Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2018 Jun;62(6):1085-1095.
doi: 10.1007/s00484-018-1511-9. Epub 2018 Mar 7.

Integrating and Analyzing Medical and Environmental Data Using ETL and Business Intelligence Tools


Integrating and Analyzing Medical and Environmental Data Using ETL and Business Intelligence Tools

Alejandro Villar et al. Int J Biometeorol. .


Processing data that originates from different sources (such as environmental and medical data) can prove to be a difficult task, due to the heterogeneity of variables, storage systems, and file formats that can be used. Moreover, once the amount of data reaches a certain threshold, conventional mining methods (based on spreadsheets or statistical software) become cumbersome or even impossible to apply. Data Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) solutions provide a framework to normalize and integrate heterogeneous data into a local data store. Additionally, the application of Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), a set of Business Intelligence (BI) methodologies and practices for multidimensional data analysis, can be an invaluable tool for its examination and mining. In this article, we describe a solution based on an ETL + OLAP tandem used for the on-the-fly analysis of tens of millions of individual medical, meteorological, and air quality observations from 16 provinces in Spain provided by 20 different national and regional entities in a diverse array for file types and formats, with the intention of evaluating the effect of several environmental variables on human health in future studies. Our work shows how a sizable amount of data, spread across a wide range of file formats and structures, and originating from a number of different sources belonging to various business domains, can be integrated in a single system that researchers can use for global data analysis and mining.

Keywords: Business intelligence; Data integration; Data mining; Environmental data; Medical data.

Similar articles

See all similar articles


    1. Environ Int. 2006 Aug;32(6):815-30 - PubMed
    1. Cardiovasc Toxicol. 2017 Jan;17 (1):88-96 - PubMed
    1. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2015 ;210:929-33 - PubMed
    1. Intern Emerg Med. 2015 Sep;10 (6):657-62 - PubMed
    1. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2002 Apr;205(3):169-81 - PubMed

LinkOut - more resources