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Organizing Data Management

The management of data involves keeping research materials and files in a format that makes it simple for them to be found and comprehended. This includes arranging and labeling files to make them easy to find and ensuring that materials and files that are linked are connected in a meaningful way and ensuring that metadata and descriptions are clearly linked to and are associated with the files.

Whether the files are being stored in a folder hierarchy or as individual files, it is crucial to consider how they will be arranged and labeled. Selecting a consistent naming system can help ensure that all data and materials are easily identified at a later date, and it is worth noting that many disciplines have their own recommendations for this. A brief text or README file added to the folder might be useful.

In addition to facilitating access to files and data, proper data organization can also be a useful method to ensure that research can be replicated, and it is recommended to spend time planning out both the folder hierarchy and the naming conventions prior to the beginning of every project. These guidelines should be documented and shared with colleagues and should be included as part of the documentation needed for on-boarding new members of the research team.

A solid data governance system can save a business money by enhancing transparency and reducing wastage. Data mistakes can be costly for companies. It is estimated that inaccurate or incomplete data can cost US companies between 15% and 25 percent of their annual revenues. Implementing reliable software that assists in the creation, cataloging, and management of data can help reduce the risk of these issues.

April 18, 2024

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