20 Information, Computing and Technology

In this section:

20.2 How do I contact the ICT Service desk
20.3 What remote communications technology are available?
20.4 What research tools are available?
20.5 What software and cloud solutions are approved for use at Laurier?
20.6 What if I would like to procure software or a cloud solution that is not currently approved for use at Laurier?
20.7 What research software is available for purchase?
20.8 Are there learning resources available to learn about research software?
20.9 What should I consider when I am managing my data?
20.10 How do I request computer administrator access?
20.11 Can I consult with ICT regarding a technology requirement in my research program?
20.12 How do I update an old Laurier computer?
20.13 How is two-step verification used at Laurier?
20.14 What are the external research networks and resources that ICT is engaged in?

If you are unable to find the answer you are looking for in this section, please contact us here.

20.1 Meet the team

20.1.1 Amelia Dogan Senior Research Solutions Consultant

The Senior Resaerch Solutions Consultant provides technical leadership and supports researchers in navigating the IT landscape and processes at Laurier.  The Senior Solutions Consultant liaises with researchers to share Laurier’s Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) processes and resources, completing consulting engagements, process reengineering, and continuous improvement activities, as well as assisting with the implementation of technology tools to support research security.

E: adogan@wlu.ca

20.2 How do I contact the ICT Service desk

​Our Service Desk remains available to support your technical needs. If you are having issues connecting to your Laurier account or experience any difficulties please reach out to the ICT Service Desk who can help you resolve any issues you may be experiencing. To learn more about our current hours and the ways you can contact us, please visit our page on Connect​.

20.3 What remote communications technology are available?

20.3.1 Zoom Web Conferencing

Zoom unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, and group messaging into one easy-to-use platform. The solution offers a video, audio, and wireless screen-sharing experience across multiple platforms. 

To help get you started, ICT has put together a page, Getting Started with Zoom, that provides information about how to install and set up Zoom and answers frequently asked questions.  

In some cases, Zoom for Healthcare may be an appropriate alternative if you plan to conduct research or interviews using Zoom. Please review the Zoom for Healthcare page for more information.

20.3.2 Microsoft Teams Web Conferencing

​​​Teams is an open, digital workplace platform that combines chats, meetings, notes, and attachments. It incorporates other Office 365 applications to make work visible, integrated, and accessible for all employees​.​ 

To better help our faculty​ work remotely, ICT has developed a Teams guide for instructors​​ that outline the process of ​creating a Teams meeting, recording your meeting, and other useful features that are available. ​ 

To learn more, visit our Microsoft Teams Learning Resources page. To book a remote training session, please submit a ticket with the ICT Service Desk.

20.4 What research tools are available? ​

20.4.1 Qualtrics

Qualtrics is a university-approved, online platform that allows users to create forms and surveys, collect data, and complete analysis. Qualtrics enables Laurier editors to integrate responsive and accessible web forms seamlessly into Laurier’s web properties for the benefit of students, faculty, staff, and external website visitors. To learn more about Qualtrics and how it can be used, visit our page on Connect.   

20.4.2 ConsignO

ConsignO Cloud is a university-approved solution that allows users to sign documents electronically through a digital and trusted web-based electronic signature platform. Documents produced with ConsignO Cloud provide a high level of legal reliability by incorporating all aspects necessary to establish a document’s origin and integrity and is an approved solution for type 3 data. Contracts or other documents put in ConsignO can be sent internally or externally for signatures. You can learn more about the solution by visiting our page on Connect.  ​ 

20.4.3 Microsoft 365 Suite 

As part of the Laurier community, you are able to access a variety of software as part of the Office 365 Suite. The software available to you includes: Outlook, Calendar, Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, OneDrive, Stream, Lens, Delve, To Do, Power Automate, Forms and Bookings. To learn more about these tools, visit our page on Connect.  

20.5 What software and cloud solutions are approved for use at Laurier?

There are a number of software and cloud solutions that have been vetted for privacy and security concerns and approved for use at Laurier. Some of these are provisioned through enterprise licenses others need to be purchased on an individual basis. We recommend reviewing our Approved Software and Cloud Solutions Catalog to find software to meet your needs. 

