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A Message From Leadership

I hope you all are enjoying the fall, a season I associate with  football  and  gratitude  (though not always coupled in the same thought).
Gratitude, according to Benedictine monks, consists of two components: 1) appreciation; and 2) recognition that those things which make us thankful lie outside of ourselves.
I am thankful for the close partnership with U-M’s research community, who challenges the Data Office daily and pushes us to be more nimble, innovative, and efficient with our data pulls to augment your research. I am thankful for our leadership and their deep support of data as a key to our future. Finally, I am so grateful for my team who work tirelessly because they believe in the mission of advancing health for all populations through data-driven research.
Looking ahead, we always strive to make access to data (whether via DataDirect or a custom data extract) more seamless, so  contact us  for a 1:1 data consultation, join us for DataDirect 101: Live Online Training on Thursday, November 21, or come to one of our upcoming Lunch & Learns-- our  next lunch  is scheduled on Wednesday, December 11.
Scroll down for more information about these special events, available data for research, the Precision Health Analytics Platform, and updates to our self-serve tool, DataDirect.
More questions about our services?  Contact us  with your ideas and questions. Here's to a great holiday season!
Erin O’Brien Kaleba, M.P.H.
Director, Data Office

  • Have questions about a self-serve tool, need a custom data pull, or need help with our privacy guidelines? Click here to launch the new Data Office Customer Portal and put in your request.

Available Data for Research
Get Access to Death Data
Accurate death data is extremely valuable to researchers – both as a critical indicator for outcomes research, as well as to know whose family not to contact for inclusion in a research trial. However, death data in  MiChart   includes only patients who expired at U-M hospitals. There are three sources to get supplement death data, with appropriate permissions:
  • The Research Data Warehouse (RDW) has acquired Michigan Death Index data from 2004 to 2018. The caveat is that it covers only patients who expired in the State of Michigan.
  • The Healthcare System Data Warehouse (HSDW) recently secured a refresh of the National Death Index (ie, Social Security Index source) data after undergoing a thorough third party security review, which is required in a new federal regulation. Contact the HSDW team for access.
  • Finally, to obtain comprehensive death data on a set of research patients, researchers can request National Death Index data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention directly, for a fee. The Data Office team is familiar with the process and can help facilitate it. The turnaround time is typically a few weeks.

Questions about death data or custom data pulls? Email Arina Bierdz at
Training & Events
Next Up: DataDirect 101 Live Online Training
DataDirect is a user-friendly self-serve tool that provides aggregate counts for cohort discovery and enables access to clinical data on nearly 4 million unique patients from across the Michigan Medicine enterprise.

Members of a clinical research team who are new users of DataDirect or users looking for more information on the features and functionality of the tool are invited to attend this live online training. Learn how to pull diagnoses, encounters, procedures, medications, vitals, labs, and more!

Thursday, November 21, 2019
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
This Winter: Data Office Lunch & Learn
Bring your lunch, and learn more about available data resources at U-M in the latest installment of the Data Office Lunch & Learn series!

Presenters :
  • Victoria Blanc, Ph.D., Director of the UMMS Central Biorepository (CBR), will take a look at how the unit collaborates with the Data Office on clinical research.
  • Basanthi Krishnan, Senior IT Professional, and Kristin Toulouse, Admin Manager, Sr., will discuss the Organ Transplant Information System (OTIS), which tracks solid organ transplant patients from referral through outpatient care.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
NCRC Building 10 - Research Auditorium
Data Privacy & Security
Precision Health Analytics Platform Now Available, Plus Store Data on These Secure Platforms
The Precision Health Analytics Platform , using UMMS Data Office tools and resources, provides access to genetic and clinical data on approximately 50K+ patients. This includes the facilitation of GWAS analysis and the ability to link clinical phenotype data to genotype data.

Researchers can access this data in secure, virtual, high-compute Linux- or Windows-based environments.

If you are a new user of Armis, you will need to create an account by submitting an  application form . Specify:
  • PH-based need for an Armis account
  • HUM#(s) associated with your data request(s) on DataDirect (without this information, ARC-TS won’t be able to create an Armis account)

Allow one business day for your application to be processed. If you already have an Armis account, you will need to send an email to  specifying the PH-based need to use your Armis account and the HUM#(s) associated with your data request(s) on DataDirect.

The Yottabyte Research Cloud (YBRC) is a private cloud environment that provides high-performance, secure, and flexible computing environments that enable the analysis of sensitive datasets restricted by federal privacy laws, proprietary access agreements, or confidentiality requirements. The system is built on Yottabyte’s composable, software-defined infrastructure platform and represents U-M’s first use of software-defined infrastructure for research, which allows for on-the-fly personalized configuration of any-scale computing resources. This gives the Data Office team the ability to create any combination of networks, CPU, RAM, and storage components into resource groups that can be used to build multi-tenant, multi-site infrastructure as a service.

Any questions? Contact Devon Newman at .
Self-Serve Tools
Charlson Comorbidity Category Added to DataDirect
Charlson Comorbidity individual scores have recently been added to DataDirect . Now, users will have access to Charlson Comorbidity, as well as Elixhauser Comorbidity individual scores.
Comorbidity scores can be used to predict mortality and health service use, and have increasingly been used to reduce potential confounding in research. The Charlson Comorbidity Index is a method of categorizing comorbidities of patients based on ICD codes. DataDirect provides both Charlson-weighted scores (1 to 6) for comorbidities and a total score. 
Charlson Comorbidity data can be found in Output View Selection under "Diagnosis – ComorbiditiesCharlsonComprehensive" and Elixhauser Comorbidity data can be found under “Diagnosis – ComorbiditiesElixhauserComprehensive.”
For information on how Charlson and Elixhauser Comorbidity data are calculated or if you have questions about DataDirect, contact Arika Owens at .
The mission of the  Data Office for Clinical & Translational Research is to foster the translation of data into research that improves clinical outcomes by bridging the gap between personal health data and clinical research. 
To better navigate the complexities of the U-M biomedical research enterprise, visit the Research Project Lifecycle . This interactive tool provides an overview of the resources available to you, not only within the Medical School Office of Research but also across the University of Michigan.