On Monday, we will welcome a new staff member to the SWOG Cancer Research Network group chair’s office here in Portland, OR. It’s Erik Rye, who will serve as our very first informatics manager. A new era of data-driven decision-making is here at SWOG.

Erik will develop strategies and tools for using our data to answer important questions about our work – how fast it is, how effective it is, how much it costs, etc. He’ll work with data stewards in every SWOG office to collect, organize, analyze, and report information on:

- Individual and institutional membership
- Staffing data and resourcing
- Budget and contracts data
- Trial concept development and review
- Accrual
- Publications and presentations

And he will likely delve into additional topics. Erik could mine any information source that gives us an accurate, clear, evidence-based look at how we work, what we produce, and the impact we have. That information can then be used to drive efficiencies, budget savings, process improvements, and perhaps spark innovative new programs or projects.

Out of the gate, he will develop an executive dashboard. This web-based tool will give senior staff and executive officers up-to-date information on key metrics. The tool will help us spot trends, identify bright spots and blind spots, and – most importantly – make rapid, well-informed decisions.

I'm thrilled. We’ve had performance dashboards on our wish list for a long time, and by doing this work, we’ll check a critical box in our five-year strategic plan.

Erik comes to us from right here at Oregon Health & Science University, where he’s worked for 15 years. In his most recent role, he planned, organized, and conducted complex data analyses aimed at responding to and monitoring regulatory compliance. He also evaluated healthcare billing and regulatory compliance efforts to determine effectiveness. Erik is part of the OHSU Business Intelligence Community, which shares knowledge, skills, and best practices in informatics.

He says his passion is working to help improve patient outcomes and using data to improve process and drive performance: “I’m excited and grateful to join you. Using data to understand and improve health care is work I’ve done at OHSU, and what I would like to continue to do with SWOG.”
Erik will report to Nathan Eriksen, our chief of administration. We welcome him to the team.