Welcome to JOSUA.

JOSUA is a modern and flexible suite of software and technologies for secure remote computing against any data following a code-to-data approach, developed by the IDSC at the IZA – Institute of Labor Economics

Data Providers

Open your data for research for any researcher from anywhere using the most suitable method within a code-to-data approach. Maximize the research value of your data in a secure manner.


Do research with sensitive data from anywhere without the need to travel to the data. Contact us to learn how Josua and the IDSC dataverse can solve your publication requirements.

Open Data Securely

Enabling supply & demand for sensitive research data to meet in a user-friendly, secure and GDPR-compatible manner whenever any other possible way for doing so fails.


What data providers and researchers say about JOSUA.

Here some comments of what our users say about their experience with JOSUA.

"Thanks to creative and competent solutions of IZA, we can provide remote access to our users and thus great spatial and temporal flexibility in data analysis."

Dr. Thu-Van Nguyen

Forschungsdatenzentrum in der Wissenschaftsstatistik des Stifterverbandes

Foto: Damian Gorczany/Stifterverband


“Remote execution with JOSUA is one of the most important data access options for our users, especially during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, JOSUA facilitates working processes at the Research Data Center (FDZ) regarding data security and access.“

Dana Müller

Research Data Centre (FDZ) of the Federal Employment Agency at the Institute for Employment Research

"Our research data center users appreciate IQB’s remote access via JOSUA very much. In this way, sensitive data can also be provided with secure access for which otherwise only on-site use would be possible."

Dr. Malte Jansen

Research Data Centre (FDZ) at the IQB

"IZA JOSUA team is very capable and helpful. Their expertise makes it so much easier for me as a researcher who want to find a trustworthy place to store our data and code in order to satisfy the replication requirement for publication, while still maintain the confidentiality of the data. We just decided to use it for our most recent work again."

Dr. Kailing Shen

Research School of Economics, The Australian National University

"I'm glad JOSUA exists. This saves me a lot of business trips to data centers and I can achieve my analyses at a place of my choice."

Dr. Lukas Mergele

ifo Center for the Economics of Education

"I must say that my experience with this offer has been extremely positive. The flexibility that you gain from remote access is very helpful."

Dr. Maximilian Todtenhaupt

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)

"The use of JOSUA has made my life as a researcher much easier: it tremendously speeded up the empirical work on various projects with large and sensitive data. I am sure that some of the projects would not have turned out successfully without JOSUA.”

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Siegloch

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

"JOSUA - a great service that allows me to work with sensitive microdata despite the strict German data protection rules.”

Maximilian Bach

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

"My experience with JOSUA is entirely positive. In particular, the simultaneous processing of submitted analysis scripts and the immediate availability of the results make remote processing a real alternative to time- and cost-intensive visits to Research Data Centers."

Dr. Steffen Künn

School of Business and Economics at the Maastricht University

"My team is happy to be able to work with JOSUA. Josua speeds up remote research and makes our work processes more flexible. Particularly during the pandemic restrictions that was helpful."

Prof. Regina Riphahn, PhD

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Foto: Markus Scholz/Leopoldina

"I moved between continents while I was developing a project using IAB FDZ microdata. Without the possibility of remote work through JOSUA, it would have been impossible to complete the project. Josua's importance only grew during the COVID pandemic, when most offices were closed for in-person work. It additionally gave me the flexibility to work in different time zones, and during weekends."

Ljubica Nedelkoska, PhD

Complexity Science Hub Vienna

"JOSUA has caused a profound effect on my data analysis efficiency. It has allowed me to access data when time or location would have otherwise made it impossible."

Matthew Piszczek, PhD

Wayne State University


"JOSUA is a game changer for empirical researchers. I have found it incredibly easy to use and it has made a big difference in facilitating my work with administrative data."

Simon Jäger, PhD

IZA Research Fellow


"The JOSUA interface is extremely user friendly and allows for easy remote work with large microdata sets. It is a key tool for today's research that relies heavily on large microdata sets and easy access to these data."


Upload your code and view your results from anywhere.

JOSUA Web is a web application which allows researchers to upload research code to be run under a controlled environment and view publishable research results.

The code goes to the data

The researcher never leaves their home or office

The data never leaves its premises

Scalability and Performance


Interact and experiment with the data.
JOSUA Direct.

JOSUA direct provides a virtual desktop which runs in your browser and can be built using commercial or open source ingredients.

PILS principle: access on the basis of Person, Institution, Legal conditions and Scientific project

Researchers can view the data on the screen

Export / Import gateway: GDPR censorship

Integrates with JOSUA web


Statistical Software Packages.

JOSUA supports a wide range of well-known statistical software packages for modern empirical research.




R Statistic




All in one solution

Overview of core functionalities

We are a complete solution for all your remote data access needs.

Project/Job overview for researchers and custodians

Choose by project/user whether to start compute jobs automatically or manually

Active directory support

Easy user and project management

Easy management of compute resources

Choose by project/user whether to release output results automatically or manually

Input filters

Output filters

Manual and automatic filtering

Email notifications for researchers and data custodians

Write your own filters in a programming language of your choice

GDPR conformal

Push-button replications for respositories


Write your own filters.

As a data provider you know that the stakes are high. Your data is sensitive and hence valuable. It needs to remain safe while it is being opened for research. You want to inspect incoming code before it runs against your data as well as output results before they are released to your roaming researchers for publication. As you get to know what the do’s and don’ts of your data are you can start programming rules (filters) for inbound jobs (e.g. to prevent certain code or commands from running at all) or outbound results (e.g. for compliance with privacy laws) to reduce the amount of work you do manually. You can use the programming language of your choice to do so.

Download the JOSUA 3 filter guide

Run your own instance of JOSUA.

Use JOSUA to open your data for research.

On your premises

Runs on own hardware and software

Integrates in your current IT infrastructure

Your datasets never leave your premises

At the IDSC

No hardware costs

No technical knowhow needed

Fast & Scalable

Runs in a certified enviroment for secure data processing


No hardware costs

No technical knowhow needed

Fast & Scalable


Active JOSUA Instances.

These research data centers already used JOSUA to open their data for roaming research.

Research Data Center IDSC at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Read more

Research Data Centre (FDZ) of the German Federal Employment Agency (BA)

Read more

Research Data Centre (FDZ) at the Institute for Educational Quality Improvement (IQB)

Read more

Forschungsdatenzentrum Wissenschaftsstatistik des Stifterverbandes

Read more

Frequently Asked Questions.

Some questions we got frequently from Researchers and Data Providers regarding to JOSUA.

From Researchers.


How can I use external command libraries, e.g. Stata-Ado, additional R packages etc.?

External-libraries are available both during on-site visit and in remote data access from an offline repository in JOSUA and must be installed manually. Only if external command libraries are not part of the repository, they can be uploaded via JOSUA and are then available for remote data processing as well as for on-site visits.


Can I add external aggregate data?

Yes. You can merge external variables on an aggregated level (districts, geocodes etc.). But, an upload of aggregated data with JOSUA is not intended and must pass inspection and approval first.

From Data Providers.


Can I trace all activities of a user?

All input and generated outputs are stored and logged with a time stamp in a comprehensible manner for every user and project on an individual level, regardless of whether the respective inquiry is successful or not.


How can I control input and output according to our privacy policy?

Filter settings can be designed individually for each platform. The most restrictive setting is a manual check of all syntax inputs and result outputs. Automatic rules for incoming syntax and outputs can also be defined for command combinations, impermissible commands or numbers.

Can't find the answer you need?

Contact us and we'll get back to you as soon as possible with a solution to whatever issues you're having with JOSUA.