Are the Lights On? Here's How NSSP Monitors Data Flow


NSSP uses a daily Lights On Report to check critical junctures in the data flow process. When potential issues are identified, the onboarding team will contact affected sites as needed to further troubleshoot the issue. Learn more about the steps in this process and how they drive a collaborative effort to ensure data flow as planned.

Graphic of stylized person viewing data

The Lights on Report

Each day, NSSP generates an internal report that various NSSP teams use to monitor end-to-end data flow across sites. By that, we are referring to data arrival on the BioSense Platform before reaching its destination, which is ESSENCE. The report includes common site information and is similar to the BioSense Platform Daily Site Processing Summary that NSSP emails to site administrators daily. We call this the Lights On Report, and it's one of the best ways we've found to do a cursory check of critical junctures in the data flow process to make sure data processing meets site expectations.

Our collaborative approach to resolving issues

The NSSP onboarding team performs a Daily Site Status Check that begins by reviewing the Lights On Report. They look for issues flagged by the report, and then they assess the trend lines for site visits (in ESSENCE) to check NSSP's processing performance.

When potential issues are identified and an NSSP internal reason is not readily apparent, the onboarding team will contact the affected sites to further troubleshoot the issue. They will work with the site administrators to identify possible causes that might involve the site, feed, vendor, or facility. Once the cause is identified, the issue is noted for NSSP follow-up (if internal processing issues are suspected) or follow-up with the site as it works to correct issues. Highlights from the Daily Site Status Check Process are shown below.

Daily Site Status Check

Step 1: Check the Lights On Report

Look for possible data flow issues in:

  • Feed alerts
  • Processing backlogs
  • Filter and exception message counts

Step 2: Check the ESSENCE site-level trend lines

Look for noticeable changes in visit volume. If there are no new visits, look for recent data files that have not been fully processed.

If trend shows fewer visits than normal:

  • Did this site appear on the feed alerts?
  • Have data been received from all facilities as expected? Check for recent data files that may not have fully processed yet.

If trend shows more visits than normal:

  • Has the site recently activated facilities that might account for the increase?
  • Has a general increase occurred across the site? Or, is the increase specific to one or more facilities?
  • Has an event occurred that caused the visit increase?

Step 3: Contact site administrators

Once visit and data flow anomalies have been identified and no internal cause can be located, NSSP will contact the site administrators to confirm that the cause of the issue is external (not related to the BioSense Platform).

Step 4: Document issues and known causes

Issues with data flow and visit volume often repeat for a given site. NSSP will record known issues to inform all involved should another anomaly occur.

NSSP appreciates the help and support provided by sites to make sure data flow as planned.