Logging into the portal and workspace


Logging in, launching your VM, first time use/new phone steps, resetting your password


There are two steps when logging into DataLab, which have been streamlined as of August 2023:

  1. Log into the DataLab portal where you can access information and settings related to your profile, project and start your virtual machine (VM)
  2. Launch the VM for your project where you and your project team members view data, run analysis and prepare reports or data outputs for clearance

Log into the DataLab portal

Enter your account details into the DataLab log in page.

If you are logging in for the first time, for system security you will need to authenticate your log in using the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile phone. To set this up, see First time use/new phone steps.

For returning users, click on your account (firstname.lastname@mydata.abs.gov.au) or use another account and enter your account name. All DataLab accounts use the @mydata.abs.gov.au domain format. Enter your password and Sign in.

Choose an account

By logging in you agree to these conditions:

Important Notice

If you are not authorised to access this system, exit immediately. Unauthorised users may be subject to criminal and civil penalties.

This is an Australian Government computer system. Part 10.7 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 outlines the penalties that may apply for unlawful use of Government systems including unauthorised access, modification or impairment of computer systems, data or electronic communications. The Act provides penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment for such offences. By proceeding, you are representing yourself as an authorised user and acknowledge you have read and agree to comply with the Responsible Use of ABS Microdata User Guide. Your activity will be logged, monitored and investigated should any misuse be suspected.

Sanctions ranging from a reprimand to revocation of access or termination of employment may be imposed if misuse is determined.

Once you have entered your credentials and hit ‘Sign in’, a notification from the Microsoft Authenticator app is sent to your phone and asks you to perform a “number match”. Enter the numbers shown on your browser screen into the authenticator app on your phone to proceed.

Are you trying to sign in - authenticator

If you don't approve within the time limit, click ‘Send another request to my Microsoft Authenticator app’. If the request expires, re-enter your account and password in the DataLab log in screen.

We didn't hear from you

You can also change the way you approve the sign in request by selecting "I can’t use my Microsoft Authenticator app right now".

I can't use my authenticator right now

You then have two options:

  1. approve a request on your phone app
  2. use a verification code from your phone app
Verify your identity

After you approve in Microsoft Authenticator, you are logged into the DataLab portal.

DataLab user interface

Launch the VM

To enter your DataLab project workspace you need to:

  1. Activate your VM
  2. Launch your desktop

Step 1 Activate your VM

Each project VM is displayed on individual tiles, with your “active” VM appearing at the top above those that are “locked”. For more information about your VMs, see Functions in My Projects.

My projects page

Each project has a separate VM and you can only access one project VM at a time. If your machine is already available to launch, skip to Launch your desktop.

  • If not, click the ‘Activate' button as shown below and wait until the ‘Launch’ button appears.
  • If your machine shows a status other than ‘Launch’ or ‘Activate’ you must rebuild the VM first. See VM management options for more information.

Click on the ‘Activate’ button of the VM you want to launch.

Virtual machine activate button

If you have a VM for another project that is currently active, this logs you out of your other session. If you have a program running in your Workspace using another VM, this will stop the program. You can only run multiple VMs if you have requested and are using offline local disk space.

Virtual machine activating

As seen below, you can track the VM activation progress by either selecting 'Track' from the pop up notification or from the action log icon on the left navigator.

Action log tracking

When the VM activation completes, an additional pop up notification confirms that the action was successful. If the action fails, repeat the above steps to activate.

Action log succeeded

If you navigated to the Action Log page, select the laptop icon named 'My Projects' in the left navigator to return to the 'My Projects' page.

Step 2 Launch your desktop

Launch the VM using the ‘Launch’ button from the active VM tile. If you are using Citrix, this action will open the Citrix Workspace application after a few moments.

If you are using Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), disregard the subsequent steps, as your workspace will automatically open in a new window.

Virtual machine Launch button shown from within the DataLab user interface

The Citrix dashboard shows all your recently used desktops. Desktop is the Citrix term for VM.

View of your available desktop sessions from within the Citrix interface

From the All Desktops view, click the VM/Desktop (this is your project number) to open your project in the DataLab environment.

Launching the desktop from within the Citrix workspace

Citrix will then begin connecting to your DataLab desktop, this may take a few minutes. A popup in the bottom right hand corner of your screen will show you the connection progress. If your desktop session does not start, repeat Step 1 Activate your VM.

Workspace powering on

You will then be asked to open the Citrix Workspace Launcher. If you do not have the Citrix receiver application, you will need to download it to your device. The latest version of Citrix Workspace is available at https://www.citrix.com/en-au/downloads/workspace-app/windows/.

