This poster will report an alternative approach compared with large-scale collection, technology development, or discipline informatics projects by exploring the enhancement of science data management at the research group level. An academic-year-long project involving both information and technical analysts demonstrated that flexible introduction of IT in the form of a relational database solution presents an opportunity to incorporate data-related practices, behavior, and schemes into a tool. The project team used cognitive work analysis and participatory design research methods to sensitively analyze research practice and then design and introduce a prototype tool. Iterative analysis and design cycles captured and incorporated the complex practices of researchers who struggle with the accumulation of samples and related digital data files from years of research. Design research processes will be analyzed according to project developments and research group reaction to the proposed data management tool design and preliminary attempt at implementation.