1406.0.55.007 - DataLab, User Guide  
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This document was added or updated on 19/11/2021.

About DataLab

New DataLab
Log in
Old DataLab
Log in
Decommissioning 30 Nov 2021

What is DataLab
DataLab prices
Applying for and using DataLab
New DataLab upgrade
Contact us
Privacy policy


What is DataLab

DataLab is the analysis solution for high-end users who want to undertake real time complex analysis of detailed microdata. Compare data services to see if detailed microdata in the DataLab is the right service for you.

Features
  • view and analyse unit record information
  • recent versions of analytical software, including R, SAS, Stata and Python
  • virtual access to files that remain in the secure ABS environment
  • all analytical output that you want to use outside DataLab are checked by the ABS before release

Who can access DataLab

Researchers who meet ABS safe people criteria, including:
  • ability to use at least one of the statistical analytical languages available in the DataLab
  • at least three years of either quantitative research experience or university study with a significant component working with quantitative data, or have a referral from an experienced researcher working on the same project
  • located in Australia when accessing the microdata
  • belong to an Australian organisation (international researchers and organisations will be considered on a case by case basis)
  • have completed ABS safe researcher training and other requirements
  • belong to an organisation with a Responsible Officer Undertaking in place with the ABS
  • have an approved safe project that is for statistical and/or research purposes and demonstrates public value
  • meet additional criteria that apply to specific microdata

Detailed microdata in the DataLab
  • designed specifically for use within the DataLab environment
  • direct identifiers (such as names and addresses) removed
  • further appropriate confidentiality applied within the context of the other security features of the DataLab
  • topics include Census, health, education, labour force, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, migrants, crime, business, disabilities, ageing and carers
  • datasets include ABS survey results, administrative data collected by other organisations and integrated datasets
  • data item lists are linked from available microdata

Limited release detailed microdata in the DataLab

Some datasets have been released on a limited basis. This includes BLADE and custom MADIP detailed microdata, which are available for approved projects to the following approved users:
  • government employees
  • government contractors and individuals sponsored by government
  • academics
  • researchers from public policy research institutes


DataLab prices

Approved users can access standard detailed microdata in the DataLab for approved projects. This includes:
    • ABS survey and census collections
    • Data ABS has collected from other organisations (with custodian approval)
    • Integrated microdata such as:
      • Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (MADIP) Basic Longitudinal Extract
      • MADIP Modular product
      • Business Longitudinal Analysis Data Environment (BLADE) Core plus BLADE ABS survey modules, Intellectual Property Longitudinal Research Data (IPLORD) and Merchandise Imports and Exports
      • MADIP Modular product linked to BLADE Core plus ABS Business Characteristics Survey

MADIP/BLADE enduring data custodians and members of participating universities covered by the ABS/Universities Australia Agreement will not be charged for standard DataLab access. Charges are applicable for any non-standard DataLab access.

Current DataLab access charges (applicable to 31 December 2021) are provided in Table 1 below.

A review of DataLab access charges was completed in May 2021. New DataLab access charges will be applicable from 1 January 2022 (see Table 2).

Charges may also apply for other services that are not part of the standard DataLab offering.


1. Current DataLab charges - 1 July to 31 Dec 2021

1A. Standard DataLab access charges

Type of user
DataLab user registration
Project establishmentActive DataLab use
    • One off charge per person
    • Applies to new DataLab users or discussants
  • One off charge per project
  • Payable on project approval
  • Applies to new projects (or new phases of existing projects) requiring ABS project review and approvals
  • Charge per project
  • Active use does not include researchers approved for projects as discussants who do not have a DataLab account
  • Applies to existing and new DataLab projects
  • Half financial year charge pending new arrangements commencing 1 Jan 2022

Government (Commonwealth, State and Territory, Local)
(GST not applicable)
$750
$2,500
    $1,300 for projects with 1-5 users
    $2,600 for projects with 6-20 users
    $5,000 for projects with 20+ users

Approved non-government researchers (including public policy research institutes and academics not covered by the ABS/Universities Australia Agreement)
$825
$2,750
    $1,430 for projects with 1-5 users
    $2,860 for projects with 6-20 users
    $5,500 for projects with 20+ users

Academics working on academic projects at universities covered by ABS/Universities Australia (UA) Agreement
Covered under ABS/UA Agreement
Covered under ABS/UA Agreement
Covered under ABS/UA Agreement

MADIP/BLADE enduring data custodians
n/a
n/a
n/a

.
.

