Organizing Data Management

Organizing data is about keeping files and research materials in a manner that makes them easy to locate and understand. This includes labeling and arranging documents to make them easy to locate while ensuring that all files and materials that are linked are connected in a meaningful way and ensuring that metadata and descriptions are clearly connected to and associated with files.

Whether the files are being stored in a hierarchy of folders or as individual files it is important to consider the way they will be organized and labeled. A consistent file naming system will ensure that all documents and data are easily identified in the future and it is important to remember that different disciplines have their own recommendations for this. A short text or README file that is added to the folder may help.

It is important to plan out the folder hierarchy and the naming conventions prior to starting any project. These guidelines should be documented and shared with colleagues and could be incorporated into the on-boarding documentation for new members of the research team.

A well-functioning data governance program can save businesses money by increasing transparency and reducing waste. Data mistakes can be costly for companies. It is believed that inaccurate or incorrect data costs US companies between 15 and 25 percent of their annual revenues. Implementing reliable software that assists in the creation, cataloging and governance of data can help reduce the risk of these issues.

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