What is Opal?
Opal is OBiBa’s core database application for biobanks or epidemiological studies. Participant data, once collected either from OBiBa’s Onyx application or from any other data source, must be integrated and stored in a central data repository under a uniform model. Opal is such a central repository and is typically used by biobank data coordinating centers to manage and analyze heterogeneous and anonymized data acquired from different sources and at different points of time (Figure 1). Opal can import, process, validate, query, analyze, report, and export data collected by biobanks.
See the complete list of Opal's features.
Figure 1: Opal is the central data repository in OBiBa's software suite for biobanks. It is used to integrate heterogeneous data from multiple sources into a unique information management system as depicted in this example.
Data Harmonization and Sharing Using Opal
Opal is developed in close collaboration with the DataSHAPER and BioSHARE projects whose main activities are to develop innovative tools and methods for biobank data harmonization. Opal includes a comprehensive software infrastructure enabling data harmonization as well as seamless and secure data-sharing among biobanks or epidemiological studies.
Opal is strongly integrated with Mica, the OBiBa's generic web portal for study consortia. This allows, among others, users to search distributed datasets across several Opal instances using the Mica web interface. To know more about Opal and Mica integration, see the OBiBa Mica project section.
Moreover, Opal implements the DataSHIELD method which enables individual-level data analysis across multiple Opal instances. To know more about this powerful method and its implementation in Opal, see the OBiBa DataSHIELD section .