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Taxonomy 101: Presented at Taxonomy Boot Camp 2019

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This presentation delivers a detailed understanding of taxonomy definitions, taxonomy value (ROI), and taxonomy design methodologies and approaches. It was originally delivered by Zach Wahl and Tatiana Cakici of Enterprise Knowledge at Taxonomy Boot Camp 2019 in Washington, DC.

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Taxonomy 101: Presented at Taxonomy Boot Camp 2019

  1. 1. TAXONOMY 101 WORKSHOP Taxonomy Definitions, Value and Best Practices
  2. 2. HELLO! ZACH WAHL PRINCIPAL Areas of Focus: Management & IT Leadership, KM Strategy, Information Governance, Taxonomy Design TATIANA CAKICI SENIOR CONSULTANT Areas of Focus: Taxonomy Design, Information Governance, KM Strategy, @EKConsulting
  3. 3. Taxonomy Definitions
  4. 4. tax·on·o·my (tāk-sōn-mē) n. pl. tax·on·o·mies 1. The classification of organisms in an ordered system that indicates natural relationships. 2. The science, laws, or principles of classification; systematics. 3. Division into ordered groups or categories: "Scholars have been laboring to develop a taxonomy of young killers" (Aric Press). 4 TAXONOMY DEFINITION EK’s Definition of Taxonomy Controlled vocabularies used to describe or characterize explicit concepts of information, for purposes of capture, management, and presentation. @EKConsulting
  5. 5. TAXONOMY AND METADATA • Provide structure to unstructured information. • Join or relate multiple disparate sources of information. • Provide multiple avenues to find and discover information. • Enable findability. Findability @EKConsulting
  6. 6. In a supermarket, where would you expect to find almond milk? • Breakfast section • Dairy section • Baking section • Beverages section @EKConsulting
  7. 7. METADATA Milk Metadata ▪ Type: Almond ▪ Brand: Silk ▪ Price: $3.59 ▪ Size: 64 oz. ▪ Flavor: Vanilla @EKConsulting
  8. 8. Sometimes content repositories look like products in a supermarket. Thousands of items. Multiple categories and multiple facets. Can you find the almond milk?
  9. 9. General Product Metadata: • Delivery Day • Amazon Prime • Eligible for Free Shipping Specific TV Metadata: • TV Display Size • Television Resolution • Electronic Device Model Year • Etc.
  10. 10. LINKEDIN People Metadata: • Name • Title • Location • Education • Skills • Etc. @EKConsulting
  11. 11. TAXONOMY AND METADATA @EKConsulting
  12. 12. TAXONOMY AND METADATA @EKConsulting
  13. 13. Business taxonomies are classification for findability. 13 TRADITIONAL V. BUSINESS TAXONOMIES Traditional taxonomies are classification for the sake of classification. Source: https://adapaproject.org/
  14. 14. 14 Traditional Taxonomy Business Taxonomy PURPOSE Categorization Findability DESIGNED BY Scientists/Librarians The Business MANAGED BY Scientists/Librarians The Business USED BY Scientists/Librarians Everyone COMPLEXITY Deep, Wide, Detailed Flat, Simple, Deconstructed KEY CHARACTERISTICS Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive Usable, Intuitive, Natural TRADITIONAL V. BUSINESS TAXONOMIES @EKConsulting
  15. 15. METADATA FIELD CONCEPTS ▪ Primary Metadata Field: A field that can apply to all content across all systems. ▪ Secondary Metadata Field: A field that can apply to a subset of content across all systems. ▪ Tertiary Metadata Field: A system of function specific field. @EKConsulting
  16. 16. A business taxonomy is: • Usable – Easy to adopt and utilize for any skill level. • Relatively flat (2-3 levels). • “Easy” to navigate. • Intuitive – Does not require training, reflects the way the user thinks. • Natural – Uses the organization, vocabulary, and logic of the user. 16 BUSINESS TAXONOMIES
  17. 17. TRADITIONAL VS. BUSINESS TAXONOMIES ▪ Tend to be less rigid and constrained. ▪ Influenced by “traditional” usability design. ▪ Driven by the content needs you have today and will have tomorrow. ▪ Leverage multiple categorization approaches (via multiple metadata fields and multiple taxonomies). ▪ Accept imperfect categorization. ▪ Rigid structure ▪ Items are classified into a single category BUSINESS TAXONOMIESTRADITIONAL TAXONOMIES @EKConsulting
  18. 18. TAXONOMY AND ONTOLOGY Taxonomy - Controlled vocabularies used to describe or characterize explicit concepts of information, for purposes of capture, management, and presentation. Ontology - A defined model that organizes structured and unstructured information through entities, their properties, and the way they relate to one another. @EKConsulting
