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Research Data Management: Data Preparation & Analysis

    Data Preparation & Analysis

To achieve maximum impact your data must be FAIR – Findable, Accessible, Inter-operable, Reusable. Data preparation can help with all these areas.


Controlled language for metadata fields such as authors/creators, subject, type and description, can aid with findability, the capacity to match different datasets, and with establishing an effective organisational structure for multiple datasets.

Library staff can add a research data collection record to Research Data Australia to increase your research impact.

Complete the template below and email it to

Tools to help with metadata

Data formats

Using open formats with a published specification will make it easier to access or repurpose the data in the future, as proprietary data formats used by specific software programs can change over time or become obsolete.

Some documented open data formats (office documents or hierarchical/tabulated data) 

Many commercial software programs will directly open and save these open data formats as well as their own proprietary formats (e.g. Word can open and save .odt documents and some .xml files, and Excel can open and save .ocs spreadsheets, .csv files, and some .xml files).

Conversion tools might be available for converting between open and proprietary formats.

More suggested formats (including image formats, geospatial data, and compressed formats)  

Data checking and cleaning

Ensuring your data is accurate and reliable before analysis and publication will prevent problems later.

Salkind, Neil J. (2010) Data cleaning. In: Encyclopedia of Research Design

OpenRefine (formerly Google Refine) - software for data clean-up and conversion (Wikipedia description)

Software for research data analysis

SPSS - quantitative data analysis, software available on Federation University computers

Contact Rob Watson for support and training opportunities in SPSS.

NVIVO - qualitative research data analysis program.

A limited number of places for free NVIVO training are available each year. Contact Rob Watson to register your interest.

Statistics and interpretation