Course 3 Details and Books

Course Description

This course will teach students how to discover interesting and unexpected business insights through the application of data mining techniques.  Data mining combines statistical analysis, visualization, and other approaches to explore large amounts of data from multiple sources allowing discovery of relationships and patterns that can shed light on issues.  The course explores data mining tools and techniques, as well as their application in understanding processes and performance.  Special emphasis will be on learning about extraction and reports from VHA data warehouses and cubes.


Course Objectives

  • understand how to competently navigate VA data warehouses and systems
  • become familiar with the types of data collected and stored by the VA
  • learn how to use existing charts and reports to help interpret information at a local facility or VISN level
  • become familiar with using Epidemiology techniques to better understand the larger picture of health care performance and improvements
  • be introduced to data mining techniques and their specific uses
  • learn how to use data to see patterns and understand when anomalies occur
  • understand how to apply data mining results to aid in process mapping
  • learn how to translate results into measures of performance
  • understand how to use data mining techniques to help determine the order of an action item list



Required books:

  • Data Analysis Using SQL and Excel – Author: Gordon Linoff, Publisher: Wiley, ISBN:978-0-470-09951-3 (an electronic copy of this book is available from Books 24/7)
  • Concepts of Epidemiology: Integrating the ideas, theories, principles and methods of epidemiology, 3rd Edition – Author: Raj Bhopal, Publisher: Oxford University Press, ISBN:978-0-19-954314-4


Recommended reference book:

  • Microsoft Office Excel 2013: Data Analysis and Business Modeling – Author: Winston, Publisher: Microsoft, ISBN: 9780735669130
**Use the Excel edition according to what your VA currently uses (2013, 2014 or 2016).
  • *If you will be working with Office 2016 then please get the reference book in the new edition Excel 2016.

Pyramid and VSSC Training

To access this materials, you need to be using a computer behind the VA firewall.

Webinars on Navigating the VSSC





Navigating the VSSC - Part 1 


The purpose of this training webinar is to cover the VSSC homepage navigation and explain the concept of how products are classified into Domains, Program Areas, and Subject Areas. (Duration: 11:55 minutes)

Navigating the VSSC - Part 2 


The purpose of this training webinar is to detail how to access reports from the VSSC website navigating the product Domains, Program Areas, and Subject Areas matrix. (Duration: 12:06 minutes)

Navigating the VSSC - Part 3 


The purpose of this training webinar is to cover each of the different product types and how to use them. (Duration: 39:43 minutes)

Navigating the VSSC - Part 4 


The purpose of this training webinar is to  cover the variety of support options that the VSSC offers, such as the Help Desk, FAQs, and Training.  (Duration: 27:35 minutes)