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NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland


NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) developed a data warehouse and reporting infrastructure to support information management. This NHSScotland Corporate Data Warehouse now contains a wide range of different data marts for organisations across NHSScotland.

ISD are working hard to increase the range of information available to authorised NHSScotland users via this secure online access. For a list of current Datamarts and Information Tools see ISD Datamarts section.

Corporate Data Warehouse

A data warehouse is a database specifically designed to support analysis and reporting. A data warehouse typically consists of multiple data marts, each of which represents a functional area e.g. acute, prescribing, workforce.

The NHSScotland Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW) has been developed in Oracle, and users access the data using BusinessObjects (BO). Currently, users access the data using the XI3 version of BO (BOXI).

The NHSScotland CDW is 'dimensional' data warehouse. Common dimensions (sometimes referred to as 'conformed dimensions') are an essential component of data warehousing.

This means that within each datamart, data are partitioned into 'facts' or 'dimensions'. Facts are normally numeric information whereas dimensions are the reference information that gives context to the 'facts' (e.g. organisation, time, patient, individual, and drug). The use of dimensions common to all data marts provides consistent coding and descriptions across marts, but more importantly allows users to seamlessly analyse data across multiple marts. Within the CDW history of dimensions is retained as well as history of fact data, which supports complex longitudinal analysis e.g. for epidemiological and outcomes studies.

© ISD Scotland 2010
Information Services Division,
NHS National Services Scotland,
Gyle Square,
1 South Gyle Crescent,
Edinburgh EH12 9EB,
Tel: 0131 275 7050  
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ISD is a division of NHS NSS
Working at the very heart of the health service, NSS delivers services critical to frontline patient care and in support of the efficient and effective operation of NHS Scotland. Visit the NSS Website for more information