Why File Naming Conventions Matter in a Data Driven World

The majority of individuals often use Windows recommendations or author-selected terms to automatically rename their files. However, unless the creator provides it, they might not know the correct name when they or anybody else needs to access those files. If the author—whether on leave or no longer with the company—is unable to provide the name they selected to the relevant party, deadlines could be affected.


The search bar is an ideal tool to use when looking for a file that you may have misplaced or forgotten where it was saved the last time it was opened. It’s quite helpful if a worker has messy files or if another worker needs access to it but doesn’t want to spend too much time searching through every folder.


Having appropriate name folders and files is another way of keeping data organized. For example, if you have a financial dataset from 2008 and wanted to do a comparison of 2023 you would want these two files in their appropriate folders and file names.


The above-mentioned example makes it easier to locate and search for financial data by demonstrating the proper way to obtain it for each year.


Maintaining consistency is a big plus for naming conventions. It is highly recommended that all individuals and corporations adopt this approach for file naming standards. When referring files for Python or any other structured query language, it ensures that you’ll have less misunderstanding and problems, and it establishes a standard that others should adhere to.

Version Control

When referencing past data or any that have specific changes it’s important to make sure they are named correctly. Continuing with the financial data examples we should see a file name similar to the one below.


Now the above-mentioned example shows a newly generated file name comparing financial data in years 2008 and 2023 based on quarter 1 and quarter 4 data. This name convention will tell any person looking for these files that they have been filtered, clean, and are ready for visualization.

If you have to make an adjustment to one of the files because data is missing, unrelated data, or removing outliers. Then you can save a new file with an updated file name with “V2, V3, V4, etc.” added to the end of the new saved file. As this will also tell anyone looking for the new file what version to be looking at.


Certain industries and organizations may abide by regulations for file names to ensure data security and compliance. This means that those who handle public confidential information have a duty to keep it out of the hands of unauthorized parties. A few examples would be Experian breaches that happen every so often, and the HIPAA law that ensures your medical records are only with certain authorized parties.

Data Integrity

Having accurate, consistent, and completed data. Meaning you have to make sure that the data you have obtained is not duplicated, has an audit trail, back up data, and ensuring that each row is filled with genuine data.

Simply put, our overview of file naming conventions has illuminated searchability, consistency, version control, compliance, and data integrity. This information emphasizes the importance of why naming conventions matter in both career and personal lives.