Build or Buy? How the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center Made the Move to EVAL

Ashley Toy
July 2nd, 2019

Handling all of the data needed to manage an organization’s Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) is a difficult task. Oftentimes, organizations find that building their own technology solution to handle CCSG data is a good solution. However, over time the maintenance of homegrown systems often becomes an even greater challenge.

This is the story of how the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCCCC) adopted industry-leading research administration technology and reallocated their technical resources to higher value projects.

The experience at UChicago Comprehensive Cancer Center

For around 10 years, UCCCC had been using custom developed applications for their administrative informatics. These applications were only designed for a single use case, leaving their information stranded in silos.

“The problem we were starting to face was that a lot of our organically grown applications were not talking to each other,” said Director of Informatics Rajan Gopalakrishnan. They knew they needed a better way to connect their data related to investigators, grants and publications.

Embracing industry standards with Forte’s Research Evaluation System (EVAL)

Rather than continuing to grapple with changing grant reporting requirements and the system updates they necessitated, UCCCC chose to move to a vendor supported solution that was being constantly improved upon. This has freed up the UChicago technical team to take on other projects instead of spending their time and resources maintaining their custom applications.

“We don’t want to be in the business of writing custom applications where there is already a community that is actively maintaining and evolving the standards,” said Gopalakrishnan. “We’re happy to be a part of that community.”

The results

To see how UCCCC has benefited from moving to EVAL, download the case study, “UChicago Comprehensive Cancer Center Adopts Industry-Leading Research Administration Technology”.