- Data Management Center started in 1998
- Several directors came and went
- Jeffrey Annon became director February, 1999
- LAARC, MDRU and LBVA Studies
- Scantron Bubble Forms (Optiscan Plus)
- CSAT Methamphetamine Treatment Project
- First Teleform study started April, 1999
- ISAP joined NIDA Clinical Trials Network in 2000
- DMC becomes Sales and Service Unit July, 2001
- DMC starts data collection for IDEAL (MethKids)
- DMC moves from Washington Blvd location to
- FileMaker Pro Direct entry and Web entry
In any research group, the problem of transferring information from a questionnaire into a database is never ending.
How ISAP does this has been an evolutionary process. The result is a dynamic and unique department, the ISAP Data Management Center, which provides advanced and efficient data services to researchers.
In 1999, Jeffrey Annon took over the directorship of the DMC, which handled data capture and management for a collection of projects funded by Friends Research Institute, Inc., and Veterans Affairs Long Beach Research Foundation.
At that time, the data group was scanning bubble forms (those questionnaires with the empty circles that respondents pencil in) using the Scantron 7 system.
The Scantron 7 was a 4-foot-long machine that, after being fed the bubble forms, pushed out ASCII data into a Macintosh computer. ASCII, which stands for “American Standard Code for Information Interchange,” is a code that allows information exchange between different brands of computers.
Jeffrey was tasked with overseeing this technology, while moving the group to the next generation of technology: Teleforms.
Teleforms is a paper-based system in which questionnaires are filled out by hand and then faxed into a data system, eliminating the data-entry step.
The impetus for moving to the Teleform system was the Methamphetamine Treatment Project (MTP), with lead researchers Richard Rawson and Patricia Marinelli-Casey, which began serving clients in Montana, Hawaii, and California in 1999.
Under data programmer Dave Bennett's direction, over the next three years, the DMC was able to close out every bubble-form study and move to Teleforms.
During this time, the ISAP social science researchers were using a data entry system programmed in the computer language Fortran to run in DOS (disk operating system).
At about the same time, these researchers started to move toward other data capture methods, including FileMaker Pro, a step that was pioneered by ISAP data programmer Ron Zuniga.
As ISAP grew in funding and scope, the DMC adapted to support new formats and expansions to these existing systems, including upgrading the Teleform system to enable data entry via the Internet.
The DMC also adapted the FileMaker Pro programming for use on a PC tablet, a handheld computer that you can handwrite or tap information into, enabling direct entry of data and eliminating the use of paper forms.
The DMC is keeping abreast of the latest data capture advances and advocating more direct entry systems when the grants for projects allow for the equipment and associated programming costs.
In the case where hard-copy questionnaires are still required, Teleforms continue to be a good option.
As ISAP moves forward in its research portfolio, the DMC continues to offer ISAP researchers a wide and ever-evolving range of data-capture choices.
The DMC not only provides data management services to UCLA investigators, but also contracts with other universities. The DMC provides unique data management services that are customized to fit individual researcher’s needs and budget. Contact Dave Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Data Management Center
offers data collection and management services to universities outside of UCLA.
Contact Dave Bennett at email@example.com for details