Editor’s note: This blog is the fourth in a seven-part series on TrialCentralNetSM (TCN), a single infrastructure for managing everything from enrollment metrics to clinical trial reference documents through all phases of development and approval, as well as customized reports, training, and communications. The goal of this series is to give you the “backstory” – a BBK insider’s view of the system from the perspectives of those who build, manage, and rely on it. They’re passionate about the system they so tirelessly build and manage – and you’ll hear that come through in their writing.
I took up “skiing” three years ago at the urging of my wife. I say “skiing” because what I do really doesn’t qualify in the pure sense as skiing – it’s more of a series of starts, stops, falls, expletives, and if I’m really lucky, a short clean run to the bottom that doesn’t leave my legs screaming for mercy.
I’ve found that a skier’s most important tool – besides, well, your skies – is the trail map: a useful display of all the trails on the mountain and where they lead – green circle for beginners, blue squares are intermediate, black diamond are expert trails, and double-black diamonds for crazy people.
Why is the map so important? Well if you’re like me, you certainly don’t want to find yourself staring down a vertical cliff strewn with boulders wondering how you ever got yourself into that situation. The map is really your guide, based on your expertise level, on how to reach the bottom of that mountain – and the warmth and comfort of the base lodge.
Now consider reporting (a seamless segue, don’t you think?). Every study has many streams of data – IVR, eCRF, CRO... the list goes on and on. If you were to think of these data streams as your trails, you would see that some are very straightforward and easily understood, and some require a bit more expertise in interpreting the data. But regardless of how complicated the data are, having a clear idea of where the data are coming from and where they are going well in advance of integrating them into your own system can reduce the odds of finding yourself at the edge of a virtual cliff with no place to go but down. Map it correctly, analyze it early, and you’ll find yourself at the base lodge – where you’ve reduced that mountain of data into a bunny hill.
Martin Lawlor recently transitioned from his role as business systems analyst within the TCN team to our Finance department, where he works with budgets, proposals, and invoices. Needless to say, Martin is known at BBK for his precision in everything he does.
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