  19. 19. FOLKSONOMY Free-text tags. CONTROLLED LIST List of pre-defined terms. Improves consistency. TAXONOMY Pre-defined terms & synonyms. Hierarchical relationships. Improves consistency. Allows for parent/child content relationships. Capture related data. Integration of structured and unstructured information. Linked data Store. Architecture and data models to enable machine learning (ML) and other AI capabilities. Drive efficient and intelligent data and information management solutions. ONTOLOGY Predefined classes & properties. Expanded relationship types. Increased expressiveness. Semantics. Inference. KNOWLEDGE GRAPHS KNOWLEDGE ORGANIZATION CONTINUUM @EKConsulting
  20. 20. ONTOLOGY DEFINITIONS on·tol·o·gy (änˈtäləjē) n. pl. on·tol·o·gies 1.“A set of concepts and categories in a subject area or domain that shows their properties and the relations between them.” (Oxford Dictionary) 2.“Controlled, consistent vocabularies to describe concepts and relationships, thereby enabling knowledge sharing.” (Gruber, 1993) 3.“Formal naming and definition of the types, properties, and interrelationships of the entities that really or fundamentally exist for a particular domain of discourse.” (Wikipedia) EK’s Definition of Ontology A defined model that organizes structured and unstructured information through entities, their properties, and the way they relate to one another. (Example: pizza has topping cheese, Alsace is located in France)
  21. 21. SAMPLE ONTOLOGY Ontologies = Relationships • Widgets, Inc. has a contract with Consult, Inc. • Alice Reddy works for Widgets, Inc. • Alice Reddy reports to Bob Jones. • Kat Thomas is working with Bob Jones. • Kat Thomas is working on the Sales Process Redesign Project. @EKConsulting
  22. 22. Taxonomy Value
  23. 23. THE INFORMATION MANAGEMENT CHALLENGE “Democratization of Content Management” has resulted in exponential increases in information. 80% of business is conducted on unstructured information. Unstructured data doubles every three months. 88 Knowledge workers spend 15% - 35% of their time searching for information. 40% of corporate users can’t find the information they need to do their jobs. @EKConsulting
  24. 24. BUSINESS TAXONOMY VALUE TAXONOMY FOR STANDARDIZATION TAXONOMY FOR FINDABILITY TAXONOMY FOR RISK AVOIDANCE AND MANAGEMENT @EKConsulting
  25. 25. TAXONOMY RETURNS – IMPROVED FINDABILITY Not locating and retrieving information has an opportunity cost of more than $15 million annually. *Sue Feldman. “The High Cost of Not Finding Information.” Time spent looking for and not finding information costs a total of $6 million a year. The cost of reworking information because it hasn't been found costs a further $12 million a year (15% of time spent duplicating existing information) @EKConsulting
  26. 26. TAXONOMY RETURNS – INCREASED REVENUES Web Retail Taxonomy Refreshers Have Yielded: 30% Increased Conversion Rate 20% Increased Order Lift @EKConsulting
  27. 27. TAXONOMY VALUE EXAMPLE 1 ▪ Project: Taxonomy Design for a Customer Call Center System ▪ Expected Business Value: Add a layer of findability to content for sales agents. Faster access to information (by product, service, key topic, or customer profile) and in turn, offer proactive customer service. Tag answers to FAQs with products and customer type to increase first contact resolution and sales conversion. Improve findability of content on common topics to reduce call handling time and save costs. Organize information in an intuitive way that allows agents to a have streamlined, productive interactions with customers. Enhance and expand search features to discover content that may be of value to sales agents. FAQ
  28. 28. TAXONOMY VALUE EXAMPLE 2 Increased revenue through more specific conversations with customers. More targeted conversations with candidates supported by specific language that describes what the company does. Decreased costs through time savings; content re-creation and pointless searching are eliminated. Accuracy of reporting to achieve more effective decision making. • Project: Taxonomy Design for a Public-facing Website • Expected Business Value:
  29. 29. TAXONOMY VALUE EXAMPLE 3 ▪ Project: Taxonomy Design for an Internal Knowledge Repository ▪ Expected Business Value: Give users the ability to filter content by key facets (e.g. topic, author) and find related documents/content. Develop standard content types to provide faster creation and access of documents across the organization. Improve findability of FAQ by tagging them with common topics, type of customer, type of issue, etc.. Reduce cost with smarter reuse of knowledge while improving management of current and future projects.
