Data Documentation Database (D3): An Essential Research Tool

Period of Performance: 04/01/2007 - 03/31/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

MJ Data Corporation, LTD
Smithfield, RI 02917
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): SBIR Abstract for DATACORP's Data Documentation Database (D3) Data documentation is an intricate and time-consuming task. Practical experience has shown that research studies frequently save time and financial costs by delegating the task to less experienced staff or by incompletely documenting the data. Yet poor documentation threatens the data's integrity, leads to improper recommendations or differential findings, and renders the data difficult to use. In the course of conducting its own research, Datacorp has developed a solution. The Data Documentation Database, or D3, is a software application that systematically documents the data collected by a typical social science, behavioral health, or epidemiological study. The package is easy to use, can be implemented quickly, does not require the data to be stored within it, and does not require advanced knowledge of data documentation or data management techniques. The D3 is a comprehensive documentation system. It goes beyond merely housing names and labels and records a history of the data set as it evolves. It documents changes made to the data sets, data cleaning processes, and data analyses. The D3 mines this rich set of information to produce customizable reports adhering to recognized standards. Reports are available in a variety of exportable formats that researchers can use in submissions to data archives or to support in house research. The D3 also creates programmatic syntax for common statistical software packages, eliminating the duplication of effort that deters researchers from documenting. The SBIR grant will help Datacorp transform the database into a standardized commercial product. Grant funds will be used to confirm the D3's applicability in a variety of research settings. The SBIR grant will also support efforts to research training materials needed to support D3 customers. The final result will be a software application that produces complete, detailed, and accurate documentation for researchers in the field. SBIR Narrative for DATACORP's Data Documentation Database (D3) The D3 provides researchers in the public health and social science fields with a fast and simple way of dynamically documenting the data on their projects from start to finish. Researchers and funding agencies will benefit from having transparent, well-documented data. This will lead to more accurate, replicable results and substantiated recommendations on research studies.