SOCR data dashboard: an integrated big data archive mashing medicare, labor, census and econometric information


Introduction: Intuitive formulation of informative and computationally-efficient queries on big and complex datasets present a number of challenges. As data collection is increasingly streamlined and ubiquitous, data exploration, discovery and analytics get considerably harder. Exploratory querying of heterogeneous and multi-source information is both difficult and necessary to advance our knowledge about the world around us. Research design: We developed a mechanism to integrate dispersed multi-source data and service the mashed information via human and machine interfaces in a secure, scalable manner. This process facilitates the exploration of subtle associations between variables, population strata, or clusters of data elements, which may be opaque to standard independent inspection of the individual sources. This a new platform includes a device agnostic tool (Dashboard webapp, for graphical querying, navigating and exploring the multivariate associations in complex heterogeneous datasets. Results: The paper illustrates this core functionality and service-oriented infrastructure using healthcare data (e.g., US data from the 2010 Census, Demographic and Economic surveys, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Center for Medicare Services) as well as Parkinson’s Disease neuroimaging data. Both the back-end data archive and the front-end dashboard interfaces are continuously expanded to include additional data elements and new ways to customize the human and machine interactions. Conclusions: A client-side data import utility allows for easy and intuitive integration of user-supplied datasets. This completely open-science framework may be used for exploratory analytics, confirmatory analyses, meta-analyses, and education and training purposes in a wide variety of fields.