How to load different datasets into your practice VM

This is a short step-by-step guide to demonstrate how different datasets can be added to a practice virtual machine, which can then be analysed using DataSHIELD commands.

The basic outline is:

  • Download the data files and dictionaries .zip file (download from here: take your pick of the available types of data: e.g. DASIM or SURVIVAL)

    • For this demo we are uploading CNSIM data, but it would work equivalently for other data sets.

  • boot your practice VM (the one downloaded for the 9th December workshop)

  • once it is running, log in to the opal portal using the administrator login combination (find it here, see the services part of the table)

  • Go into “projects”- on the top grey bar of the opal web portal

  • “Add project”


  • Upload the .zip file

    • go to “files” (4th tab from top on left bar)


  • import the .zip file:

    • go to “tables” (second tab from top on left bar)


    • CLick through the dialog boxes

      select an “opal archive” file format:

      Navigate to the zip file you uploaded

      Click “finish”

  • Give the table tab 5-10 seconds (as the data processes) then click the grey “refresh” button above the table


  • You should be ready to analyse!

DataSHIELD Wiki by DataSHIELD is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on a work at