Beginner’s Guide to Telling Your Cancer Center’s Story

Ashley Toy
February 5th, 2019

If the data your cancer center needs for grant applications currently lives in multiple disconnected systems, requiring you to compile information in cumbersome and often inaccurate spreadsheets, it may be time to consider how technology can help. Research evaluation software can help you tell your center’s story and demonstrate value to the NCI, NIH and internal stakeholders.

What is research evaluation software?

Research evaluation systems are designed to help gather data on investigators, grants, publications, shared resources, projects and more into one place and make it easier to see meaningful connections. By bringing all the data together in one source of truth, research administrators can be more certain of the accuracy of their data and can retrieve it more quickly when needed for grant applications or answering questions for leadership.

What are the benefits of a research evaluation solution?

Having a research evaluation system in place can make a huge difference in the grant application and renewal process. By using technology to overcome research administration hurdles, your organization can see improvements in the following areas:

  • Time Savings in Data Gathering: By using a research evaluation system to collect data from multiple sources, your team saves time and effort on manual data entry and frees themselves up to take on more high value tasks.
  • Quicker Access to Data: When you need to quickly get information on a publication or answer a question for leadership, a software solution makes it easy to perform searches and get the answers you need without having to sort through multiple spreadsheets.
  • More Accurate Data: Keeping data in one central location ensures that you have one source of truth and data is not being edited or updated in multiple locations. You can be more confident of your data when completing reports or presenting to leadership.
  • Automatically Generated Reports: Reports like data table 1 and 2 for the Cancer Center Support Grant can be time-consuming and resource-intensive to complete manually. A research evaluation software can help generate these reports automatically, removing the burden of manual report creation.
  • Becoming More Proactive: Instead of being forced to take a reactive approach, struggling to answer questions as they come up, a research evaluation system can help you to be more proactive with your research data. Analyze program membership composition and make suggestions, analyze data visualization dashboards to identify trends, and more.

What are common features of a research evaluation system?

Some of the key features that can help automate research administration tasks include:

  • Investigators, Grants and Publications: Research evaluation software should include tools for importing data related to investigators, grants and publications, as well as a way to link the three together to easily see the funding and publications credited to each investigator. This also includes Investments tracking for pilot grants to see the ROI on investment funding.
  • Community and Educational Programs: A few major requirements of the CCSG include Community Outreach and Engagement, and Cancer Research Career Enhancement. A research evaluation system can help track these programs and their results in the form of funding or resulting publications.
  • Reports: As we mentioned before, you can also use a research administration platform to generate reports, including data tables for the CCSG.
  • Membership Management: Another unique feature of a research evaluation system is its ability to help with management of your center’s program membership. This process can be difficult and require a high degree of manual effort without a technology solution. Software can make rearranging your membership quick and easy.

Need a research evaluation software?

While some organizations choose to design their own research evaluation tools, they can require a lot of internal resources to create and maintain. After hearing from our community of collaborators, Forte set out to develop an industry-leading solution to the research administration burdens faced by our customers. Forte’s Research Evaluation System, EVAL, was specifically designed to help organizations tell their story and showcase their research portfolio.

To learn more, download the overview here.