Why should you organize your data?
The organizational structure of your data can help you easily locate files when revisiting a past project and can help secondary users find, identify, select, and obtain the data they require.
How do you organize your data?
For best results, data structure should be fully modeled top-to-bottom/beginning-to-end in the planning phase of a project.
You'll want to devise ways to express the following:
Why is file naming important?
Think of a file name as a unique identifier for each of your files. Following a naming convention allows you to simplify the organization of your files and locate your files with ease, as well as making it easier for others to understand and reuse your data. This is particularly important when you are working on a collaborative project.
How should you name your file?
Here are some recommended best practices for naming your files:
How should files be structured?
Folder structure for your files can assist in the unique identification of the files contained within them. Consider the structure of the folders containing your data files before you begin to collect your data. Ideas for how to organize your folders include:
Consider these examples:
File Naming Resources
To maximize the share-ability and re-usability of your data, you will want to carefully consider the format in which your data is saved. Careful selection of data format can also help you down the road by limiting the chances of your data becoming obsolete when a proprietary format is no longer supported.
What format should you use?
Formats which are more than likely to be accessible in the long-term are:
If you have questions about data organization and format or would like to request a consultation with a member of the Data Services Team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or click the "Ask Us" link on the top right side of this site.