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Taxonomy Book Camp SharePoint IA 11-17-10

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Earley & Associates presentation by Jeff Carr - Senior Information Architect & Search Consultant and Paul Wlodarczyk - Director, Solutions Consulting

Earley & Associates presentation by Jeff Carr - Senior Information Architect & Search Consultant and Paul Wlodarczyk - Director, Solutions Consulting

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  • A conversation between a publisher and a SharePoint AdminIf these two don’t really understand the terminology, where will it leave the user?
  • Paul Wlodarczyk will cover the range of available SharePoint add-ons and compatible tools to help you manage metadata, taxonomies and provide more robust search and tagging. Topics include:•    Navigation pain points in SharePoint search•    Using faceted search for better navigation•    Build vs. buy scenarios for custom taxonomy & faceted search•    Taxonomy/Metadata/Search vendor landscape overview•    Specific tool features and limitations


  • 1. Information Architecture and Taxonomy Management in SharePoint
    Taxonomy Boot Camp, November 16th, 2010
    Jeff Carr - Senior Information Architect & Search Consultant
    Paul Wlodarczyk - Director, Solutions Consulting
  • 2. SharePoint is very easy to implement
  • 3. Typical SharePoint Projects
    “Hey! We got SharePoint! It has got blogs, wikis, workspaces, team sites, and search—let us have all of that. We don't need anyone to help us. It is easy to set up, and we’ll just learn as we use it. We only need a site or two to store the documents in. If the users want in, we’ll give them some sites to play with.” 
    then, a couple months later…
    “Hey! We have 20 sites now. Lots of content. Not sure what we are doing. Not sure how it all connects together. We think we know how to manage it, though we don’t know how big it will get. And we also can’t control how big it gets because we are not entirely sure who is using it and why.” 
    Source: Managing and Implementing Microsoft® SharePoint® 2010 Projects - O’Reilly Media
  • 4. It’s commonplace with SharePoint to start with the technology first and push off the gathering and documentation of requirements until later, if at all.
    Adopted by IT followed by the provisioning of a few sites as business users become aware of its existence (easy to deploy).
    Mass proliferation of sites, lists and libraries and an assortment of individuals and groups start to turn on various bits of functionality resulting in a deployment that is haphazard and confusing.
    SharePoint has been specifically designed to remove management of the information environment away from IT and into the hands of business users.
    Site management is (oftentimes) dropped into the lap of a single or small group of uninformed individuals that are unaware of best practices in areas like content management, information architecture, taxonomy and metadata
    Information governance becomes crucial since many organizations lack standard ways of managing content.
    The Technology-Centric Approach
    Where is the information architecture?
  • 5. Requirements
    The IA Process
    Use Cases & Personas
    For SharePoint
    Content Modeling /Metadata
    Site Map & Navigation
    Content Modeling /Metadata
    Prototyping /Testing
  • 6. The success of SharePoint in any environment will be measured by your user’s ability to easily find information
    The technology will process the inputs that we provide whether they make sense or not (garbage-in/garbage-out)
    Information Architecture…
    Establishes the foundation for Findability - but Findability is not an attribute of technology, it is a set of standards and processes that are applied to organizational information
    Involves modeling content in a way that captures both “is-ness” and “about-ness”
    How we describe our content - information lifecycles, retention, metadata and taxonomy
    Understanding our users and their needs - Roles, responsibilities, tasks and activities required to support the pursuit business goals and processes
    Requires that we leverage features and functionality to support both
    What Goes In Must Come Out…
  • 7. Importance of Defining Standard Terminology
    High potential for confusion:
    • Safe Work Procedure
    • 8. Safe Operating Procedure
    • 9. HSEOP (HSE Operating Procedure)
    • 10. HSE Manual
  • Core IA Architectural Concepts
    Collection of sites
    Primary source of global navigation
    Site Collection
    Sites & Sub-Sites
    Container for lists/libraries
    source of “quick launch” navigation
    Basic unit of storage, collection of documents or items
    Lists &
  • 11. Content Type - A reusable collection of settings that define the behavior and properties for a specific type of information. Comprised of a collection of metadata attributes, information management policies, workflow and standard templates.
    Site Column - Metadata attribute (also known as a field) that can be assigned to one or more content type definitions, lists or document libraries. Used to help ensure consistent application of metadata across content in SharePoint.
    Date, Single or Multiline Text, People, Choice, Lookup (taxonomy)
    Site List - A tabular structure of items presented in a row (content) and column (metadata) format. Some examples:
    Contact, Task, Calendar
    Custom List - Taxonomy or controlled vocabulary used to populate dropdown menu (defined as Choice or Lookup column types).
