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Data Management

About Data Management

What do we mean by "managing" data?

Data management refers to "the practice of collecting, keeping, and using data securely, efficiently, and cost-effectively. " ( This concept is integral to preserving the quality of data and the longevity of a research project.


What exactly does this mean and what does it apply to?

Data management impacts many areas of a project:

  • Storage methods and file size requirement
  • Tracking metadata in order to validate data quality
  • Creating naming schemas to make files easier to locate
  • Documenting processes in order to ensure that the data is reproducible by future researchers


What is a data management plan and when should I start developing one?

A data management plan may be required if the project is grant based - but a plan can be used for any research project! This plan can help track progress, manage data that needs to be collected or has already been created, and be passed onto future researchers who may be working on the project.

A data management plan should be created at the beginning of the planning process! This is important because it can highlight any potential technology needs early on the project, and prepare the research group if additional training is needed. It can also assist with sticking to ongoing project goals.

Need help with ideas for developing a data management plan? Check out the Data Management Plan tab of this library guide!

Data Management Terminology

The World of Data