20.6 What if I would like to procure software or a cloud solution that is not currently approved for use at Laurier?

​In that case, please review our following guidelines for how to learn how to procure new software that meets our privacy and security standards.

20.7 What research software is available for purchase?

To support our institutional research, ICT is able to provide industry-standard software at a discounted rate through bulk purchasing agreements. To order any of the additional software below, fill out the Software Request Form in the ICT Service Portal. You can charge the cost directly to your research funds, professional expense reimbursement allotment, or departmental index code. Personal cheques are also accepted as payment. 

To learn more about how to use your research funds for purchase requests, visit the Research Finance page.

Currently available software includes:


SPSS Statistics is a software package used for statistical analysis and is available for both Windows and Macintosh computers. With SPSS Statistics you can analyse and understand data, solve complex research problems, and accurately understand complex data sets with advanced statistical procedures. 

Cost $200 - Compare at $1200

This license renews in July every year.

  • Cognos

Cognos is an end-user reporting tool. Its purpose at Laurier is to provide all faculties and departments a graphical user interface to access institutional data so that high-level reporting can be performed by the end-user.  

For more information on Cognos, please contact the Institutional Research and Planning Office, reporting@wlu.ca 


NVivo is a qualitative data analysis software package produced by QSR International. NVivo helps qualitative researchers organize, analyze and find insights in unstructured or qualitative data like interviews, open-ended survey responses, journal articles, social media, and web content, where deep levels of analysis on small or large volumes of data are required.  

Cost:  $140 - Compare at $1200

The license renews in February each year.

  • SAS

SAS is a statistical software suite developed by SAS Institute for data management, advanced analytics, multivariate analysis, business intelligence, criminal investigation, and predictive analytics. 

Annual License for SAS - Cost:  $115 - Compare at $2000 

The license renews in August each year. 

  • AMOS

AMOS is an added SPSS module and is used for Structural Equation Modelling, path analysis, and confirmatory factor analysis. It is also known as analysis of covariance or causal modeling software.  

Cost:  $170.00 

The license renews in July each year. 

20.8 Are there learning resources available to learn about research software?

If you are interested in learning more about any of the above software, or any additional software that you use in your research, we recommend exploring the following resources that are available free of charge or for a minimum cost per month:

20.9 What should I consider when I am managing my data?

There are a number of considerations to take into account when it comes to collecting, storing, sharing, and managing data you collect in your research. Please review the sections below to find out about options that are available to you and best practices here at Laurier. ​​

20.9.1 Data Encryption:

Whether it is being shared or simply stored, encrypting sensitive data on your hard drive or USB device is an effective​ way to protect your data from being unintentionally seen or stolen by others. Fortunately, encryption is no longer as complicated as it once was. The principles of encryption (also known as cryptography) have essentially remained the same – data is encoded to prevent unauthorized parties from understanding the content, unless they have the password or “decryption key”. However, today there are simple steps users can take to encrypt their files, resulting in enhanced security and protection of sensitive data.

Below are step-by-step instructions for anyone who may be unfamiliar with how to password protect Microsoft Office documents that contain sensitive data such as student or employee information, budgets etc. These steps apply to Microsoft Office 2016 which is being rolled out to all Laurier-owned Windows employee productivity computers through the Windows 10 upgrade

For those who have not yet been upgraded to Microsoft 2016, steps for encrypting Microsoft Office 2013 files can be found here: https://www.groovypost.com/howto/password-protect-encrypt-office-2013-word-excel-powerpoint-documents/.

Ensuring the protection of sensitive data should be a priority for all Laurier employees, and by taking steps to encrypt this information we can all meaningfully contribute to Laurier’s cybersecurity efforts. How to encrypt files using Microsoft Office 2016 Word and PowerPoint

  • First, open the Office document you would like to protect.
  • Click the File menu, select the Info tab, then select the Protect Document button.
  • Click Encrypt with Password.
  • Enter your password then click OK.
  • Enter the password again to confirm it and click OK.
  • Microsoft Word/PowerPoint will now indicate the document is protected. Each time you open the document, you will be prompted to enter your password to access its contents. Excel

For Micro​soft Excel Workbooks, you can protect all or parts of a workbook. To protect an entire workbook, use the following instructions:

  • Click File, select the Info tab, click the Protect Workbook button.
  • Click Encrypt with Password then follow the same instructions used when protecting a Word document.

