Much of my work involves the design and construction of new data bases and data marts. Often the data is trivial or mundane, but every so often I get to look into the unknown. As I have described, I have been deploying a new healthcare data mart and data analysis tools. As part of the training development, I went into the cube views of the data, and created several case studies covering possible clinical questions and how to find the answers. I worked through the data views in detail, capturing screen shots and documenting the process step-by-step. Late one night in the hotel room, I realized that I seeing a pattern of patient outcomes changing over time in a large (10,000 patient stay) data set that was exactly what I had seen in a completely separate, large patient stay data set. I realized that, as this was a new tool and a new data set, it was likely that no one anywhere had ever seen this particular pattern of patient outcomes changing over the length of the patient stay. I got chills. I felt like Antony van Leeuwenhoek, the Duch scientist who was the first to see and describe bacteria and protists in a primitive microscope. More about him Here. Thousands of patient lives were involved, and analysis of this kind of clinical practices and outcomes data could have a significant future impact on the lives of many. Every so often, in the midst of doing your day-to-day, you get a glimpse of the bigger picture. Larry Cone