The Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Process and analyse the full range of physical, psychosocial and cognitive data that is available in the cohort studies which you are approved to access.
The Data Portal runs its analysis environment through a virtual desktop infrastructure accessible via VMWare software that is available to download here and from the launch page. By analysing the data in the virtual desktop environment you are working on DPUK's servers – meaning there is no physical transfer of data to researchers. The processing capacity enables you to work with large numbers of records and integrate these with the other data modalities that exist in the DPUK cohorts. This solution also offers researchers the freedom to conduct their analyses anywhere with an internet connection.
timeline Pre-loaded software
Each virtual desktop comes with a suite of pre-loaded statistical and data management software as standard, including STATA, SPSS, SAS, R, Eclipse, Design Studio, SQL Server Management Studio, WinSQL, Python, and Office. Packages and libraries for software are able to be downloaded and installed from official sites (CRAN, PyPI) for use within the environment.
For studies needing specialist of bespoke software, it is possible to create a dedicated desktop to include personalised installation of software. Such specification should be made clear during the application process.
open_in_browser Use your own data
Researchers are also able to integrate external data they have approval for, in order to analyse this alongside DPUK cohort data. The process of bringing such data in is facilitated by a simple upload to the virtual desktop environment, however a researcher must declare in their application that they wish to include their own data in a study.
Files can be uploaded via the Analysis Portal website.
security Secure environment
The data remains on the DPUK servers throughout - Raw data files provided via the Portal are not allowed to be physically removed, only outputs such as results files, scripts and material for publications are permitted. Requests to take files out can be made through the virtual desktop.
A high level of security is in place which requires two-factor authentication via a username & password and yubikey/mobile authenticator to access the virtual machines.