  30. 30. Taxonomy Best Practices
  31. 31. BUSINESS TAXONOMY EXAMPLE Metadata Field Metadata Values
  32. 32. BUSINESS TAXONOMY FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION Metadata Field Metadata Values Your Organization’s Website TOPIC ❑ Topic 1 ❑ Topic 2 ❑ Topic 3 ❑ Topic 4 ❑ … DOCUMENT TYPE ❑ Type 1 ❑ Type 2 ❑ Type 3 ❑ Type 4 ❑ … LOCATION ❑ Location 1 ❑ Location 2 ❑ Location 3 ❑ Location 4 ❑ … BUSINESS AREA ❑ B. Area 1 ❑ B. Area 2 ❑ B. Area 3 ❑ B. Area 4 ❑ …
  33. 33. 33 • Categorize in multiple, independent, categories. • Allow combinations of categories to narrow the choice of items. • 4 independent categories of 10 nodes each have the same discriminatory power as one hierarchy of 10,000 nodes • Easier to maintain • Easier to reuse existing material 42 values to maintain (10+6+11+15) 9900 combinations (10x6x11x15) Main Ingredients Cooking Methods Meal Type Cuisines • Chocolate • Dairy • Fruits • Grains • Meat & Seafood • Nuts • Olives • Pasta • Spices & Seasonings • Vegetables • Breakfast • Brunch • Lunch • Supper • Dinner • Snack • African • American • Asian • Caribbean • Continental • Eclectic/ Fusion/ International • Jewish • Latin American • Mediterranean • Middle Eastern • Vegetarian • Advanced • Bake • Broil • Fry • Grill • Marinade • Microwave • No Cooking • Poach • Quick • Roast • Sauté • Slow Cooking • Steam • Stir-fry MULTIPLE TAXONOMIES COMBINE SYNERGISTICALLY @EKConsulting
  34. 34. 34 Method Definition Examples Subject-oriented Information categorized by subject or topic. • Instantive - each child category is an instance of the parent category • Partitive - each child category is a part of the parent category water pollution, soil pollution, air pollution… Functional Information categorized by the process to which it relates employment, staffing, training Organizational Information categorized by corporate departments or business entities. Human Resources, Marketing, Accounting, Research… Document Type Information categorized by the type of document presentations, expense reports, press releases … COMMON METADATA FIELDS @EKConsulting
  35. 35. TAXONOMY DESIGN AND BEST PRACTICES Leverage Existing Information Plan for the Long-Term Leverage Governance Look to Usability Best Practices Define & Document Your Purpose Focus on the Business User Understand Your Publishing Process Use the Simplest Language Possible Deconstruct Your Taxonomy A B C @EKConsulting
  36. 36. Taxonomy Design Methodology
  37. 37. TOP-DOWN, BOTTOM-UP APPROACH TOP-DOWN BOTTOM-UP Interviews, Workshops, and Focus Groups Goals: 1. Identify overall structure and major categories of information. 2. Subdivide categories as necessary to build taxonomy. Analysis of individual documents, key document sets, and major content repositories. Goals: 1. Identify overall structure and major categories of information. 2. Subdivide categories as necessary to build the taxonomy.
