For any data collection undertaking, data management covers both 'what to manage' and 'how to manage it'. 'What to manage' is important because data management applies not just to the data themselves, but to additional and accompanying information, chiefly documentation, code and command files, and metadata.
The details of a data management strategy will, of course, vary across projects, but the general guidelines presented here are pertinent to all projects that involve data collection or creation.
Above all else, good data management determines the quality of the data, and encompasses six overlapping procedures:
- Making back-up copies of relevant files
- Providing appropriate format conversion
- Ensuring authenticity of, and controlled access to, back-up and working copies
- Ensuring version control
- Providing suitable data storage
- Having adequate security