Taxonomy And Metadata
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Taxonomy And Metadata

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Primer on taxonomy and metadata as seen from an enterprise content mgmt consulant's view

Primer on taxonomy and metadata as seen from an enterprise content mgmt consulant's view

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Taxonomy And Metadata Taxonomy And Metadata Presentation Transcript

  • Taxonomy and Metadata
    11/24/09
    David Champeau - ECM Consultant
  • Taxonomy and Metadata
    Definitions
    Examples
    Uses
    Introduction
  • A taxonomy is
    A classification scheme
    Semantic
    A knowledge map
    Taxonomies provide the lenses by which we perceive and talk about the world we live in
    [Classification] is almost the methodical equivalent of electricity- we use it every day, yet often consider it to be rather mysterious.
    Taxonomy
  • A taxonomy is a form of classification scheme
    Designed to group related things together (related not similar)
    Oranges and apples are in the fruit section
    Can be informal and ad hoc
    organize music CDs by genre
    Can be highly formal and standardized
    Dewey Decimal System
    Taxonomy
  • Taxonomies are semantic
    Taxonomies in knowledge management are different from formal published classification schemes
    Formal schemes rely heavily on codes
    Knowledge management taxonomies provide a fixed vocabulary
    This vocabulary needs to be meaningful and transparent to ordinary users
    When content is labeled “Project Kickoff” everybody should know what kind of documents they can expect to find in that category
    Taxonomy
  • Taxonomies are semantic
    They express the relationship between terms
    In the folder structure PROJECT DOCUMENTSPROJECT KICKOFF we immediately recognize that we will find other types of project documents adjacent to the PROJECT KICKOFF folder and we expect that they will be linked to the sequence of stages in the project
    PROJEC T DOCUEMNTSPROJECT KICKOFF
    PROJECT DOCUMENTSPROJECT REQUIREMENTS
    PROJECT DOCUMENTSPROJECT ARCHITECTURE
    If you take all the labels in a taxonomy and put them in alphabetical order, you have a controlled vocabulary – a dictionary
    Taxonomy
  • A taxonomy is a knowledge map
    “coup d’oueil” – “cast of the eye”
    A good taxonomy should enable the user to immediately grasp the overall structure of the knowledge domain
    The user should be able to accurately anticipate what resources he or she might find where
    The taxonomy should be comprehensible, predictable and easy to navigate
    Taxonomy
  • A taxonomy also acts as a artificial memory device
    Concepts are located in taxonomy structures and locked in place by association with their neighbors through their classification relationships
    This affords considerable mnemonic power
    Taxonomy
  • Various representations of taxonomies
    Lists
    Trees
    Hierarchies
    Polyhierarchies
    Matrices
    Facets
    System maps
    Taxonomy
  • Taxonomy work
    Taxonomies are products of work
    Developing a taxonomy is a project
    Knowledge management taxonomies need to reflect the working worlds of the organizations they are created for
    Because those working worlds continue to change, so must our taxonomies
    Taxonomy work is therefore continuous
    Taxonomy
  • Taxonomy and Knowledge Management evolution
    Paper filing systems
    Shared drive folder structures
    Content management systems
    Initially taxonomies were quite simple, drop down lists of keywords
    Initially an aid to findability
    As technology developed, metadata played a wider role in the control and management of content
    Taxonomy
  • Definition
    “Data about data” – Oxford English Dictionary
    “A collection of structured information about a document or a piece of content”
    For a document or (work) item of information this means data about the item such as Author, Title, Issue Data and other information.
    Metadata is usually defined in terms of units called “elements”, “fields”, “attributes” or “properties”
    Some elements may have “sub-elements”
    Date may have “date created”, “date approved”, “date published”
    Metadata may be made mandatory or optional
    Metadata
  • Purposes of metadata
    To identify content
    Capture fields and distinguish each document from all others
    Manage content
    Version numbers, archive date, security and access permissions
    Retrieval of content
    Taxonomy topics, subject keywords, document type
    Connect content to other content
    Behavioural metadata captured in transaction (i.e. Amazon.com)
    Business processes
    Authored by whom? Reviewed by whom and when? Approved by whom and when?
    Support Records Management
    Retention periods, disposition cycles
    Metadata
  • Standards and Guidelines
    Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (ISO 15836)
    Records Management
    ISO 15489 and 23081
    US DoD 5015.2-STD
    Design Criteria Standard for Electronic Records Management Software Applications
    Metadata
  • Dublin Core Example
  • Enforcing metadata use
    Items with no metadata?
    Minimum metadata needed at birth
    Metadata additions later
    Keep entries consistent
    Controlled vocabularies
    Pick values from lists
    Select from given options
    A simple approach
    The system will hold metadata about items in two main categories
    Essential (mandatory), to identify and manage the item
    Optional, the provide more information about the item
    More on metadata
  • Clearly metadata has to come from somewhere – and be accurate and useful
    Making some entries mandatory can help
    Too many mandatory elements may be seen as a tedious chore
    Too few mandatory elements may result in little metadata being entered
    Too many optional metadata entries may also result in little metadata being entered
    Users need to appreciate the VALUE of filling in the entries, voluntarily
    Mandatory or Optional?
  • Metadata sources
    Document
    Template
    System
    User
    Multi-media sources
    Auto-classification and auto-indexing
    Keyword indexing
    OCR/ICR
    Classification software
    Metadata Sources
  • Metadata content, however important, is notoriously difficult to acquire from users
    Before implementing ECM, users just put documents into an electronic folder of their choosing
    Now you are asking them to make a series of decisions about choosing categories, identifying access restrictions an so on
    Metadata implemented
  • Try to assign metadata without user involvement
    E.g. templates, defaults
    Users must see value
    Does it make their job easier?
    Metadata implemented
  • David Champeau
    ECM Consultant
    champeaudavid@yahoo.com
    Hope that it was helpful