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Oklahoma State University
Center for Health systems innovation

Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University

FAQs – OSU Health Data Shootout 2018

1. Do I need to have experience with data or in healthcare to participate in the shootout?

No, students from all majors and backgrounds are welcome. As part of the team formation process during the opening ceremony, we will do our best to ensure that each team has at least one student who possesses expertise in data.

2. Can I ask my advisor to provide advice or be a part of my team for this shootout?

No.  The health data shootout is for students only, so faculty members cannot provide support to any team. You are welcome to have any OSU student from any major join your team, however.

3. Why do I need to sign the legal documents?

As the data provided by Cerner is a proprietary set of data, confidentiality, code of conduct, and intellectual property need to be ensured. This is also the process you can expect to undergo whenever you work with datasets containing sensitive or proprietary information.

4. How can I get the data?

In order to get the data, please be sure to attend the opening ceremony so that you can be registered with a team and can sign the legal documents.  Once all legal documentation has been gathered, the dataset will be distributed to you and your team.  Please refer to the Schedule page for more details.

5. Is there a description or schema of the data available?

Yes, this information will be distributed to registered teams along with the data, after the opening ceremony.

6. Can I use the data for a class project or for a conference submission?

No.  The dataset that will be provided was created strictly for the purpose of this Shootout.  If you are interested in continuing to work with Health Facts® data, you can apply for a Data Fellowship on our Request Data page.

7. What happens if I miss the opening ceremony?  Can I still participate?

Unfortunately, to maintain fairness, because students are assigned into teams during the opening ceremony, it will not be possible to have new participants join after the teams have been formed. As a result, we strongly encourage students to make their best effort to attend the opening ceremony. If that is not possible, then please send an email at least one day prior to the opening ceremony to, explaining your reasons for being unable to attend. Please be sure to include the following information in your email so that we can assign you to a team during your absence at the opening ceremony.

  • Full name
  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Campus (Stillwater, Tulsa, OKC, Okmulgee, Other)
  • Degree Level (Undergraduate, Master, PhD, Other)
  • Major
  • College

8. What kinds of solutions are you looking for?

The solution can be in different forms, whether it’s an idea, a demo, a dashboard, a predictive model, a workflow improvement recommendation, a business plan, an app, a system, etc.  What we’d like to see is a well-thought out, innovative solution that has clear potential to translate into an implementable product or solution.  For instance, if working on an innovative way to visualize data or predict outcomes, don’t just stop at the visualization or prediction; think of who would benefit from using that technology and how it might improve or change the way that decisions are made.  For examples of some really cool tools that can come out of working with big data in a contest setting, refer to the winning solutions from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Opioid Code-a-Thon event.

9. Can I combine the Health Facts® data with other information to develop my solution?

Yes, you are encouraged to incorporate other datasets if they are integral part of your solution. If you do include data from other sources, please clearly identify the source and justify why you think the added data is relevant.

10. What tools can I use?

There is no restriction on the kind of tools/software you wish to use. Please clearly mention what tools or software you used in developing the solution. A lot of software, including SAS®, is available for OSU students for free and can be downloaded at

11. What are the judging criteria?

Please refer to the Rules and Judging page for more information.

12. Where do I submit the documents and results?

Instructions for submitting the documents and final results, including the report and presentation slides, can be submitted under the Data & Submission page.

13. Are there templates for the reports and presentation slides?

Yes, templates will be included along with the data when it distributed.

14. How long should the presentation be?

The final presentation should be 10 minutes, followed by 5 minutes for Q&A.

15. Can I further develop my idea into a commercial application after the shootout?

As part of the shootout, we do encourage the development of ideas and technologies that have commercial potential to be translated into new products and solutions.  Having said that, though, it will be necessary to inform us so that we can work with you to avoid violating any confidentiality and intellectual property agreements you have signed.  Please, also be aware of the following clause in our data-sharing agreement:

Oklahoma State University is the owner or licensee of the product, process, or data that is the subject of this academic exercise. As consideration for the opportunity to participate, student agrees that any resulting Intellectual Property, whether or not patentable, conceived by the student as a result of their participation, involving the use, formulation, or administration of said product, product, or data will belong to the University. This policy is aligned with the University’s standard intellectual property policies governing student work utilizing University resources


Have additional questions that are not listed above?

Send an email out to Or, for general questions about the event, feel free to post on our Facebook page, OSU Health Data Shootout, since others may have a similar question.