  38. 38. 38 Business Case Scoping Knowledge Gathering Taxonomy Team Taxonomy Workshops Taxonomy Focus Groups User Testing Content Tagging/Population Maintenance and Evolution Planning Design Testing & Deployment ENTERPRISE KNOWLEDGE’S TAXONOMY DESIGN METHODOLOGY @EKConsulting
  39. 39. 39 Business Case Scoping Knowledge Gathering Taxonomy Team Taxonomy Workshops Taxonomy Focus Groups User Testing Content Tagging/Population ENTERPRISE KNOWLEDGE’S TAXONOMY DESIGN METHODOLOGY @EKConsulting
  40. 40. • Define audience. • Define the mission of your audience. • Define the true reasons for designing the taxonomy. • What specifically can the taxonomy do for the end business users? 40 Any organization can say “we want to build a taxonomy to make finding information easier for our users,” but what does that tell us? How does that help us? We need to understand our users from the business perspective and answer the question: We want our on- the-road sales staff to have one- click access to customer news. We want every employee to find any form we have without calling or emailing anyone. We want new employees to be able to find everything they need to get started on Day 1. BUSINESS CASE @EKConsulting
  41. 41. • Timeline • Set dates for “broader” project (technology or organizational). • Regulatory requirements. • People • Availability • Acceptance • Understanding • Technology • Requirements v. Capabilities • Budget 41 Timeline Technology People Budget SCOPING Taxonomy Scope Constrains @EKConsulting
  42. 42. • Communication, Education, and Marketing: • Set user expectations • Translate “pain points” to solutions in real time • Create “buzz” around the project • Market the results, not the definitions • Identify taxonomy and content starting points • Key stakeholders and early adopters • Existing taxonomies and information systems • Critical “must find” content 42 KNOWLEDGE GATHERING
  43. 43. • Convene wide-spectrum team (12-18 people) to represent their components of the organization. Strive for diversity in: • Function • Hierarchy (to a degree) • Tenure • Geography • Strive to identify individuals who “get it,” but also yield influence in their respective domains. • Participation should become an official and measurable job activity, supported by management. 43 TAXONOMY TEAM @EKConsulting
  44. 44. • The Taxonomy Team will ensure the taxonomy is a true business taxonomy. • Participate in initial workshops to identify metadata fields and top-down taxonomy design. • Identify and enlist additional representatives for follow-on workshops, focus groups, and testing. • Support the content migration (and tagging) process. • The Taxonomy Team will continue to meet throughout the length of the effort, and ideally beyond. 44 TAXONOMY TEAM @EKConsulting
  45. 45. TAXONOMY DESIGN WORKSHOP Ensure your organization designs a truly impactful taxonomy design. RESULTS 1 ALIGNMENT Stakeholders baselined in what taxonomy is, the value it offers, and the resources necessary to sustain and evolve the design. 2 DESIGN A starter taxonomy design that follows taxonomy design best practices on which to elaborate. 3 APPROACH A clear path forward around which to proceed, plan, and build a taxonomy which represents your stakeholders. ONE DAY BUSINESS TAXONOMY DESIGN WORKSHOP @EKConsulting
  46. 46. PEOPLE CENTRIC TAXONOMY DESIGN ACTIVITIES Working with a cross- organizational group of stakeholders and guiding them to provide metadata and taxonomy details by asking key questions about content the create or use. During the discussions, participants identify audiences. The discussion leads to the identification of topics, document types and other taxonomies. Workshops Conducting taxonomy focus groups per business area to identify metadata fields that are applicable to the organization as a whole & metadata fields that are unique to their own business area. Participants are asked to discuss about content from their own business area & identify associated keywords. The discussion leads to the identification of topics that are unique to that business area. Focus Groups This approach consists in discussing content and taxonomy needs with a specific individual. Participants are typically key project stakeholders in a senior leadership role. It is also common to conduct interviews with people that have unique roles: ▪ Platform owner ▪ Taxonomy lead Interviews This approach consists in attending system demos to learn more about the client’s content and taxonomy needs. These demos help visualize how existing taxonomies (if any) are used for tagging and search purposes and whether they meet their current and future content needs. System Demos
  47. 47. CONTENT CENTRIC TAXONOMY DESIGN ACTIVITIES This approach consists in manually reviewing individual pieces of content (e.g. documents or website pages) to identify patterns of content and possible taxonomies. Content Analysis A “quick reference” list of past or existing documents, content, and items that provides helpful information for the taxonomy design and taxonomy governance efforts. ▪ Existing systems and taxonomies ▪ Lessons learned from taxonomy efforts ▪ Taxonomy requirements ▪ Existing taxonomy policies/procedures ▪ Search logs Taxonomy Background Documentation Review The use of text mining entity extraction tools, such as PoolParty help uncover the complexity of information and identify new ways to see, find and relate information. The analysis of a collection of documents with a text mining application can reveal a set of metadata and associated taxonomies for an organization. Corpus Analysis
