Analyze Data


The NCI Cloud Resources (CRs) serve as the analytical platform for CRDC, making it possible to explore, access and work with NCI-funded research data in a secure environment without having to download or store data in a local compute environment. In addition to providing secure workspaces for individual or collaborative research, all CRs make it possible for users to upload their own data for comparative analysis.

Users also have access to thousands of analytical tools and features through the CRs for use as-is or for tailoring to specific research needs. They also can upload their own tools to secure workspaces and/or create original analytical tools in a variety of development languages.


Each Cloud Resource Offers Unique Capabilities

Each Cloud Resource has attributes of interest to different types of researchers. Some are geared to general researchers, while others have more advanced capabilities.

Broad Institute FireCloud (FC)

  • Based on the Google Cloud platform, FireCloud provides production pipelines for large-scale omics analysis with data accessible through its platform.
  • FireCloud makes TCGA and TARGET datasets available on its workspace and recently integrated the Portable Format for Bioinformatics (PFB) into its platform, allowing data from the Proteomic Data Commons to be imported directly into the FireCloud workspace for downstream analysis.

ISB Cancer Gateway in the Cloud (ISB-CGC) 

  • Based on the Google Cloud platform, the ISB-CGC provides access to Google's native cloud tools and to CRDC data loaded into ISB-CGC’s BigQuery tables which are designed for users familiar with SQL query processes.
  • ISB-CGC also interfaces with certain specialty databases including Mitelman Database of Chromosome Aberrations and Gene Fusions in Cancer.

Seven Bridges Cancer Genomics Cloud, powered by Velsera (SB-CGC)

  • Based on the AWS platform, the SB-CGC provides access to CRDC data, public projects, and public workflows and tools.
  • Many of the CRDC Data Commons provide an interface with SB-CGC making it easy for users to build a virtual cohort in the Data Commons and then use a manifest or direct upload feature to take specific datasets or subsets to SB-CGC for further analysis.

Cloud Resources Analytical Tools and Features

Thousands of analytical tools that researchers have shared are publicly available through the Cloud Resources. These include workflows/pipelines and computational applications that are available to use as-is or can be tailored as needed.  
Learn more about Cloud Resources tools and features

Accessing Data

Users can access CRDC data for exploration and downstream analysis by following several options:

  • building a cohort within a Data Commons to generate a data manifest that can be exported to the CRs
  • building a cohort across several Data Commons using the CDA to generate a data manifest that can be exported to the CRs
  • downloading data from a Data Commons to a local compute environment. Note: CDS only allows downloads of CCDI and HTAN datasets; ICDC does not allow downloads.
  • working within a Cloud Resource platform for cohort building and analysis

NCI-funded research data available through the CRDC Data Commons, the CDA or the CRs, may have access restrictions, depending on the type of data or the nature of the study. Most notably, exploration and use of controlled-access data have specific requirements to ensure the security of the data. 

Learn more about open, registered, and controlled access data

Support for Researchers

Data Commons and Cloud Resources provide user guides, training materials, and office hours to support diverse types of users. Professional staff from each of the Data Commons and Cloud Resources are available through their help desks to provide hands-on support.

Through Support for Researchers page, users will find information about: 

  • Using data visualization tools within a Data Commons
  • Searching data within a Data Commons
  • Creating a manifest within a Data Commons and sending selected data to a Cloud Resource
  • Registering with a Cloud Service
  • Setting up Cloud Resource secure workspaces
  • Using, editing, or creating novel analytical tools

Learn more about Support for Researchers