    Core IA Architectural Concepts
  • 12. Steps involved in surfacing controlled lists of terms for tagging:
    Enabling Tagging
    1. Site List
    2. Site Column
    3. Content Type
    Tagging in the user interface (when adding new or editing an existing Policy)
  • 13. Metadata can only be tagged and stored as flat controlled vocabulary – no hierarchy possible
    Limitations of Site Lists
    Not Possible
  • 14. Site Boundaries & Inheritance
    Content Types, Site Columns and Site Lists
    Problem: Constructs are specific to the site collection in which they were created
    Content Types, Site Columns and Site Lists
    Solution: Requires manual or custom development for replication/syncing of constructs across Site Collections
  • 15. Navigational Limitations
    Navigation is “naturally” only within a Site Collection
    Problem: Fragmented UX when navigating between different site collections
    • Specific to a Site Collection
    • 16. Based largely on Sites and Sub Sites
    • 17. Quick launch shows “current site” elements
    • 18. Top-level navigation shows sub sites and peers
    Solution: Requires custom development for the creation of a consistent experience across the environment
  • 19. Problem - Search is often installed and simple OOTB configurations ignored
    Full-text indexing along with the document title, short snippet and ten results per page become the common default experience
    Frequently filled with redundant, outdated or irrelevant content (clear reflection of the information that has been uploaded into the system)
    Inconsistencies in how information is enriched will result in a poor search experience
    Ref: http://www.earley.com/blog/enterprise-search-why-we-cant-just-get-google
    Search Experience
  • In addition to site collections, content types, site columns, lists, libraries and views…
    Managed Metadata - A hierarchical collection of predefined centrally managed terms that are applied by publishers as metadata attributes for content items.
    Managed Term - A predefined word or phrase created and managed by a user with appropriate permissions and often organized into a hierarchy (controlled vocabularies, taxonomic in nature).
    Enterprise Keywords - A non-hierarchical word or phrase that has been added to the keyword set directly by a system user (uncontrolled vocabularies, folksonomic in nature).
    Term Store - A database that is used to house both Managed Terms and Managed Keywords.
    Groups- From a taxonomy perspective, a group is a flat list or hierarchical collection of related attributes comprised of one or more Term Sets.
    Term Set - A flat list or hierarchical collection of related Terms that belong to a Group.
    Term - A word or phrase that can be applied by publishers and system users as metadata to content.
    Core Architectural Concepts
  • 24. Term Store Management Tool
    Term Attributes
    Term Set
    Centralized Management
    of Metadata
  • 25. Auto-Suggest - Display of taxonomy terms as a user types characters into a Managed Metadata field.
    Tagging: Auto-Suggest
    Term Hierarchy
    Term Definition
    Preferred Term
  • 26. Hierarchy - Display of taxonomy terms in a popup window that provides the ability to browse through the defined hierarchy.
    Tagging: Browsing the Hierarchy
    Preferred Term
    Term Definition
  • 27. Content Type Hub
    Content Types, Site Columns and Site Lists
    Centralized Management
    of Content Types
    Create and manage global content types in a single location and push them out to subscribing site collections
  • 28. In addition, we now have the Refinement Panel and document previews…
    Search Enhancement
    Scope Presentation
  • 29. Physically oriented and architectural constructs bound by site collections
    A lack of cross site collection synchronization of fundamental IA building blocks
    content types, metadata, taxonomy and navigation
    Metadata and taxonomy is simplistic
    Inability to create and manage taxonomic relationships between terms (no hierarchy, associations, synonyms defined separately as part of the thesaurus file)
    OOTB search reflects all limitations (inability to easily surface and leverage metadata)
    Overall Shortcomings
    Physically oriented and architectural constructs such as navigation are bound by site collections
    Improved metadata and taxonomy, but still basic application
    Ability to define synonyms, but applied to the tagging process (search thesaurus is still separate)
    Inability to create and manage taxonomic complex relationships between terms (associative)
  • 30. Taxonomy in SharePoint Search and Metadata
    Paul Wlodarczyk
    Director Solutions Consulting
    Earley & Associates
  • 31. Integration of Taxonomy with SharePoint
    Vendor Landscape
    Tagging and Auto-classification
    Search User Experience and Search Relevance
    How to Decide
  • 32. Tagging and Taxonomy: Out of the box: just flat lists. Can be extended to hierarchical controlled vocabularies with third party extensions
    Search: No faceted search out of the box, but advanced search can behave in a faceted way using metadata.
    Tagging and Taxonomy: Hierarchical Term Stores, Suggested Terms, Definitions.
