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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

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Taxonomy And Metadata

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