Secure Empirical Analysis Lab (SEAL)

McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
What the facility does

Secure lab that provides a safe environment for storage and analysis of confidential data

Areas of expertise

The lab has statistical and qualitative data analysis tools to meet most researcher’s needs. The Secure Empirical Analysis Lab (SEAL) uses server-based thin client technology which provides very large data storage and memory capacity. 

Researchers may bring in their own datasets or datasets obtained from third parties. SEAL has an expanding set of research ready datasets that are available for researchers. Currently, we have datasets in the areas of educational, poverty and charities.

The lab also hosts large research projects involving many researchers. We have collaboration tools that allow researchers to share data and results even if they are in widely dispersed locations.

SEAL security is maintained by several layers of protection which include physical access controls, video monitoring, firewall isolation from the internet, and data access controls.

SEAL can provide staff resources for data analysis if researchers need statistical skills and resources. We have provided statistics analysis of surveys and data for researchers who do not have access to statistical analysis resources. We can assist in project development (grant and ethics board applications). 

Remote access on a 24/7 basis with purchase of a MobiKEY. MobiKEYs are not sharable by clients but can be reassigned to other co-researchers or research assistants at no cost.

Research services
  • Data analysis, including big data analysis
  • Data cleaning and transformation
  • Statistical analysis
  • Secure data

We have the necessary software and computing resources to support quantitative and qualitative research. Researchers working in SEAL come from many fields including Economics, Health Research, Nursing, Sociology, Political Science and Education Studies. You do not need to be affiliated with McMaster University to use the SEAL facilities.

Sectors of application
  • Education
  • Financial services and insurance
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Information and communication technologies and media
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Policy and governance
  • Tourism and hospitality
Server that supports workstations with 16 GB through 64 GB memory and two or four core processorsThin client technology increases speed and manages data security
Analysis software includes Stata, SAS, R, QGIS, Python, NVivo and QDA Data Miner