    Search: Search refinement (facets) based on metadata
    Third Party Solutions
    Enterprise Taxonomy and Metadata Management
    Content Classification
    Custom Search Applications
    Taxonomy Management, Classification, and Search in SharePoint
  • 33. Taxonomy Integration with SharePoint
    There are several points of integration for taxonomy in SharePoint:
    Content Metadata: Taxonomy as source of terms for metadata
    Search Configuration: Thesaurus and Best Bets can be derived from taxonomy
    Content Index: Leverage taxonomic relationships for classification rules, modify relevancy ranking in the search index
    Search User Experience: Create a custom search application that uses taxonomy for driving facets, navigation, related searches, suggested searches, etc.
  • 34. Taxonomy Integration with SharePoint
    There are several points of integration for taxonomy in SharePoint:
    Content Metadata: Taxonomy as source of terms for metadata
    Search Configuration: Thesaurus and Best Bets can be derived from taxonomy
    Content Index: Leverage taxonomic relationships for classification rules, modify relevancy ranking in the search index
    Search User Experience: Create a custom search application that uses taxonomy for driving facets, navigation, related searches, suggested searches, etc.
    Third Party Search Engine: replace SharePoint Search with another platform that can consume taxonomy
    3rd Party Query Engine
    3rd Party Index Engine
  • 35. Third Party Application Scope
    Applications vary in depth, breadth, and complexity
    Tagging plug-ins
    Search UX plug-ins
    Taxonomy Management Suites
    Search engines with user experience toolkits
  • 36. Taxonomy and Content classification
  • 37. Manual Tagging
    Users can generate keywords for specific SharePoint columns, either as free text, or chosen from controlled vocabularies defined during configuration of the column.
    Taxonomy-driven Manual Tagging
    Taxonomy / term store is source of preferred terms for tagging metadata. In SharePoint 2010, third-party tools integrate with the term store. In SharePoint 2007, third-party add-ons provide a hierarchical user experience for manual tagging, based upon a taxonomy.
    Taxonomy-driven Auto-classification
    Third party classification engine uses taxonomy and/or other methods to inform a rules-based classification of documents. Metadata are generated, usually as a flat list of terms in a keyword column that can be manually revised, often with a hierarchical view of the vocabulary.
    Approaches to SharePoint Classification
  • 38. Centrally manage an enterprise taxonomy
    Use enterprise taxonomy as source of preferred terms / controlled vocabularies (and synch with 2010 Term Store)
    Auto-classification using the taxonomy as a source of SharePoint metadata
    Make up for term store shortcomings in 2007:
    Manage SharePoint Metadata
    Map controlled vocabularies to SharePoint columns
    Display hierarchy in tagging user interface
    Persisting the taxonomic relationships in the metadata
    Key Capabilities for Classification in SharePoint
  • 39. Manual Tagging Example: WordMap
    Metadata columns defined by SharePoint Admin – Department, Product, Locations
    Controlled vocabulary from taxonomy mapped to columns
  • 40. Manual Tagging Example: WordMap
    Creating new columns and associating them with controlled vocabularies
  • 41. Manual Tagging Example: WordMap
    Hierarchy is preserved in the metadata (can be viewed on hover) and is available for search
    Controlled vocabulary presented for selection, then shown in view
  • 42. Auto-classification Example: Smartlogic
    Documents can be auto-classified in SharePoint based upon policies
  • 43. Auto-classification Example: Smartlogic
    Documents can be auto-classified using a manual trigger
  • 44. Auto-classification Example: Smartlogic
    Auto-classify results shown in Edit Properties dialog
    Can be manually edited using Add or Remove
  • 45. Auto-classification Example: Smartlogic
    Tagging interface enables multiple terms to be selected from a taxonomy-driven CV to edit the automatically applied terms
  • 46. Auto-classification Example: Concept Searching
    Metadata columns defined by SharePoint Admin – “Agricultural”
    Metadata results from auto-classification of concepts that are related to preferred terms in the taxonomy
  • 47. Concept Searching
    Taxonomy Management and Auto-Classification
    Full integration with SharePoint and MS Office Applications
    Classifier is concept-based: finds concepts then maps them to the preferred terms in the taxonomy
    SharePoint Metadata Management – MetaPoint
    Full integration with SharePoint and MS Office Applications
    Integration with Term Store for manual metadata tagging
    Suggests tags in MS Word
    No auto-classification solution
    Taxonomy Management and Auto-Classification
    Full integration with SharePoint and MS Office Applications
    Classifier is rules-based: Rules are derived from taxonomic relationships, and preferred / non-preferred / related terms
    Tagging and Classification Applications for SharePoint
  • 48. Taxonomy and Search
  • 49. Search Relevance / Indexing
    Integrate a taxonomy-driven classifier with the indexing process for SharePoint or Third Party search (Google, FAST, Attivio, etc.)
