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Research Data: Data Tools and Software

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Jess Newman
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Assistant Professor
Research Data & Scholarly Communications Lead
UTHSC Health Sciences Library
Lamar Alexander Building
877 Madison Avenue
Memphis, TN 38163

Data Tools and Software

Highlighted Tool: Use OpenRefine to clean your messy data!

With a simple interface, OpenRefine is a powerful but user-friendly program for exploring and cleaning messy data. With its ability to incorporate textual cleaning techniques (such as clustering and faceting), OpenRefine provides an advanced alternative to Excel without needing to understand computer programming.

Schedule a consultation.

Research Computing Support from OIT

This resource links to a page containing software descriptions, where you can run the software, how you can learn it, and where you can get support.

Other Tools and Software





ArcGIS Online is a cloud-based mapping and analysis tool. Use it to make maps, analyze data, and to share and collaborate.

Download free from UTHSC here.


D3.js is a JavaScript library for producing dynamic, interactive data visualizations in web browsers. It makes use of Scalable Vector Graphics, HTML5, and Cascading Style Sheets standards.


Excel is a useful platform to enter and maintain research study data that is fairly easy to learn and use. Researchers can use Excel's simple statistical and plotting functions to help gain insight into their data. Learn more about Excel Basics.

Download free from UTHSC here.


ggplot2 is a data visualization package for the statistical programming language R.


Mathematica is a symbolic mathematical computation program. Features include instant dynamic interactivity, high-impact adaptive visualization, symbolic interface construction, load-on-demand curated data, image and audio processing, neural networkings, 3D printing, and tools for connecting to DLL, SQL, Java, .NET, C++, Fortran, CUDA, OpenCL, and http based systems. Learn more by visiting Wolfram YouTube.

Download free from UTHSC here.


MATLAB is a programming platform designed for specifically for scientists. It allows researchers to analyze data, develop algorithms, and create models and applications.

Download free from UTHSC here.


NLM-Scrubber is a freely available clinical text deidentification tool designed and developed at the National Library of Medicine. Our aim is to enable clinical scientists to access clinical health information that is not associated with the patient by following the Safe Harbor principles as outlined in the HIPAA Privacy Rule. More information here.


NodeBox is a GUI software used for data visualization and generative design. More information here.


NVivo is a software program used for qualitative and mixed-methods research. Specifically, it is used for the analysis of unstructured text, audio, video, and image data, including (but not limited to) interviews, focus groups, surveys, social media, and journal articles. 

Download free from UTHSC here.


OpenRefine is a powerful open-source tool for working with messy data: cleaning it; transforming it from one format into another; and extending it with web services and external data.

Download free from


Origin is a data analysis and graphing software that is fairly easy to use but also contains the ability to perform advanced customization. Users may create templates for repetitive analyses or batch operations without the need for programming. Visit Origin Lab YouTube.


Plotly is a collaborative, web-based graphing and analytics platform. It is designed especially for data scientists, engineers, and programmers to easily visualize trends in their data using Python, R, MATLAB, or Javascript, and will thus require some familiarity with programming languages. Learn more through free Plotly Webinars.

QDA Miner

QDA Miner is a mixed methods and qualitative data analysis software developed by Provalis Research. The program was designed to assist researchers in managing, coding and analyzing qualitative data.

Download free from UTHSC here.


Qualtrics is a powerful and flexible web survey tool. Qualtrics meets IRB requirements for collecting and storing data including PII, FERPA, and HIPAA/PHI (it is encrypted in transit, at rest, and in backups). 

Access through UTHSC here.

R & RStudio

R is a free, open-source software environment for statistical computing, data management, and graphics. While it includes a simple code editor, it can be controlled through many other packages. The most popular way to run R is through RStudio, a free and open source program which includes a code editor, as well as debugging and visualization tools. 

Learn more and get assistance from OIT here.


RAW Graphs is an open source data visualization framework built with the goal of making the visual representation of complex data easy for everyone. More information here.



REDCap is a secure web platform for building and managing online databases and surveys. Access training resources here.


for support.


SAS/SPSS are statistical programming languages. SPSS includes a graphical user interface that is decidedly more user friendly than SAS or R.

Download free from UTHSC here.


Similarly to Tableau, Spotfire is a data visualization tool with dashboards. It is particularly effective at running analytics developed in R. Learn more from Spotfire Training.


Stata is a general-purpose statistical software package. It includes a graphical user interface that is decidedly more user friendly than SAS or R.

Download free from UTHSC here.


Tableau is a data visualization program with both desktop and browser based access options. It is fairly easy to use with many different visualization options. You would utilize Tableau after collecting and cleaning your research data. Learn more from Tableau Training.

Request a free annual license (renewable) for students or instructors.


TrinetX Live provides a visual and tabular data summary of the research Enterprise Data Warehouse (rEDW) containing standardized aggregated pediatric and adult healthcare data from Methodist Le Bonheur Health System

Contact Lokesh Chinthala ( for support.