Enterprise vs. Federated Taxonomy Management - Taxonomy Boot Camp 2012


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Enterprise taxonomy is generally synonymous with centralized taxonomy just as federated taxonomy is generally synonymous with decentralized taxonomy. Each model has its pros and cons. What happens when an organization needs both the efficiency and cross-searchability associated with centralized taxonomy management and the autonomy and heterogeneity associated with decentralized taxonomy management? Drawing upon real-life examples this presentation compares and contrasts the two models and then explores various hybrid solutions, which bridge the divide to combine and deliver advantages from the alternative approaches.

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Enterprise vs. Federated Taxonomy Management - Taxonomy Boot Camp 2012

  1. 1. Chaos-Control! Enterprise Management of Federated Taxonomies Taxonomy Boot Camp 2012Jim Sweeney, Product ManagerSynaptica LLCjim.sweeney@synaptica.com
  2. 2. Rules of the GameAn enterprise taxonomy is generally synonymous withcentralized taxonomy, just as federated taxonomies aregenerally synonymous with decentralized taxonomy. Enterprise Taxonomy: Federated Taxonomies: • Centralized • Decentralized • Standardized Terms • Specific Terminology • Universally applied • Conditionally applied • Single Language • Multilingual
  3. 3. But… Rules are Made to be Broken!What happens when weneed both the efficiencyand cross-searchabilityassociated withcentralized taxonomymanagement and theautonomy associated withdecentralized taxonomymanagement?
  4. 4. Challenges• How to allow autonomous and geographically diverse business units to use and apply their own terminology and organizational structure while maintaining some kind of universal standardization?• How to provide for successful information retrieval from diverse disciplines and languages across all business assets?
  5. 5. Option A…• In cases where it is desirable to use a single term set but apply varying hierarchical structures to those terms, one may use a multiple broader / narrower relationship class (mBT / mNT).• The following example is taken from the TBC 2011 presentation given by Intel’s Sherry Chang, “Hierarchies & Polyhierarchies: Is More Better?”
  6. 6. Example
  7. 7. How we build it
  8. 8. ResultWe can view either distinctOr we can view the the Marketingversion of the hierarchy…hierarchical structure for theSupport group.
  9. 9. Pros and Cons to Approach A• Very effective means of organizing distinct, parallel hierarchies using the same terms• Simple to manage• Limits “taxonomies” to identical terms without differentiation for business group, region, or language
  10. 10. Option B…• A second strategy is to maintain each federated taxonomy independently and then map them together at the term or concept level.• This method is able to accommodate multiple, disparate taxonomies and other vocabularies linked together via custom relationships.• The resulting collections build out an ontology storing unique terms, languages, and structures as needed.
  11. 11. Example IPTC (International Press Telecommunications Council)
  12. 12. Pros and Cons to Approach B• Each federated taxonomy may be managed as an independent taxonomy• Custom relationships may link to a “master” taxonomy and/or to one another• Dependent vocabularies may be managed with or without hierarchical structure• Labor intensive to manage each taxonomy independently
  13. 13. Option C…Using a centralizedenterprise taxonomy asan umbrella to cover allconcepts across thebusiness standardizesresults but limits theautonomy of individualbusiness groups.
  14. 14. While discrete “siloed” taxonomiesserve independent groups within the organization, they lack search standardization.
  15. 15. Master Taxonomy manages global concepts Mapping relationships to link upperlevel concepts to “siloed” concepts Discrete federated taxonomies to serve individual business units
  16. 16. Pros and Cons to Approach C• Each business taxonomy may contain different terminology; different hierarchical structures; and greater granularity• When “siloed” taxonomy terms are more granular than those in the upper taxonomy, more specific concepts have to map upwards to broader concepts• This upward mapping impedes the ability to perform searches across the information assets of the business
  17. 17. Winning Combinations• Striving for an Enterprise taxonomy with common language and structure is an important goal, but not always possible• Supporting variance is an important and powerful tool• Choose the best approach to address your organization’s unique structure and practices• Maintain standards for taxonomy development over time to avoid further divergence
  18. 18. Questions?Stop by and see us!
  19. 19. Thank You! Taxonomy Boot Camp 2012Jim Sweeney, Product ManagerSynaptica LLCjim.sweeney@synaptica.com