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Technical Specification for the Simple and Extensible Sampling Tool Challenge

We are pleased to announce the winners of the Statistical Software for Healthcare Oversight Challenge. The grand prize winner and the two finalists were able to create new versions of RAT-STATS that were 508 compliant, replicated the four required RAT-STATS modules, and met all other competition requirements. The Grand Prize winner was selected from the three initial finalists by a panel of 12 users. We have also included additional acknowledgements for the teams that provided the best and the most unique graphical user interfaces.

Grand Prize Winner and Finalist: Doug Brown (Team Catalyst)

Overall, Team Catalyst's entry delivered the most intuitive user experience. The entry maintained the familiarity of the original RAT-STATS design while still finding room to add several new and useful features. For example, the entry included custom confidence intervals which allowed users to calculate confidence intervals at other than the standard 80, 90, or 95 percent confidence levels. The entry went beyond the 4 modules required by the contest and included functions for stratified attribute samples and for generating sets of random numbers. As with the other finalists, the Team Catalyst entry was able to replicate RAT-STATS on 60 test cases and met the key requirements for 508 compliance.

Finalist: Murray Miron

Among a number of notable new features, Murray's entry included an integrated help system that connected the relevant help information with each input element within the software. The accessibility of the information greatly reduced the need for users to refer back to a separate help screen or manual. Murray's entry also included the fastest algorithm for calculating exact confidence intervals for large attribute samples. In addition, the entry went beyond the four required modules to also include a function for determining the sample size of a design given an estimated error rate. As with the other finalists, Murray's entry was able to replicate RAT-STATS on 60 test cases and met the key requirements for 508 compliance.

Finalist: Dave Kaniss and Tim Kaniss (Team ENGRdynamics)

Team ENGRdyanmics' entry simplified the original RAT-STATS Design by combining the stratified and unrestricted variable appraisal functions into a single module. The combined module had an elegant design and was still very effective in accounting for the differences between the stratified and unrestricted analyses. The team also included a number of additional useful new features such as the ability to import files by dragging them into the target input field. As with the other finalists, the Team ENGRdynamics' entry was able to replicate RAT-STATS on 60 test cases and met the key requirements for 508 compliance.

Best Graphical User Interface - Corey Berry and Aja Berry (Team CBTek)

The graphical user interface for CBTek's entry looked great, met 508 compliance standards, and allowed for easy access to all key program functions and operations. The interface had the added advantage that it was customizable to fit the needs of the individual user. Of final note, the team's splash screen and program icon were the best of all the entries submitted.

Graphic User Interface Honorable Mention - Sudeep Shouche and Premraj Narkhede (Team Dolcera)

Team Dolcera provided a unique entry which split several of the RAT-STATS modules into a series of steps. The component nature of the design simplified the input and made the function requirements easier to follow for new users.

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