Optimizing the Use of Data Standards

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Working Group Overview

The development and adoption of data standards over the last decade has shown significant promise in improving efficient delivery of data to support drug product and device submissions as well as the review process. However, there have also been gaps, issues and challenges in the interpretation and use of data standards. This working group will identify specific gaps that prevent FDA and industry from optimizing the use of data standards. This working group will collaborate to close those gaps. On this page you will find information on Current and Completed projects.

Leadership Team

Name Role Organization E-mail
Lisa Brooks Working Group Leader Iris Statistical Computing lisa (at) irisstatcomp.com
Jane Lozano Working Group Leader Eli Lilly lozano_jane_a (at) lilly.com


Completed Projects

Reviewer's Guide Work Packages referenced in FDA Study Data Technical Conformance Guide

The current Analysis Data Reviewer's Guide and Clinical Study Data Reviewer's Guide deliverables are located on the PhUSE website at the following link:

Prior versions of the reviewer's guides are located on the PhUSE website at the following link:

Traceability and Data Flow Deliverables

Can be found on the PhUSE White Papers Deliverables Page

Wiki pages with deliverables

Standardizing Site Selection

Current Projects

NEW: PROJECT TIMELINES ARE LOCATED HERE! PLEASE REVIEW!! ODS Project Tracker


Best Practices for Data Collection Instructions - This project, in collaboration with CDISC, will provide new CDISC implementers a primer to assist in the creation of standardized data to regulatory authorities. The project will identify needs of new implementers with an additional focus on academia and technology providers. The deliverable format (e.g. Wiki, white paper, slide deck, quickstart guides, etc.) will be made freely available to the public.


Best Practices for Metadata Documentation (define.xml versus reviewer's guide) - This project is aimed at looking at use of the reviewer's guide in conjunction with the define.xml. The objective is to define best practices for documenting and describing dataset structures and contents within standard submission deliverables such as define.xml and the data reviewer’s guide, addressing common challenges, differences between reviewing agencies and divisions, and recommending quality assurance activities. The team plans on delivering at least one white paper on this subject.


CDISC Implementation Primer - This project, in collaboration with CDISC, will provide new CDISC implementers a guide to providing study data in standardized format to regulatory authorities. There will be an additional focus on academia and technology providers. The deliverable is a "CDISC Primer" (e.g. Wiki, white paper, slide deck, quickstart guides, etc.) will be developed to address this need and will be made freely available to the public.


Clinical Legacy Data Conversion Plan & Report - This team will update the current cSDRG to include a section to document conversions from non-standardized data (i.e. legacy) to standardized data (SEND, SDTM, ADAM). There are also other traceability situations that occur within the life cycle of a compound that could be relevant and should be shared with FDA. This project will provide a guide to assist in the data flow diagrams that are in the LDCP section. The goals of the team are to update the cSDRG template, completion guidelines, and provide some examples that may be utilized by sponsors to develop the LDCP. This project will also update the cSDRG template to be current with the Technical Conformance Guide.


Data Reviewer's Guide in XML - This project will develop the Data Reviewer's Guide (i.e., SDRG and ADRG) in an XML format for regulatory submissions. Furthermore, this project will identify and develop style sheets, elements and semantics capability. This project will also assess a more cohesive cross-documentation data exchange between the define.xml and data reviewer's guide as an XML format. The project intends to use the existing Analysis Data Reviewer's Guide (ADRG) and Study Data Reviewers Guide (SDRG) as its basis.


Data Standards for Observational Studies - This project addresses the challenges that programmers face during creation of the analysis datasets and handling of the data for the observational studies. The deliverable is a white paper documenting the challenges and possible solutions.


Define-XML V2.0 Completion Guidelines & Style Sheet Recommendations Two projects have been identified:
1) Define-XML 2.0 Implementation, The deliverable is a Completion Guidelines document, focusing on best practices for content and granularity.
2) Define-XML 2.0 Stylesheet Recomendations. There are 2 phases to this project:

  • 1) Development of a Define-XML v2 stylesheet for regulatory submissions, by reviewing and updating the existing CDISC stylesheet.
  • 2) Demonstrate other uses of a stylesheet, and utilizing libraries and frameworks to make the display more interactive.


Industry Experiences Submitting Standardised Study Data to Regulatory Authorities - This project provides a collaborative, non-competitive forum for industry to share submission experiences including, but not limited to submission planning, interactions with the regulators, test submissions, regulator feedback etc. Additionally, this project will explore the development of best practices for biometrics departments to engage with regulators. The project will examine different communication use cases and make recommendations as to ensure effective exchange of information.


SDTM ADaM Implementation FAQ - Standard implementation nuances exist across the multiple available versions of SDTM and ADaM. The project team will establish a framework for the collection, compilation, assessment, responding to, and publishing common SDTM and ADaM implementation challenges/nuances. This is important for Sponsors that are still transitioning to newer versions of standards (e.g. SDTM), as well as the vast majority who have to govern multiple versions, even for a single product or application. This is a joint project between PhUSE and CDISC. Five primary categorical areas will be used for the FAQs:

Projects on Hold

CDRH Pilot for the Electronic Submission of Medical Device Data in an SDTM-Based Format - This project has been put on hold until further notice (2014-01-07).

Evaluation of SDTM Elements - Sponsors collect data elements to support operational activities such as data cleaning or data reconciliation. Although these data elements are not analyzed, sponsors frequently tabulate them in SDTM. As a result, both sponsor analysts and FDA Reviewers spend time differentiating analyzable observations from operational noise. Documenting data elements of limited utility to data analysis and/or FDA Reviewers provides sponsors and the agency with a common baseline for pre-submission data standards discussions. This project has been put on hold until further notice (2014-05-13).

Working Group Meeting Minutes

2018 CSS Agenda

There will be an opening session Sunday night from 5 - 7 pm. Each working group co-lead will give an overview and the projects that will be covered in the CSS. Please attend and get to know the folks you'll be working with for the next 2 days, and hopefully 12 months!


We will be discussing project topics according to the breakout schedule below.


Note that there will be an opening session for this working group Monday morning. The slides from Sunday night will be presented and this also offer a chance for you to meet with members of a project you are a part or to speak with a project lead if you are interested in getting involved.

We will also have a working group wrap-up and round-table breakout session after lunch on Tuesday. Each of the working group leads will communicate the accomplishments during the conference and the path moving forward. This is also an opportunity to discuss ideas for new projects and communicate that with the working group co-leads.


If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Jane Lozano or Lisa Brooks.



Webinar Presentations

CSS Presentation

Maintaining the Clinical & Nonclinical Study Data Reviewers Guides