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Central Research Data Services User Stories

Central Research Data Services User Stories

Many Informatics users are already making use of the centrally provided research data services. To illustrate the wide variety of services available, and the uses to which they can be put, here are a few user stories to give you some ideas of what you might use these services for. If you have any good stories you would like to share, please send them to

  • Stashing on DataStore

    One of our researchers was involved in a major project which produced a substantial corpora of data. Our researcher felt that this corpora might prove useful in their future work but there was no funding available to find a suitable repository for the data. Fortunately, all research staff in the University receive a free 1Tb quota on DataStore, the central commodity storage facility. As it turned out, 1Tb wasn't quite enough to hold all the data but DataStore offers the facility for two or more users to combine half their quota into a joint group space. By collaborating with a couple of colleagues, the researcher was able to create a group area on DataStore where the corpora could be securely stored and accessed as required.

  • Excel and PowerApps

    A researcher had data contained in a spreadsheet which they wanted to be modified and added-to by other users within the University. In addition, there was a requirement to make entering data in some cells mandatory, and to sanitise the data entered into other cells. In addition, a more user-friendly interface than the standard spreadsheet was required. By moving the spreadsheet into the University's Office 365 infrastructure and then creating a PowerApp using the spreadsheet as a data source, the researcher was able to allow his users to modify and add to the data using a more friendly form based interface. In addition, by setting up a suitable flow, the researcher was able to be notified by email every time a change was made to the spreadsheet.

  • Sharing all around

    As part of a research project, it was necessary to allow collaborators, both internal to the university and external, to download and upload data associated with the project. The central DataSync service proved ideal for this purpose since it is accessible both inside and outside the University and provides a convenient web based interface for uploading and downloading data. Each researcher has a fairly minimal amount of storage allocated on the DataSync servers but should more be required, as was the case here, a DataSync share can be linked to storage on the DataStore service, and provides a convenient means of sharing DataStore mounted data externally.

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