Best Practice: Plan
Select a Best Practice below to learn more about the “Plan” stage in the Data Life Cycle.
What is the “Plan” stage?
Map out the processes and resources for the entire data life cycle. Start with the project goals (desired outputs, outcomes, and impacts) and work backwards to build a data management plan, supporting data policies, and sustainability plans.
More information can be found in the Best Practices Primer.
Create and document a data backup policy
A backup policy helps manage users’ expectations and provides specific guidance on the “who, what, when, and how” of the data backup and restore process. There are several benefits to documenting your data backup policy: Helps clarify the policies, p... (click for more)Create, manage, and document your data storage system
Data files should be managed to avoid disorder. To facilitate access to files, all storage devices, locations and access accounts should be documented and accessible to team members. Use appropriate tools, such as version control tools, to keep track of... (click for more)Define expected data outcomes and types
In the planning process, researchers should carefully consider what data will be produced in the course of their project. (click for more)Define roles and assign responsibilities for data management
In addition to the primary researcher(s), there might be others involved in the research process that take part in aspects of data management. By clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of the parties involved, data are more likely to be availab... (click for more)Define the data model
A data model documents and organizes data, how it is stored and accessed, and the relationships among different types of data. The model may be abstract or concrete. (click for more)Identify data sensitivity
Steps for the identification of the sensitivity of data and the determination of the appropriate security or privacy level are: Determine if the data has any confidentiality concerns Can an unauthorized individual use the information to do... (click for more)Identify suitable repositories for the data
Shaping the data management plan towards a specific desired repository will increase the likelihood that the data will be accepted into that repository and increase the discoverability of the data within the desired repository. When beginning a data man... (click for more)Plan data management early in your project
A Data Management Plan should include the following information: (click for more)Plan for effective multimedia management
Multimedia data present unique challenges for data discovery, accessibility, and metadata formatting and should be thoughtfully managed. Researchers should establish their own requirements for management of multimedia during and after a research project... (click for more)Provide budget information for your data management plan
As a best practice, one must first acknowledge that the process of managing data will incur costs. Researchers should plan to address these costs and the allocation of resources in the early planning phases of the project. This best practice focuses on ... (click for more)Revisit data management plan throughout the project life cycle
The plan will be created at the conceptual stage of the project. It should be considered a living document and a road map for the project, and should be closely followed. Any changes to the data management plan should be made deliberately, and the plan ... (click for more)