If you have a shared workbook, you can protect a particular sheet without locking the entire workbook. To do so, use the following instructions:

  • Within the workbook, right click the sheet then click Protect Sheet.
  • Enter a password then confirm it.

For step-by-step instructions with photos, please visit here. Important reminders about passwords

  • When password to protect your documents use a unique password that is different from the one used to sign into your computer or another service.

  • Tips for creating a strong password or passphrase can be found here.

20.9.2 Data Types and Policies: 

To learn more about information types and policies that govern it at Laurier, we recommend that you review the 9.4 Information Security Policy Statement.

Sharing and Collaborating

OneDrive is the preferred method for sharing and collaborating and is an integral part of Office 365 and the SharePoint server. OneDrive provides the following:

  • Provides a place in the cloud where you can store, share and sync your files.
  • Update and share your files from any device.
  • Collaborate with others on Office documents at the same time.
  • Removes the need to use personal cloud services such as Dropbox for institutional file storage. 

To learn more, visit our page on Connect.

If you would prefer to use an alternative solution or, are unable to use OneDrive for a specific reason, please reach out to cyberhawk@wlu.ca to discuss your situation and they can help you find an appropriate solution. 

20.10 How do I request computer administrator access?

For Laurier administered computers you can request permanent or temporary administrator access to your Laurier-issued machine. This may be requested to help facilitate research software installation or upgrades or to install software specifically related to your work. ICT will review the information provided and respond to you to let you know if your request has been approved or denied. ​

Permanent and temporary access request process

  1. Submit either the Permanent Administrator Access Request Form or the Temporary Administrator Access Request Form​. The temporary administrator access form is best for completing software upgrades during a 30 day period
  2. The submitted form will be received and reviewed by ICT. There are two ICT subject matter experts who review each request.
  3. The ICT review includes an assessment of the following information: 
    • ​​​The type of software you are requesting to install 
    • The number of updates required for the software per year 
    • If your role support updating software for your department or for research activities
  4. ICT will then respond to your request for administrator access to let you know if it has been approved or denied. ​​If permanent administrator access is denied temporary administrator access may be provided as an alternative.  

20.11 Can I consult with ICT regarding a technology requirement in my research program?

If you are submitting a grant request, are interesting in getting quotes for hardware (servers, computers, etc.), looking for a database, or have any other unique requests, we are here to help you. Submit a request​ through the ICT service portal and a member from our management team will reach out to provide consultation on your request.

To submit a request:

  1. ​Visit the ICT Customer Service Portal
  2. Log in with your SSO username and password
  3. Navigate in the header to REQUESTS -> LOG A REQUEST 
  5. Complete the form providing as much detail as possible or attaching any supporting files
  6. ​Click “Submit”

20.12 How do I update an old Laurier computer?

For information about ICT’s evergreen program please visit the Computers page on Connect. The Evergreen Program is designed to ensure that all computers at Laurier are up-to-date and in good working condition. As part of Laurier’s environmental stewardship, ICT disposes of all obsolete IT equipment via a certified disposal vendor which provides reports on each disposal pick-up. ​

20.13 How is two-step verification used at Laurier?

If you are looking for information about two-step verification please refer to the Two-Step Verification website. The various pages provide information about how to use two-step verification, configuring the Outlook app, and tips and tricks to optimize the experience. Known issues and FAQs are also available. A helpful tip is that when using different browsers (i.e. Chrome and Firefox) you will need to sign into single sign-on (SSO) and two-step verification in the different browser as the login credentials do not transfer across browsers due to the core nature of how they work.   ​

20.14 What are the external research networks and resources that ICT is engaged in?

Laurier is engaged with a number of external research networks and computing resource providers, including: