Custom Solutions & Support

Westat creates IT solutions for all sectors of research as we continue to pioneer and test new approaches. While off-the-shelf technology has its practicality, long-term performance issues and hidden costs may lurk behind the scenes, and gaps in these technologies may prevent them from fully meeting a project’s needs.

Westat provides targeted solutions designed to bridge these gaps, including the following.

  • WesDaX® is a powerful, web-based, statistical reporting tool that gives non-statisticians and non-analysts the ability to specify and run their own analyses using both weighted and unweighted data.
  • Biospecimen and Environmental Sample Tracking (BEST®) software is a comprehensive web-based solution used to manage the life cycle of biospecimens and environmental samples.
  • An interactive voice response (IVR) and web response (IWR) system provides for subject randomization and supply management. Westat offers this as an adjunct service when providing other contract research organization activities for a clinical trial.
  • Study Tracking and Review System (STaRS) is a web-based system for our clients to manage the receipt, review, and approval of requests to use study data and specimens. It will also manage the attendant publications, presentations, and adjunct studies. The system guides investigators in submitting proposals and provides tools to assist reviewers, senior program managers, and administrative staff in tracking progress from the initial application through closeout/publication.
  • Cheshire® is a CAI and survey database management system developed by Westat. Cheshire provides a flexible feature-rich platform that supports the development of large and complex telephone survey instruments.
  • Basic Field Operations System (BFOS) manages all aspects of CAI with seamless integration to Blaise and Cheshire, and supports audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (ACASI).
  • Case Management and Protocol Workflow (CMPW) Suite is a comprehensive set of configurable tools designed to manage study activities, including recruitment, participant registration and tracking, protocol workflow, and data collection. CMPW consists of several modules that can be used separately or together as needed depending on a study’s protocol and data collection modes. It includes modules designed for call center management and asynchronous field management, as well as overarching study, substudy, and participant tracking and management.
  • WesPSU will form primary sampling units (PSUs) from adjacent counties, within user-specified hard boundaries, with respect to a particular objective function and within specified constraints, using one of several optimization approaches. Westat identifies the contiguous counties from U.S. Census Bureau mapping files and uses either the travel distance calculated from points of latitude and longitude or square mileage in the objective function and/or constraints.
  • WesSeg will combine blocks within PSUs, as necessary, to satisfy the constraints indicated by the algorithm controllers. Blocks will be combined until either a user-specified minimum measure of size for the segment is reached or until blocks can no longer be combined without violating the conditions indicated by the collapsing controllers. WesSeg will always try to stay within a Census Bureau block group when forming segments. More geographically compact segments are formed as a result.
  • WesSamp is a SAS macro that will draw samples based on user specifications. The macro is designed primarily for stratified systematic sampling with random starts and unequal probabilities.
  • WesDeck is software for conducting hot-deck imputation. WesDeck has three main advantages: (1) it controls the multiple use of donors, (2) it is flexible in expanding the donor pool, and (3) the imputed values are always plausible values.
  • AutoImpute is a tool for semi-parametric multivariate imputation. Autoimpute blends ideas from Gibbs sampling, data mining, predictive mean matching, and hot-deck imputation. It is designed to impute entire complex questionnaires with a single job submission, while preserving questionnaire skip patterns, other strong bivariate patterns, and essential features of all marginal distributions.
  • WesWgt is a system of standardized software for preparing nonresponse adjusted and poststratified replicate weights. The software is general enough to handle most survey weighting and variance estimation tasks. The system was written as a series of SAS macros that are flexible, yet easy to use. They have significantly reduced the time needed for the development of adjusted replicate weights and have improved the quality of the operation.
  • SDCSuite contains a sequence of SAS macros for conducting statistical disclosure control (SDC). The system begins with a first look of the data with automated decisions on the SDC treatments for each variable in the data set. It continues with an initial risk analysis that helps to inform the data coarsening and perturbation processes. Lastly, the software provides information about the impact of the SDC treatments on the data.