VDW Data Model

The HCSRN's Virtual Data Warehouse is a pioneering common data model designed to support multi-site health system research. The VDW consists of clinical and claims data mapped to a common format to create tremendous efficiencies for data extraction, collection, and management. Resources and tools to help investigators and data analysts leverage the potential of the VDW for health system-based research are offered below.


The VDW and How to Use It - An introduction to the HCSRN Virtual Data Warehouse (VDW) for Investigators. This includes an overview of the distributed data model, its data areas and structure, and steps for using it.

Examples of VDW Projects - A great deal of research can be conducted using only VDW data. More commonly VDW data supplements other data gathered from subjects (e.g., surveys, research specimens). A list of example projects is provided

Virtual Data Warehouse Q&A - Archived 2011 Virtual Data Warehouse (VDW) orientation presentated by VDW Operations Committee staff. Some content will be out of date.

Orientation to the HCSRN and Virtual Data Warehouse - Orientation slides from the 2018 HCSRN Conference, with an overview of the HCSRN itself, and a closer look at the contents and structure of the Virtual Data Warehouse. Includes information about the distributed data network as well as the querying process and research opportunities afforded by a common data model

Presentation: Using the Virtual Data Warehouse - Archived presentation by Cancer Research Network (CRN) staff entitled, Using the Virtual Data Warehouse (some content will be out of date)


VDW Data Model - Detailed data specifications for the VDW data model. Version 4

Figure - VDW Data Structure - This figure illustrates the primary data domains of the Virtual Data Warehouse and provides some detail about variables under each domain.

Figure - VDW Data Areas - This simple figure illustrates the primary data domains of the Virtual Data Warehouse.

Figure - VDW Infographic - Figure depicting VDW data standardization, pooling, and user-feedback loop. Includes header with title, "The VDW and How It Works" and a contextual statement. Four site acronyms shown in left panel.


Resources for VDW Programmers - This 2-page document summarizes tools to support VDW programmers and how to access them.

VDW Tutorial for Programmers - Basic orientation to the HMORN VDW and tips for success for programmers new to the VDW. From January 2008; some content will be out of date.