data repository is to assess your organization's data needs. This includes understanding the types of data that must be included, as well as the volume and velocity of that data. To get started, we recommend conducting a data audit or performing a data assessment to generate a clear picture of your current state and what areas need improvement.
2. Design the Data Repository
Once you have a clear understanding of your organization's data needs, it's time to design the actual repository. This will involve choosing the right type of repository and ensuring it is able to accommodate the volume, velocity, and variety of data that it will store.
3. Build the Data Repository
Once the design phase is complete, you’ll then need to build the repository. This involves working with IT staff and outside vendors to procure and install necessary hardware and software. You'll also need to develop processes for loading, cleansing, and managing data within the repository.
4. Maintain the Data Repository
Over time, it will be necessary to perform regular repository maintenance to ensure it continues to meet the needs of your organization. This includes tasks such as back-ups, security updates, and capacity planning. You’ll also need to monitor usage patterns and make changes, as needed (e.g., adding new users, granting/revoking access permissions, etc.).
5. Evaluate Performance
After the repository has been running for a while, it's essential to evaluate performance. This includes assessing whether it is meeting business goals and providing recommendations for needed improvements. Additionally, you should periodically review the design of the repository itself to ensure that it is still optimal over time, due to changes in technology or business needs.
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