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Identify most appropriate software

Best Practice: 

Follow the steps below to choose the most appropriate software to meet your needs.

  1. Identify what you want to achieve (discover data, analyze data, write a paper, etc.)
  2. Identify the necessary software features for your project (i.e. functional requirements)
  3. Identify logistics features of the software that are required, such as licensing, cost, time constraints, user expertise, etc. (i.e. non-functional requirements)
  4. Determine what software has been used by others with similar requirements
    • Ask around (yes, really); find out what people like
    • Find out what software your institution has licensed
    • Search the web (e.g. directory services, open source sites, forums)
    • Follow-up with independent assessment
  5. Generate a list of software candidates
  6. Evaluate the list; iterate back to Step 1 as needed
  7. As feasible, try a few software candidates that seem promising
Description Rationale: 

By carefully considering software choice before a project begins, costs, requirements, and limitations can be addressed early in the data life cycle.

Additional Information: 
Damien Gessler
Perry Willett