Insightive Analytics

Oct 25, 2016 at 4:04 PM
Our clinic is trying to decide between investing in Insightive Analytics or continuing to learn how to write scripts with the API & custom reports with AURA. Could anyone help me compare the overlap between what data is available for extracting with IA vs API/AURA? Thank you.
Oct 26, 2016 at 10:05 PM
Hi new2scripts. I've worked with AURA and the API quite a bit, but not so much with Insightive. Here is my understanding as a compare/constrast between AURA and ESAPI:
AURA reports are generally going to retrieve data from a data warehouse that is provided by Varian. This data warehouse is a copy and reorganization of your variansystem and varianenm database to make the data more intuitive for reporting services. (honestly, if you compare the schema for Aria variansystem DB and the data warehouse which are both available on myVarian, you'll see why they went with the new data models for queries). Either way, when generating reports in AURA, the user has to have some knowledge of the database, some knowledge of SQL structure, and some knowledge of the Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (MS SSRS). The data that one can generally retrieve from the database are the types of inputs that can be described by letters and numbers. Think of things like the patient name, diagnosis codes, appointment times, etc. You will not be able to retrieve things like dose maps, contoured structures, and DVHs.

API: The API, instead of pulling information from any one place, is going to rely on the application's (external beam planning, portal dosimetry, etc.) ability to pull data from various places (yes the variansystem database but also the file data server for image sets, contours, doses, etc.). The user will still need some knowledge of the data types that are available in Eclipse, and C# (Microsoft Visual Studio probably, as well). Here, you will only be able to get information that is available to the application that is utilizing the data. For instance, external beam planning does not need to know information regarding the patient's appointment to see Dr. X on Tuesday, Nov 24th at 9:00am, so that information couldn't be available in ESAPI.

Difference: If you're looking for informational data for generating reports that do not contain dosimetric information, there is probably already a Varian template report in AURA that is what you're looking for. If not, some slight modifications to a template report would get the data in place. If you're looking for data that contains dosimetric information, or looking to create a report that is specific to a single patient, ESAPI may be the better/easier way to go depending on your skill set. I find a lot of the data I pull with ESAPI is for research and commissioning purposes, and the data I get with AURA is for clinical reports for administrators.

Hope this helps!
Nov 23, 2016 at 8:52 PM
Thank you, mcschmidt, for your explanations.