Data Organization


For data organization, we suggest to use the 5S methodology that uses a list of five words 1:

  1. Sort: delete unnecessary files.
  2. Set in order: develop and document naming conventions and folder structures.
  3. Shine:
    • Comply with conventions.
    • Develop routines.
  4. Standardize:
    • Document rules and responsibilities.
    • Develop best practices and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
  5. Sustain:
    • Regularly check whether rules are followed.
    • Implement improvements if necessary.

File naming conventions

File versioning

Version control

Folder structure

Big data organization

Further resources

5S methodology

Organizing data in spreadsheets



  1. 1. Assmann C, Gadelha L, Markus K, Vandendorpe J. Workshop on Research Data Management. Published online November 2022.
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