The Service for Web-based Analysis: Accelerating research for all
Dr Carina Kemp1, Dr Sara King1, Mr Michael D’Silva1
1AARNet, Chatswood, Australia
Researchers need to create reproducible research methods in collaborative environments so are increasingly performing data analysis in the cloud. However, some of the biggest challenges researchers still face are with moving research data, particularly large and complex datasets, between storage and research cloud computing facilities or virtual laboratories where analysis can be performed.
To help fill this gap, AARNet provides a Service for Web-based Analysis, also known as SWAN, as part of the collaborative cloud research platform CloudStor.
Available for all researchers at AARNet-connected institutions, SWAN provides Jupyter Notebooks to allow researchers to perform interactive data analysis using a web browser without the need to install software. Since 2019 the eResearch team has worked closely with researchers to continuously improve the service so it meets their developing and changing needs.
While SWAN comes with a default set of code libraries for R, Python and Octave programming languages, the latest release expands on these with additional code libraries that can be imported and installed in a notebook to meet different research needs. In this paper we will expand on an update on these improvements and responses to researcher requirements.
Researchers from a range of academic disciplines have adopted SWAN as part of their workflows to accelerate reproducible research. In this presentation we will also share some of the innovative ways the tool has been contributing to the creation of impactful research that is helping solve some of the world’s most urgent issues such as climate change, marine conservation, and mental health.
Carina Kemp is the Director of eResearch at AARNet. Her enduring interests include Open Data, data analytics, machine learning, high performance computing, communication of science, bridging the gap between research and ICT, mentoring and promoting diversity in STEM fields. She is passionate about enabling research and innovation.
Sara King is the Training and Engagement Lead at AARNet, developing communities of interest around training, outreach and skills development in eResearch. She is passionate about helping others develop the infrastructure and digital literacies required for working in a data-driven world, translating technology so it is accessible to everyone.
Michael D’Silva is an Engineer in the eResearch team at AARNet. He designs and develops eResearch software and the technology frameworks necessary for supporting shared environments. His current projects include implementing collaborative working environments such as CloudStor, SWAN, and the Sensitive Data Service for small and large data science requirements.