Northwestern Medicine® Enterprise Data Warehouse (NMEDW)

Dear Research Community,
Beginning October 1st, 2017, the NMEDW Research Analytics team will implement a ‘Soft’ Freeze on the development of new reports, in order to meet Project One timelines. This will be essential to ensure the NMEDW Team can remediate all currently active research reports, to reference new Epic workflows, prior to Project One Go-Live.
Effective October 1st, 2017, all research report requests that require data to be refreshed will need to be granted an exception via the Dean’s office, in order for the EDW to take on this new report development. Please note that this will not interfere with requests for reports requiring static data such as; data extracts, aggregate counts, and other static exports of data that are needed to support publications and grant submission. This will only impact reports that require data to be periodically refreshed.  
Please note the goal is to avoid redundant report remediation (i.e., continued development of reports from legacy source systems which will be replaced by the new instance of Epic). However, we do understand investigators have pressing needs for data and we will work with you to fulfill your research obligations.
We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we work to ensure a successful Project One Go-Live for the Research Community.
Please feel free to reach out to us via our support team,, with any questions or concerns.
Shakeeb Akhter
Director, Enterprise Data Warehouse
Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine


The Northwestern Medicine® Enterprise Data Warehouse (NMEDW) is a joint initiative across the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Memorial HealthCare (NMHC), a corporate parent of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northwestern Memorial Foundation and Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital. Its mission is to create a single, comprehensive, and integrated repository of all clinical and research data sources on the campus to facilitate research, clinical quality, healthcare operations, and medical education. 

NMEDW Contents

These data sources include, but are not limited to, Cerner PowerChart, PRIMES, Epic, IDX, eNOTIS, and 50+ other systems from the campus. The majority of administrative (billing, appointments, etc) data go as far back as 1986, and the clinical data begin in 1996. However, the utility of the clinical data is questionable for data before 2000.

Enterprise Data Warehouse - Available Data

Please note the following:

  1. The above graphic is a representation of high-level content areas. The NMEDW has considerably more data, and loads more systems on a regular basis.
  2. The older data are not always of the highest utility.
  3. We strongly recommend that investigators who plan to use the NMEDW in their research contact the NMEDW ( prior to grant submission.

Using the NMEDW for Research

The NMEDW has a few different methods for using it for research. The three principal methods include i2b2, NMEDW Data Analysts, and Powerusers.

i2b2: i2b2 is a self-service tool for investigators to explore cohort availability. Learn moe about i2b2.

NMEDW Data Analysts: NUCATS Members may use the research data request form to contact the NMEDW analyst team. The fee to work with an NMEDW analyst is $75/hour (FY15). The average charge for a research request is $900 (12 hours).

NMEDW Pilot Data Program: This is an initiative to help jump-start research projects led by less established investigators who do not yet have adequate funding. The purpose of this grant is not to internally fund entire research projects; rather, the goal is to allow young investigators to obtain feasibility or early pilot data in order to seek sustained funding. More information about the grant can be found here.

Powerusers: Individuals who have skills using advanced database languages can apply to become a Poweruser. Powerusers are granted direct access to the NMEDW to do their work. They must be named on a valid IRB protocol, pass a skills assessment, and take a training course. They are also obligated to comply with all NMEDW policies and procedures.