The course will cover aspects of the entire data life cycle. Best practices will be introduced including metadata content, data cleaning, database design, management of large data volumes and quality control. Best choices of technologies for various tasks will be discussed and supplemented with hands on exercises in using workflow engines, spreadsheets vs. databases, and web publishing technologies. Using existing standards for metadata, taxonomic information, attributes and units will be demonstrated and different community standards as well as implications of a standardized approach will be discussed. Ecologists will leave this workshop with a solid understanding of metadata, the tools to create them, and data catalogs for registering and publishing them along with their data and how to prepare their data for long term preservation. They will have a good overview of existing technologies and know which technology is best suited for which tasks.