1B. Non-standard DataLab access charges
GST not applicable
Including GST

Machines above the large virtual machine size
  • charge per person per project
Quote provided on a case by case basis dependent on project requirementsQuote provided on a case by case basis dependent on project requirements

Project storage above 1TB:
  • annual charge for each additional TB per project
  • half financial year charge pending new arrangements commencing 1 Jan 2022
$150
$165

.
.
2. New DataLab charges - 1 January to 30 June 2022

2A. Standard DataLab access charges

Type of user
Standard fee (per new project)
One-off
Includes:
  • project establishment
  • first five DataLab users or discussants
  • standard virtual machines
  • standard software (e.g. R, Python, Stata)
  • project storage up to 1TB

Government (Commonwealth, State and Territory, Local)
(GST not applicable)
$4,300

Approved non-government researchers (including public policy research institutes and academics not covered by the ABS/Universities Australia Agreement)
$4,730

Academics working on academic projects at universities covered by ABS/Universities Australia Agreement
Covered under ABS/UA Agreement
to 31 Dec 2022

MADIP/BLADE enduring data custodians
n/a

.
.

2B. Non-standard DataLab access charges
GST not applicable
Including GST

Additional DataLab users or discussants
  • one-off charge per person per project
  • applied when total researchers and discussants ever exceed five persons per project
$600
$660

Changes requiring custodian re-approval
  • one-off charge per change per project
  • example: a data, project scope or partner organisation change for projects involving integrated microdata
$600
$660

Use of SAS
  • charge per person per project
  • half financial year charge pending annual charging review
  • charge is contributing to the pool of licence costs
$450
$495

Machines above the large virtual machine size
  • charge per person per project
  • half financial year charge pending annual charging review
$3,250 (minimum)
$3,575 (minimum)

Project storage above 1TB
  • charge for each additional TB per project
  • half financial year charge pending annual charging review
$150
$165



Applying for and using DataLab

Step 1. Register and activate your account

Register and agree to conditions of use
  • Use your organisation email address when registering to join your organisation automatically
  • Receive an email asking you to activate your account by clicking on the link
  • If you are not sure if you have previously registered, contact microdata.access@abs.gov.au before re-registering
  • If you are a user in more than one organisation, you will need to register separately using each organisation's email address

Step 2. Complete safe researcher training

See DataLab safe researcher training to enrol

Step 3. Submit documentation

There are legal documents you must sign before accessing microdata in the DataLab
Step 4. Submit project proposal

Project proposals
  • Projects must be for statistical and/or research purposes and provide public benefit
  • Projects must not be for compliance or regulatory purposes
  • Include the purpose and expected outcomes of your project
  • List the datasets you will be analysing and members of your research team
  • Describe your statistical and analytical experience

Contact the ABS to discuss your project requirements and data options before completing a project proposal
Project proposal templates
ABS integrated data project proposal 2021_Nov_02.docxABS integrated data project proposal 2021_Nov_02.docx
ABS DataLab detailed microdata standard project proposal 2021 Oct.docx

Step 5. Seek approval

User approval
  • You must have statistical experience or be referred by an experienced researcher on your project team
  • You must be able to use the analytical languages in the DataLab
  • You must have a commitment to protect the confidentiality of data
  • Every member of your project team who will see or discuss uncleared output (whether or not they will be using DataLab) needs to be approved

Project approval
  • Every project needs to be approved by ABS
  • Some projects also require consideration by data custodians

Step 6. Access DataLab

ABS creates your DataLab account
  • We set up a DataLab account for you
  • Request input clearance for your code, notes or data that you need to be loaded for your project in DataLab
  • Use analytical software, including R, SAS, Stata and Python
  • Project work spaces can be created to allow you to work with other approved project users within DataLab

Step 7. Output clearance

Contact us when you want output cleared
  • You must not directly remove anything (data, code, notes etc.) from the DataLab
  • All analytical output that you want to use outside DataLab are cleared by the ABS before release
  • Request output clearance
  • Output will be cleared and provided to you, or you may be contacted for further information


New DataLab upgrade

We are adapting to changing needs of researchers by updating the DataLab infrastructure where you access detailed microdata. All projects will migrate from current infrastructure (old DataLab) to new cloud infrastructure (new DataLab) by early 2022. Cloud infrastructure allows us to provide greater stability and scalability for project teams and large complex datasets.

New DataLab is accessed at https://new.datalab.abs.gov.au. New will be dropped from the web address after migration is complete. We will let you know when this change is going to happen.

For more information about using the new DataLab see the New DataLab sections in the left navigator above.

New and old DataLab environments have different log in screens.

New DataLabOld DataLab
Image: New DataLab login screen Image: old DataLab login screen


Contact us

Contact us via email at microdata.access@abs.gov.au. This email account is monitored and we will respond to your query during business standard hours, Monday to Friday.


Privacy policy

The ABS privacy policy and DataLab privacy notice outline how the ABS handles any personal information that you provide to us.



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