At this point you can select the ‘Always allow’ checkbox, if you do not wish to receive this alert each time Citrix attempts to broker your connection.

Open Citrix Workspace Launcher notification

Log in using the same credentials you used to log into the DataLab Portal. Once logged in, the system may take a few minutes to load as it prepares Windows.

DataLab VM Windows log in screen

As part of the conditions of use, all activity within the workspace is recorded for auditing and reporting purposes.

Notification activity in DataLab VM is recorded

Your DataLab workspace looks like this. For more information on using the workspace see Using your workspace.

DataLab workspace

First time use/new phone steps

The DataLab uses two factor authentication to provide a secure log in environment. You need to download the Microsoft Authenticator app to your smart phone to use the DataLab.
Open https://datalab.abs.gov.au and enter your credentials.

The first time you log in, enter the username and password provided to you by the ABS. 

If you are using a new phone, refer to the Contact us page for system support. An ABS system administrator will need to reset your Authenticator. 

Note: all DataLab accounts use the @mydata.abs.gov.au domain format.

DataLab sign in username

If you are switching to a new phone (not new account) you will be given the screen ‘More information required’, click ‘Next’.

More information required

This will direct you to Step 1 of setting up your Microsoft Authenticator application. Download the Microsoft Authenticator app to your smart phone from the App Store (for iOS) or Google Play (for Android). Make sure that the authenticator is published by Microsoft, as the ABS DataLab only supports Microsoft Authenticator.

Microsoft Authenticator screen shot

Once you have fulfilled the initial requirements noted for Step 1, proceed by clicking ‘Next’.

Method 1 of 2 Microsoft Authenticator

You will then be guided to open your downloaded Microsoft Authenticator app and add a ‘Work or school account’.

Add a work or school account in the app

Once complete, click ‘Next’.

Method 1 of 2 continued

The following screen presents a QR code to scan using your Microsoft Authenticator app. 

Scan the QR code on the screen

Initiate the scanning function on your phone, then hover your phone over the QR code shown on your browser screen.

Initiating scan
Scanning in progress

Once scanning is complete, click ‘Next’ on your browser screen. You will be asked to enter the security number shown on your browser screen into your Microsoft Authenticator app, once complete, click ‘Next’.

Additional security verification communicating with mobile app device

After entering the security number and receiving approval from your Microsoft Authenticator application, you will see a ‘Notification Approved’ confirmation on your browser. Click ‘Next’ to proceed to Method 2 of setting up your multi-factor authentication.

Notification approved

To make sure you can reset your password in the future, you also need to set up an authentication phone and/or email. The system will verify you by the option you select.

Authentication by phone

The system verifies your phone by the option you select.

Select your region from the drop-down menu, enter your mobile number and choose between receiving a text or a call to activate the verify button. Enter the code then select ‘Next’ to verify. The call option sends you an automated phone call that will ask you to press the # key to verify.

Enter your authentication phone number
Enter security code

Once verified, select ‘Next’ and then ‘Done’ to return to the sign in page. 

SMS verified
SMS authenticated successfully

Authentication by email

Click the ‘I want to set up a different method’ and select ‘Email’ from the drop down menu.

Choose a different authentication method

Enter an email address then click ‘Next’.

Enter your email address

A verification code is emailed to you. Enter the verification code and select ‘Next’. Once you have set up your details, select ‘Done’ to return to the sign in page. 

Email verified

Set up a new password for your account. Your password cannot contain your user ID. It must be a minimum of 8 characters and contain at least three of the following:

  • upper-case letters A – Z
  • lower-case letters a - z
  • numbers 
  • special characters @ # $ % ^ & * - _ ! + = [ ] { } | \ : ' , . ? / ` ~ " ( ) ;
Update your password

You can then log in to your account using your new password. 

Reset your password

If you forget your password click on the ‘Forgotten my password' link. If you have received a notification to reset your password while in your VM, log out and then click on the ‘Forgotten my password' link. 

Enter password screen showing forgot my password link

Your user ID is populated for you. Enter the characters in the picture, or words in the audio, then click 'Next'.

Enter the characters shown or click the audio link

The next screen takes you to Step One of verifying your account. Choose from the options in the left-hand column (options available depend on what you chose during your original account set up process).

Enter your authentication method to get back into your account

Verify your account information via email, text, or call (whichever you chose), and follow the prompts to reset your password. The screen below displays when your password has been reset. Click the link to sign in with your new password.

Your password has been reset confirmation screen
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