Monday, February 08, 2016

Keep Your Data Safe

Love Your Data Week: Keep Your Data Safe. Bits and Pieces.  Scott A Martin. February 8, 2016.
     The post reflects on a 2013 survey of 360 respondents:
  • 14.2% indicated that a data loss had forced them to re-collect data for a project.  
  • 17.2% indicated that they had lost a file and could not re-collect the data.
If this is indicative of  the total population of academic researchers, then there is a lot of lost research time and money due to lost data. Some simple guidelines can greatly reduce the chances of catastrophic loss if steps are included in your own research workflow:
  1. Follow the 3-2-1 rule for backing up your data: store at least 3 copies of each file (1 working copy and 2 backups), 2 different storage media and at least 1 offsite copy 
  2. Perform regular backups
  3. Test your backups periodically
  4. Consider encrypting your backups.  Just make sure that you’ve got a spare copy of your encryption password stored in a secure location!  

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