The Melbourne Institute Data Lab (MIDL) allows researchers and analysts to access a wide range of data that may be inaccessible by other means. It has been designed with the user (analyst) in mind, enabling high-quality academic or industry engagement research on major economic and social policy issues affecting contemporary Australia.
As an accredited user you may choose to apply for access to:
Collaborative Shared Data Environments (SDE’s)
MIDL allows researchers to access data through two types of project workspaces: 1) a standalone project with a workspace that houses data for analyses to answer an approved research question or 2) apply for a Shared Data Environment, a larger project designed a developed to house multiple data sets with the aim of promoting research in a particular theme.
Access to a range of data sets
Data sets housed in MIDL will range from administrative data sources from Federal and State Governments, data collected through surveys and field experiments and data assets from proprietary sources. These data sets can be combined to undertake richer data analyses for deeper insights into behaviours and/or trends that can better inform the approved research question by the users*.
* subject to data sharing agreements between MI and the various data custodians. These requirements will be provided to all approved users on MIDL through the project onboarding process.
Access to curated data for research
To enable faster research, the Melbourne Institute work with the data custodian to create ‘research-ready’ versions of the data. These specialised versions would have undergone appropriate data cleaning and other transformation including addition of derived variables that are relevant for research on social and economic policy. Additional documentation on data assets including sample analysis code are also provided for users through MIDL’s inbuilt information management system (the MIDL Wiki).
For more information on the purpose, background, history and service offering of MIDL, please download the MIDL Information Pack.
Applying for MIDL access
1. Set up MIDL access agreement
Users from research organisations that is not the University of Melbourne must first ensure that their research organisations have executed a MIDL Access Agreement with The University of Melbourne.
If your research organisation has not established an MIDL Access Agreement, please contact us.
2. Submit project application
To access data sets in MIDL, users will have to submit a completed MIDL Project Application Form to be assessed by the MIDL Services Team and any applicable Data Custodians. The project application will be assessed to ensure that the research project aligns with the authorised purpose for the use of MIDL that the project requires access to data for ‘the purposes of conducting impartial, independent and objective economic and social policy research.
To apply for a project or access to a Shared Data Environment in MIDL, please complete and submit a MIDL Project Application Form. This form captures relevant project details around data set(s) requested and other project details such as duration, number of users etc.
After submitting an application, MIDL Services will provide you with a Quotation for Services which covers all relevant costs, and the MIDL Project Schedule. This schedule will also contain any additional requirements from the Data Custodian that need to be met prior to data access within the MIDL. All data users of MIDL must agree to the terms and conditions set out in the MIDL Acceptable Use Policy prior to access being granted.
3. User training
Once the project is approved, all prospective users in the project will be provided with materials for training in the following areas; data privacy, ethics, statistical disclosure control and information security measures and policies in place inside MIDL. This forms the MIDL security awareness training. Users will then be assessed on the material via an online quiz. Users must pass all quizzes in order to proceed to registration.
4. User registration
Following successful completion of the user training, users may register for the project by returning the signed and completed MIDL User Agreement Forms, and making payment as indicated in the project quotation (supplied in Step 1). MIDL Services will process the payment and assess the User Agreement Forms. Once complete, and if the data custodian training has been successfully completed, user accounts will be created, and the research environment set up. MIDL Services will provide registered users with the MIDL Gaining Access Guide that details the process to setup their computer(s) for accessing MIDL.
For detailed information on this process, please download the MIDL Information Pack to follow the instructions - MIDL for Users.
MIDL is a collaboration between the Melbourne Institute at the University of Melbourne with a mission to inform Australian economic and social policy, and Cyconsol, an Australian-based professional services provider specialising in the design and operation of cybersecurity and ICT capabilities working with Australian Government and industry.