Keeping things neat and organized, whether it be your dorm room or your class notes, makes your life much easier. The same is true with your research data.
You work hard gathering your data. It may be very difficult or impossible to recreate if it is lost or corrupted. Successful completion of your research depends on your data being readable. Take the time to understand best practices for data organization.
Proper data organization makes it easier to use your data. An organized file structure and standard naming tells you what data are contained in a particular file and when it was created. Version control help you keep track of steps taken in your research process.
Having organized data also makes your research more accessible to other researchers. People who work with your data will want to know what is in each data file, how to access it, when it was created, and much more. Organized data allows others to replicate your research or use your data for further research.
This module lists tips and best practices for data organization.
Here are some data organization problems that have been experienced by other students:
STUDENT EXPERIENCE #1
STUDENT EXPERIENCE #2