Making Meaning withMetadata:Taking Control of Your Assets&Your ExperienceJohn HorodyskiPrincipal, DAM EducationApril 2013
Outline Introduction #1 – Good Times for Metadata #2 – What is Metadata? #3 – Benefits of Metadata #4 – Building a Metadata Strategy #5 – Governance and Change #6 – Practical Rules Conclusion
About John HorodyskiPrincipal, DAM Education•Provides strategic direction and consulting on Digital Asset Management(DAM) implementations including Metadata and Taxonomy design for suchFortune 500 clients as Roche, Tyco, Unilever, Coca-Cola as well as A+ENetworks, AbbVie, Multi-Packaging Solutions (MPS), and Sub-Zero Wolfe.•Serves as Adjunct Faculty at SLIS, San Jose State University where heteaches a graduate course in Digital Asset Management, currently in its 7thyear of teaching.•Publishes white papers and articles on DAM, metadata, digital media andspeaks at various conferences.•John holds an MLIS and MAS from the University of British Columbia.•John is a Founding Board Member of the DAM Foundationhttp://damfoundation.org/•John serves as a Board Member and Metadata Editor for the Journal ofDigital Media Management http://www.henrystewart.com/jdmm/editors.aspx•John is also pursuing a Ph.D. at QUT / SJSU studying the use of socialmedia technology in information discovery in large global organizations.
These are Good Times for Metadata …In fact, these are great times.Tagging along, no pun intended, with the barrage of “big data” forecastsby analysts for the last year comes the added bonus of “metadata” tobuttress and support the voluminous amounts of data flowing through andclogging the techno pipes of the modern enterprise.And, beyond the popular writings in technological forums and onlinemagazines, metadata was also recently cited as one of key tenets ofinformation discovery leading to the charges in the General PetraeusAffair.Surely, metadata’s time has come.
MetadataWhat is Metadata? … essentially, it is data about data. It refers to the descriptive elements that define and describe an asset.The National Information Standards Organization breaks metadata down into three main categories:Descriptive metadata describes a resource for purposes such as discovery and identification (i.e., information you would use in a search). It can include elements such as title, abstract, author, and keywords.Structural metadata indicates how compound objects are put together, for example, how pages are ordered to form chapters (e.g., file format, file dimension, file length, etc.)Administrative metadata provides information that helps manage an asset, such as when and how it was created and who can access it. There are several subsets of administrative data. Two that are sometimes listed as separate metadata types are rights management metadata (which deals with intellectual property rights) and preservation metadata (which contains information needed to
Benefits of MetadataGood Metadata is all about your: • Assets / Access / UsersSearch & Retrieval in Digital Asset Management (DAM)• More than 40% of time is wasted searching for existing assets and recreating them when they aren’t found1• Very expensive – in lost productivity and frustration in non-discovery• The key is good metadata! Your data wants to be found!Make machines smart - Automate processes!• Content identification / Content re-use and management / Workflow automation / Automated distributionDigital Rights Management (DRM) • Rights tracking, enforcement, and compliance - More effective rights enforcement resulting in stronger revenue retention1 http://www.kmworld.com/Articles/Editorial/Features/The-high-cost-of-not-finding-information-9534.aspx
Change … Be ConsistentConsider the following tags: • President Barack Obama • Barack Obama • President Obama • Obama•Each tag could point to a different topic. Yet, fundamentally, it’s the sameprincipal element of the subject of “President Barack Obama” that isrelevant. Control, and stronger yet, authority, is needed to describe yourassets. You need to know what it is you are describing and howit may best be described.•A “Controlled Vocabulary” for your drop-downs / pick lists, the use of“preferred terms” and the use of synonyms are all good ways in which totake control and provide authority and consistency to your assets.
Building a Metadata Strategy: Key IssuesTo achieve “Good Metadata” for your assets, the three keyquestions you need to answer are: 1. What problems do you need to solve? 2. Who is going to use the metadata, and for what? 3. What kinds of metadata are important for those purposes?
Governance and ChangeIt is estimated that every year, 800 neologisms (new words and phrases)are added to the English language. So little of our modern language iswritten in stone; it is always evolving.The best way to plan for future change is to apply an effective layer ofmetadata governance for your DAM system. There is more tomaintaining the metadata than just maintaining the taxonomy andmetadata specifications.Vocabularies must change over time to stay relevant and processesmust be created to manage this change.This is also true for new terminology being added to assets as well assynonyms and/or slang terms and more.
Practical Metadata Rules1. “Content is no longer “the” only king. The user is also worthy. If you have great content and no one can find it, the value of the content is diminished.1. Understand how your users/customers want to interact with information before designing your metadata and the user interface.2. Develop an incremental, extensible process that identifies and enables users, and engages stakeholders with feedback loops, user testing and evaluations. Remember that metadata is a “snapshot in time.3. Accept that it won’t be perfect.4. Implement good governance policies
Conclusion•Whatever you do, ask yourself, “What smart things do I need metadatafor to provide greater control and access to my assets?”•The key is good metadata.•And once you have that, then you have a strong foundation to managingyour assets. And, those are good times, indeed.