Iron Rule 2 | Understand the Nature of your Data

Before handling any data, make sure you understand the nature of it

Understanding Data 

When handling data, take into account the following aspects: 

  • Level of confidentiality: what will happen if this data is lost? 
  • Legislative and regulatory requirements: think about applicable regulations – for instance, the Data Protection Act. 
  • Contractual requirements: your research data could be subject to contractual requirements imposed by a third party data provider. 

Data Handling 

Data handling includes every aspect of the data lifecycle from collection and storage through to transfer and sharing, retention, and disposal.   

Remember to think carefully before you share any data, making sure the necessary protection is in place when you do.    

Top Tip: Always pay extra attention to ‘personal data’ and ‘sensitive personal data’ in the context of the UK Data Protection Act. 

Learn more about the LSE Data Protection Policy here

LSE’s Information Classification Standard organises data into the categories below. Select any of the following to learn about the classification level: 

Data Storage and Sharing Facilities at LSE 

LSE provides staff and students with the following options for storing information: 

OneDrive for Business (OD4B)

OneDrive for Business (OD4B) is your personal storage solution in the Cloud. 

With 1TB available for all staff and students, OD4B is recommended for work/study related file and document storage.  

For guidance on the service, please see here.  

H: Space

All staff and students at LSE are given a quota of personal file space on the network, called H: space. 

You can save your work and study related files and folders here while logged on to the LSE network. By default, this area can only be accessed by you.  

For guidance on H: Space usage and allowance, see here.  

Shared Folders

LSE’s file servers ‘Adminshared’ and  ‘Deptshared’ provides staff and researchers with an area to store data which needs to be shared across a team/department. It may have letters such as L:, M: or P:. You will automatically see folders you are authorised to access on your work PC or from remote desktop.  

For remote desktop connections, use

You might need to check with Tech Support in order to make sure folder access permissions have been set in the right way, ensuring only the right people have access to the data stored in the folder. 

Commercial Cloud Storage

Cloud storage refers to the storage and management of data online. Before using this service model, consider the nature of information you wish to store. For example, confidential information should only be stored in the Cloud if it has been encrypted.   

To further help protect your data, use multi-factor authentication (major cloud storage providers offer this option) when accessing your account. 

Also be aware that data provided by 3rd parties, subject to the contract requirements, might not be allowed to be stored in the Cloud.