DESIGN AND MODELING OF
INFORMATION AND EXPERIENCES

Eight Habits of a Good Taxonomist
- Delivered at Infocamp Seattle

Oct...
Overview:
Gary Carlson and Factor
Gary Carlson has recently merged his consulting practice
into a company called Factor. U...
Partial List of Past and Current Clients
Taxonomy???
Collection of terms and relationships between terms used to
describe a domain. (And hopefully created to addre...
What is the difference between a “taxonomy”
and an “enterprise taxonomy”

Not much

Everything
An enterprise taxonomy is…
...
Enterprise???
A large organization with multiple business units sharing a common
mission.
In general the different busines...
Eight Habits????
Well, actually, approaches, things to keep in mind, best
practices, etc when negotiating the people, syst...
#1 – Sets Expectations
Taxonomies are essential for an organization, but…
Sharing data is hard (Sharing is hard in general...
#2 Knows the Technology
Understanding the capabilities and limitations of
the technology is essential for designing
soluti...
#3 Avoids religious wars
A thesaurus can be an Ontology or a Taxonomy or
a Controlled Vocabulary, or a… or a….
The ANSI Sp...
#4 Follows the money
1- Follow the money
2- Follow the money
3- Follow the money
Checklist:
Create a business case (Proble...
#5 Is a good listener
People get very attached to their data and are much more likely
buy into change if they know their i...
#6 Does not use the word “Taxonomy” in
polite company
We all know what we mean by the word taxonomy … (Do we?)
We all know...
#6 Does not use the word “Taxonomy” in polite
company
So…
Be ready to talk about the 2 or 3 steps between the
taxonomy and...
#7 Is a good juggler

Requirements gathering
Business analysis
Integration planning
Business Process Analysis
Use Case gen...
# 8 Know Yourself
Conclusions???
Identify the business problem at the start of any
project
Gathering requirements for a taxonomy is a huge
p...
Questions ????
Thanks!!!
Gary Carlson
Gary@factorfirm.com
www.factorfirm.com
gc_taxonomy
DESIGN AND MODELING OF INFORMATION AND EXPERIENCES

THANK YOU!

04.23.13
info@factorfirm.com
http://factorfirm.com
@factor...
8 habits of a successful taxonomist
8 habits of a successful taxonomist
8 habits of a successful taxonomist
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8 habits of a successful taxonomist

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This presentation is a summary of some hard earned lessons learned while working on enterprise taxonomies. Understanding the user experience, technical, cultural, political, marketing, and business landscape of a project is an essential aspect of designing, building, and implementing a taxonomy.

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8 habits of a successful taxonomist

  1. 1. DESIGN AND MODELING OF INFORMATION AND EXPERIENCES Eight Habits of a Good Taxonomist - Delivered at Infocamp Seattle October 2013 Gary Carlson @gc_taxonomy gary@factorfirm.com factorfirm.com
  2. 2. Overview: Gary Carlson and Factor Gary Carlson has recently merged his consulting practice into a company called Factor. Under Factor, Gary will continue to provide taxonomy and information management consulting services along with an expanded focus on the intersection between Information Modeling and User Experience. Our primary offerings include: Taxonomy Development, Governance, Integration and Maintenance Strategy User Experience Strategy and Design Information Infrastructure Analysis Training and Best Practices Workshops Request for Proposal Development for Taxonomy/Ontology Tools • • • • •
  3. 3. Partial List of Past and Current Clients
  4. 4. Taxonomy??? Collection of terms and relationships between terms used to describe a domain. (And hopefully created to address a real business problem) ANSI Thesaurus Controlled Vocabularies Controlled value lists etc Traditional BT/NT taxonomy Ontologies Folksonomies? Terms or relationships may or may not have rich attributes associated with them
  5. 5. What is the difference between a “taxonomy” and an “enterprise taxonomy” Not much Everything An enterprise taxonomy is… Both are collections of terms and relationships between the terms Both are generally managed by a taxonomist Both are designed to meet specific business needs Designed and built to be used by more than one system Used by people in different business units or divisions Managed with strong change control and security requirements Managed by business owners as well as taxonomists
  6. 6. Enterprise??? A large organization with multiple business units sharing a common mission. In general the different business units (divisions) may have their own mission statements designed to support the enterprise mission.
  7. 7. Eight Habits???? Well, actually, approaches, things to keep in mind, best practices, etc when negotiating the people, systems, data and politics of an enterprise.
  8. 8. #1 – Sets Expectations Taxonomies are essential for an organization, but… Sharing data is hard (Sharing is hard in general) Especially across business units Legal and security issues often arise Workflow requirements often arise Did I mention politics? Integrating Information across systems is expensive and will require Staffing for development and on-going support often requires hard to find expertise Software – COTS or custom (both are expensive) Hardware
  9. 9. #2 Knows the Technology Understanding the capabilities and limitations of the technology is essential for designing solutions and building credibility with IT teams Using taxonomies in multiple systems requires extensive technical integration and work with IT teams
  10. 10. #3 Avoids religious wars A thesaurus can be an Ontology or a Taxonomy or a Controlled Vocabulary, or a… or a…. The ANSI Spec is ... well,... The ANSI spec RDF VS XML Homegrown VS COTS tools Folksonomies???? Community Checklist Leave dogma at the door
  11. 11. #4 Follows the money 1- Follow the money 2- Follow the money 3- Follow the money Checklist: Create a business case (Problem, Cost, Solution, Approach) Document exactly how the taxonomy supports the business o ROI o Legal requirements o Brand management o Customer Satisfaction o Business / Financial reporting Get involved with the marketing team
  12. 12. #5 Is a good listener People get very attached to their data and are much more likely buy into change if they know their input is part of the plan. Check List Don’t call the baby ugly (you can call the baby messy) Document the uses, users, inputs and exports of the data Connect groups within the organization Connect data to the business when talking with people
  13. 13. #6 Does not use the word “Taxonomy” in polite company We all know what we mean by the word taxonomy … (Do we?) We all know how important they can be However… Very few companies consider taxonomies to be profit centers. The value of taxonomies is generally 2 or 3 levels removed from real revenue or efficiency gains.
  14. 14. #6 Does not use the word “Taxonomy” in polite company So… Be ready to talk about the 2 or 3 steps between the taxonomy and the revenue or increased efficiency. Treat and talk about the taxonomy as corporate asset Try Try Try to work on projects connected to revenue – the marketing team is your friend
  15. 15. #7 Is a good juggler Requirements gathering Business analysis Integration planning Business Process Analysis Use Case generation Taxonomy building
  16. 16. # 8 Know Yourself
  17. 17. Conclusions??? Identify the business problem at the start of any project Gathering requirements for a taxonomy is a huge process and can lead to many different areas of an organizations Align your projects with the business and preferably with revenue, rather than efficiency Have Fun
  18. 18. Questions ???? Thanks!!! Gary Carlson Gary@factorfirm.com www.factorfirm.com gc_taxonomy
  19. 19. DESIGN AND MODELING OF INFORMATION AND EXPERIENCES THANK YOU! 04.23.13 info@factorfirm.com http://factorfirm.com @factorfirm

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