  48. 48. TAXONOMY VALIDATION OBJECTIVES Alignment Taxonomy values are reflected and accurately distributed across content Usability The structure and language of the Taxonomy are intuitive to end users Completeness The taxonomy values are applicable to the complete set of content across the system Corpus Analysis Test Tagging Card Sorting and Tree Test @EKConsulting
  49. 49. TAXONOMY VALIDATION TECHNIQUES Card Sorting A technique that requires participants to sort representative content into categories from the taxonomy. Typically online. Tree Test An exercise that consists of separate tasks to find content by navigating through the taxonomy. Test Tagging In-person workshops where participants work in pairs to apply values from the taxonomy to tag existing content. Corpus Analysis A semantic analysis of content that compares it to the proposed taxonomy to identify gaps though a machine learning algorithm. Online Tree Test Test Tagging Corpus Analysis
  50. 50. CONTENT TYPES A Content Type is a reusable collection of metadata fields for a category of content, with its corresponding taxonomies that allows you to manage information in a centralized, reusable way. For example: News Content Type TopicSource Client Type Region Title Author Date @EKConsulting
  51. 51. TAXONOMY AND CONTENT TYPES Taxonomy and Content Types help streamline content creation, allowing content authors to focus on entering content in a standardized way, tagging it with the taxonomy, and getting it published. Content Creation Content Publishing Taxonomy Taxonomy Design @EKConsulting
  52. 52. • Establish clear taxonomy governance: • Policies and Procedures • Roles and Responsibilities • Communications, Education, and Marketing • Maintain the Taxonomy Team to guide future development • Continuously reexamine the taxonomy • Establish mechanisms to gather user feedback and respond to it in a timely manner 52 Most of the work in an average taxonomy project will take place within the Maintenance and Evolution Stage. No initial rollout of a taxonomy will yield 100% perfection. Striving for that will only delay your project and risk your sanity. By preparing for this on going work, you ensure the hard work of the project team will not be lost. With the correct mechanisms in place, the team can respond to user feedback and bring the taxonomy closer to 100% perfection over time. MAINTENANCE AND EVOLUTION
  53. 53. TAXONOMY GOVERNANCE • Define a customized governance model (loose or tight, centralized or decentralized, etc.), that addresses: - Roles and responsibilities; - Policies and procedures; and - Communications and education. @EKConsulting
  54. 54. TAXONOMY METRICS Alignment Metrics Most Used Terms for Tagging Least Used Terms for Tagging Usage for Recently Added or Modified Terms Usability Metrics Most Used Search Terms Least Used Taxonomical terms Found in Search Completeness Metrics Number of Taxonomy Requests by Type (New, Modification, Deletion) Number of Requests by Taxonomy Number of Taxonomy Requests by Business Users / Department @EKConsulting
  55. 55. AUTOMATION Automation is the use of systems of instruction to carry out a repeated set of processes to spare humans from doing that same set of processes. Migration & CleanupMachine Learning • Classification • Prediction • Regression • Clustering Natural Language Processing • Entity Extraction • Auto-Tagging • Grammatical Dependencies • Language Detection • Summarization • Language Generation • Translation • Dependencies • Sentiment Analysis • Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) • Data Quality Checks • Quality Assurance Checks/Processes @EKConsulting
  56. 56. SAMPLE TAXONOMIES
  57. 57. TAXONOMY DESIGN EXAMPLE 1 Audience Content Type Industry Language Location Topic Business Taxonomy Content Type Policy Procedure Proposal Report Templates … Project Type Internal External Language English French Spanish … @EKConsulting
  58. 58. TAXONOMY DESIGN EXAMPLE 2 Solution Approach/ Offering Technology/ Platform Industry Service Line Content Type Project Type Topic Region Business Taxonomy Industry Agriculture Construction Education Health Care Oil and Gas … Project Type Internal External … Region North America Europe Asia … @EKConsulting
  59. 59. TAXONOMY DESIGN EXAMPLE 3 1. Apparel, Uniforms & Footwear 2. Retail Boutique 3. Education, Books, DVDs & Music 4. Equipment, Massage Tables & Furniture 5. Hospitality & Treatment Ambiance 6. Implements & Treatment Tools 7. Linens, Towels & Bedding 8. Merchandising Tools & Gift Bag 9. Skin, Nail, Hair, Wax & Spa Products 10. Supplies & Accessories 1. Nail 2. Hair 3. Face 4. Body 5. Massage 6. Wax 7. Apparel & Linens 8. Equipment & Furniture 9. Ambiance 10. Merchandising & Retail 11. Tools & Supplies ORIGINAL TAXONOMY REDESIGNED TAXONOMY @EKConsulting
  60. 60. WE’LL BE ANSWERING QUESTIONS NOW Q A& THANKS FOR LISTENING Q & A SESSION @EKConsulting

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