Moving Jigsaw to the Real World
Last year we made our algorithm library publicly available. In 2024, we are working to make our entire Jigsaw application freely accessible for creating and sharing protocols, creating and sharing algorithms, and generating the code to create analysis-ready datasets from observational data.
Doesn’t This Exist Already?
Solutions for streamlining observational research fall into one of the following approaches:
- Building an internal repository of implementation code
- Implementing and supporting an open-source software system internally
- Licensing access to a commercial platform
However, these options also have important limitations:
- In-house solutions are generally software-specific and have limited version control
- Open-source platforms require staff for installation, support, and updates
- Commercial platforms can be expensive black boxes with little visibility into underlying processes being implemented
- No solution allows researchers to collaborate across institutions that use different approaches.
In short, despite improvements in software capabilities, researchers still reside in their own silos, unable to collaborate efficiently with one another.
What is the Alternative?
The ideal solution is a freely accessible, cloud-based software application.
As an analogy, think about GitHub. For anyone unfamiliar with GitHub, the following is the one-sentence Wikipedia description:
GitHub, Inc. is an AI-powered developer platform that allows developers to create, store, manage and share their code.”
So, imagine if we alter that slightly for Jigsaw to read as follows:
Jigsaw is a cloud-based platform that allows observational researchers to create, store, manage and share their research protocols and to generate the code for implementing them against data.”
Despite thousands of hours and millions of dollars being invested in potential solutions, the fundamental problem remains – research methods are still too fragmented. It is about time we solved this problem. We think Jigsaw is the solution.