    Use taxonomy as source for preferred terms / equivalence terms in search
    Search User Experience
    Use taxonomic relationships to drive navigation (e.g. tree browse) and faceted search or tag clouds
    Use taxonomic relationships to suggest related searches
    Key capabilities for Taxonomy Integration with Search
  • 50. Search User Experience: Smartlogic
    • Related terms in Smartlogic Semaphore. The user searched for “rights” in the SharePoint search box. Smartlogic shows related terms on the right for “rights” from the taxonomy. Search term highlighting is native MOSS functionality, showing search terms, not taxonomy terms.
  • Search User Experience: Smartlogic
    • Faceted search in Smartlogic Semaphore. The user refined their search for “rights” by selecting “Employment Rights” in related terms.
    • 51. A facet is added for “Employment Rights”; the suggestion box changes to show Related Categories. Multiple facets will be shown if the user drills down, and facets can be removed by clicking the X on the facet
  • Search User Experience: BA Insight
    • “Refine your search” for faceted search and tag clouds
    • 52. Facets can be hierarchical based upon taxonomy (e.g. Client, Practice, Matter), and can show calculated ranges (e.g. dates) and document metadata (e.g. Author).
  • Search User Experience: BA Insight
    • Document preview - User interaction with the preview affects relevancy rankings.
  • Search User Experience: BA Insight
    • Search term highlighting in the preview
    • 53. Key concepts are search terms used like folksonomictags
    • 54. Key concepts can be used as facets in the full view – so can quickly find the most relevant pages
    • 55. Pages can be saved to a “research notebook”
    • In the Taxonomy Browse view using the SharePoint search engine, the user can narrow the search to a sub-tree within the taxonomy.
    • 56. Here they will search for the concept “water quality” within the “Environment” sub-tree of preferred terms (and their clues).
    Search User Experience: Concept Searching
  • 57.
    • Search results pages can be enhanced using taxonomy-driven facets for search refinement (right) and related searches (left).
    • 58. The search results can be filtered on individual terms or the concept, and search terms are highlighted in the extracts.
    Search User Experience: Concept Searching
  • 59.
    • FAST can create custom search applications for SharePoint
    Search User Experience: FAST
  • 60.
    • FAST facets can include graphical representations (e.g. date sliders, pies, maps).
    Search User Experience: FAST
  • 61.
    • Attivio can provide faceted search and custom applications atop SharePoint.
    Search User Experience: Attivio
  • 62.
    • Attivio custom “active dashboards” can integrate structured and unstructured data into rich business intelligence applications..
    Search User Experience: Attivio
  • 63. With so many options, it can be daunting to know where to begin
    Our advice: Choose Search technology first…
    Recall and relevance drives business results
    User experience drives adoption
    … Then decide on classification tools …
    … Then decide on taxonomy management.
    Only required if taxonomy is consumed outside of SharePoint and Search, or for large / complex / volatile taxonomies, or to support auto-classification
    How to decide?
  • 64. How much do you need?
    Faceted Search in SharePoint
    Facets span content types, fully-flexible UX,
    deep indexing, relate to structured data (FAST, Attivio)
    Advanced Faceted Search
    Related search suggestions, broader/narrower, thesaurus relates search terms to preferred terms, tree browse (BA Insight, Concept Searching, Smartlogic)
    Taxonomy-DrivenFaceted Search
    Expose facets on main search screen, basic tree view (SharePoint 2010)
    Basic Faceted Search
    Use advanced search for filtering on metadata fields. Navigation is based on site architecture / folder structure
    SharePoint OOB
  • 65. Organizations are really good at creating information and a well planned and intelligently constructed foundation is the basis for successful information architectures and high quality user experiences
    A taxonomy by itself lacks value - it becomes powerful when it’s applied to content and surfaced through information access mechanisms like search and navigation
    Don’t skip IA process just because SharePoint is easy to implement
    Master OOTB features first and ensure it’s configured properly to meet your needs
    Keep your eye on consistency across sites, site collections through governance (must be enforced)
    SharePoint itself is not intended to be an enterprise taxonomy management tool.
  • 66. Contact
    Jeff Carr
    Senior Information Architect & Search Consultant
    Email: jeff@earley.comTwitter: @siftonpark
    LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/siftonpark
    Paul Wlodarczyk
    Director, Solutions Consulting
    Email: paul@earley.comTwitter: @ twitcontentguy
    LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/paulw