Square 2 - A Web Application for Data Monitoring in Epidemiological and Clinical Studies

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2017;235:549-553.


Valid scientific inferences from epidemiological and clinical studies require high data quality. Data generating departments therefore aim to detect data irregularities as early as possible in order to guide quality management processes. In addition, after the completion of data collections the obtained data quality must be evaluated. This can be challenging in complex studies due to a wide scope of examinations, numerous study variables, multiple examiners, devices, and examination centers. This paper describes a Java EE web application used to monitor and evaluate data quality in institutions with complex and multiple studies, named Square2. It uses the Java libraries Apache MyFaces 2, extended by BootsFaces for layout and style. RServe and REngine manage calls to R server processes. All study data and metadata are stored in PostgreSQL. R is the statistics backend and LaTeX is used for the generation of print ready PDF reports. A GUI manages the entire workflow. Square2 covers all steps in the data monitoring workflow, including the setup of studies and their structure, the handling of metadata for data monitoring purposes, selection of variables, upload of data, statistical analyses, and the generation as well as inspection of quality reports. To take into account data protection issues, Square2 comprises an extensive user rights and roles concept.

Keywords: data monitoring; data quality; epidemiology; statistical analyses; web-application.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research*
  • Data Accuracy*
  • Data Collection*
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Internet*
  • Software*
  • Workflow