The second Bring Your Own Data (BYOD) Workshop is underway, marking a new stage of development for the HEAP Informatics Platform, as it prepares to be tested with metadata from the project’s data cohorts.

Opening the workshop, Heimo Műller of the Medical University of Graz and leader of the “Data Interoperability and Sharing” Work Package, highlighted the importance of metadata by showing a “data onion”, with metadata as the outer layer, providing a structure and framework for all the data to be processed by the platform.

HEAP BYOD#2 aims to build an interoperable metadata catalogue between the five HEAP data cohorts, harmonising metadata between “old” cohorts, which are existing collections of registry, clinical  and biosample data, including the Finnish maternity cohort and HPV vaccination trials, and “new” cohorts, that are actively collecting new kinds of data from wearable sensors and consumer purchases from patient volunteer groups.

The outcome of HEAP BYOD#2 will bring the project closer to achieving one of its key aims, which is to give researchers the ability to expand the scope of their exposome research by combining datasets from different cohorts. This opens up potential for new insights into how the environment affects human health.

The workshop is also an opportunity for “Data Storytelling”, where researchers compare their experiences, good and bad, of managing and preparing data. The HEAP data stories will be used to create training materials on FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) best practices.  

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