Working with files

Aims and objectives

This module will:

  • provide guidance and information on managing data and how this can impact and support your studies
  • explore the importance of metadata in the digital world
  • examine tools to improve productivity

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • identify various file types and distinguish their usage
  • apply file management conventions, such as folder structure and version control
  • create storage and backup plans

1. Data storage

Digital storage is an important aspect of our culture. Athe amount of content creation keeps skyrocketing, all of this content needs to be stored somewhere. This demand for storage comes with questions and confusion about how to best store this data.

There are a lot of options when it comes to storing your files, resources, data etc. The option you choose depends on your personal or professional wants and needs.

Examples of different options:

  • computer hard drive
  • USB drive
  • CD
  • external hard drive
  • cloud

This range of options means there is no ‘best’ pathway when it comes to where to store your files. Self-assessing what you require when it comes to data storage should always be the first step.

Source: Computer hard drive by Vincent Botta.

Some basic questions to ask might be:

  1. How much space do I need? You may not know the answer to this straight away. If you like to keep everything, you might be looking for the biggest solution you can get. However, you may work better with a smaller limit to better organise your files and only keep those that are necessary.
  2. Do I want to pay or am I just after a free option?
  3. Do I need a simple solution or one with additional features and customisation?
  4. How concerned am I with privacy? Consider the sensitivity of the information and the accessibility of the storage platform.
  5. Do I require data creation or file sharing abilities in addition to just storage?
  6. Does it matter if I can't access files while there is no internet? Access to cloud storage is impacted by internet outages and poor performance.
  7. Am I working with research data as part of my honours/master/PhD/higher degree? If you are, talk to your supervisor as the UQ Research Data Manager may be the solution for you. Note: UQ staff should check Where to store files and information to ensure you are meeting UQ requirements.

Duration:   Approximately 20 minutes

Graduate attributes

Knowledge and skills you can gain to contribute to your Graduate attributes:

 Independence and creativity

 Critical judgement

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