Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Research Data Management

Why is research data important?

Research data management (RDM) will help you:

  • Save valuable time and resources
  • Preserve your data
  • Maintain data integrity
  • Meet grant requirements
  • Promote new discoveries
  • Support open access and open data

RDM is the compilation of small practices that make your data:

  • Easier to find & understand
  • Less likely to be lost
  • More likely to be usable during a project or 10 years later

Most importantly you don't want to lose your data!

What is data?

What is data?

Data is anything you perform analysis on.

Data can:

  • Be both digital and physical (i.e. computer files and paper survey responses)
  • Be from many fields - sciences, humanities, etc
  • Include research notes or lab notebooks, survey responses, software, code, measurements, images, audio, video, and physical samples.

- Data Management for Researchers by Kristin Briney    

Types of research data

Quantitative vs. Qualitative

  • Quantitative - numeric data (social sciences, physics, etc.)
  • Qualitative - descriptive in nature and deals with the quality of things (anthropology, history, etc.)

Primary vs. secondary data

  • Primary data - data that is collected by the researcher for a particular project. This is original data that is created from an experiment or observation. Gathered and maintained by the researcher. 
  • Secondary data - data originally created by someone else. For instance, census data or data via open access repositories. 

Other types of data

  • Experimental data - derived from controlled, randomized experiments
  • Observational data - gathered in instances where it is not possible to conduct a controlled experiment
  • Computational data - the output of a computer that has taken a large set of data and run it through a simulation
University of Michigan - Dearborn Logo
  • 4901 Evergreen Road
    Dearborn, MI 48128, USA
  • Phone: 313-593-5000
  • Contact us