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A guide to the lifeblood of DAM: Key concepts and best practices for using metadata in DAM.

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Digital Asset Management White Paper By John Horodyski of DAM Education. Do you know what digital assets you have and how to identify, organize, and describe them? This should not be rushed, as this is critical to the impact your DAM system's use will have on your overall efficiency and, ultimately, your bottom line. Getting this wrong could damn not only your DAM, but your broader workflows and processes as well. This white paper will show you the essential building blocks and best practices of metadata for your digital asset management system. Learn more at http://www.widen.com.
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  Copyright © 2011 Widen Enterprises, Inc. A guide to the lifeblood of DAM: Key concepts and best practices for using metadata indigital asset management systems. By John Horodyski. Sponsored byWiden EnterprisesandDigitalAssetManagement.com. Scan for PDF  2  A guide to the lifeblood of DAM: Key concepts and best practices for using metadata in digital asset management systems. Copyright © 2011 Widen Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. Do you know what digital assets you have and how to identiy, organize, and describe them? This should not berushed, as this is critical to the impact your DAM system’s use will have on your overall eciency and, ultimately,your bottom line. Getting this wrong could damn not only your DAM, but your broader workfows and processesas well.Metadata is an “asset” unto itsel—and an important one, at that. It provides the structure and inormation neededto make your assets more accessible and, thereore, more valuable. In other words: it makes them “smart assets.”Simply digitizing video and audio les only scratches the surace o their value as digital assets. Their ull potential isrealized by their use and the relevance o the associated metadata. Ater all, how much value does an asset have i you can’t nd it?This white paper will show you the essential building blocks and best practices o metadata or your digital assetmanagement system.  What is metadata and what does it mean to DAM? What is metadata? Metadata is, simply put, data about data. It reers to the descriptive elements that dene and de-scribe an asset. The National Inormation Standards Organization breaks metadata down into three main categories: ã Descriptive metadata describes a resource or purposes such as discovery and identiication(i.e., inormation you would use in a search). It can include elements such as title, abstract,author, and keywords. ã   Structural metadata indicates how compound objects are put together, or example, how pagesare ordered to orm chapters (e.g., ile ormat, ile dimension, ile length, etc.) ã   Administrative metadata provides inormation that helps manage an asset, such as whenand how it was created, ile ormat and who can access it. There are several subsets o administrative data. Two that are sometimes listed as separate metadata types are rightsmanagement metadata (which deals with intellectual property rights) and preservation  metadata (which contains inormation needed to archive and preserve a resource).Here are some other key concepts to understand, especially i you’re starting your metadata analysis: Taxonomy: The science o naming and organizing things into groups or classes that share similar characteristics. It can also reer to any scheme or such an organization o inormation—in thecase o DAM, or the purpose o classiying and identiying digital assets. Taxonomy through metadata - The categories, sub-categories and terms that make up ataxonomy oten maniest themselves as metadata. Metadata thereore enables more precisesearch results and personalization. Controlled vocabulary: Controlled vocabularies contain preerred and variant terms with deinedrelationships—hierarchical and/or associative. Examples o controlled vocabularies includeglossaries, specialized dictionaries, standard terminology lists, synonym rings, reerence data,authority iles, domain-speciic taxonomies, thesauri and ontologies. Thesaurus: A tool that controls synonyms and identies the relationships among terms. It usually has apreerred term and can be hierarchical but doesn’t have to be. For example, dog, pooch, puppy, mutt and“dog” is the preerred term.  3 Copyright © 2011 Widen Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.  A guide to the lifeblood of DAM: Key concepts and best practices for using metadata in digital asset management systems.  Authority files: Typically used or lists o people, organizations etc. e.g. list o public companies,industry segments, geographic locations. This could be a taxonomy. Building a metadata strategy: key issues Now that the oundation has been set with denitions and key concepts, you can get to work on building an eectivemetadata strategy. The three key questions you need to answer are: 1. What problems do you need to solve? 2. Who is going to use the metadata, and or what? 3. What kinds o metadata are important or those purposes?It is important to consider how much metadata you need. Metadata is expensive; it takes valuable time to create thestructure and ensure that it serves your needs. I it does not, then time and money are wasted not nding assetsdue to inadequate metadata. Building, testing, inputting and maintaining metadata and taxonomies come withcosts. Implementing metadata may require UI changes and/or back-end system changes. Every metadata eldcosts money and time to implement and adjust to. You need to make your model extensible and avoid the commonmistake o buying tools rst, then guring out the metadata strategy later. Ensure that you account or businessgoals and how metadata should contribute to reaching those goals. To help get that going, there are some criticalcomponents o a metadata strategy that need consideration: ◆ Building the right team: Name a team o DAM stakeholders to take the lead in identiyinggoals and designing a metadata strategy to meet those goals. ◆ Naming your requirements: Beore getting deeply involved with any vendors, you should beable to articulate and enumerate (both to the vendor and your own organization) those thingsyou absolutely need a DAM system to do or your organization. ◆ Making the business case: Identiy all costs, beneits and risks o creating and maintainingrich metadata. When making ROI calculations, you should account or the resources required toadd, maintain, test, and update metadata and taxonomies. ◆ Metadata specifications: These are always subject to change, but you should have somesense o what your metadata model will look like, including any controlled vocabularies andkeywords. ◆ Ongoing workflow: Where will metadata come rom? Know who will be responsible or maintaining and adding metadata, along with what processes they’ll be ollowing. ◆ Q/A & Testing: Have a method o measuring the eectiveness o your metadata modeland protocols. Detailed metrics go a long way when it comes time to evaluate and makeimprovements.There is a considerable eort behind this, but careul observation o these components will help you start your workand move you in the right direction.  4  A guide to the lifeblood of DAM: Key concepts and best practices for using metadata in digital asset management systems. Copyright © 2011 Widen Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. How Does it All Get There? One cannot exaggerate the importance o understanding that most o the benets o DAM sotware can’t berealized without good metadata. You need to sell the vision o what the company will gain by having good metadatain your DAM system. Implementing metadata may require UI changes and/or back-end system changes. Metadatapowers eciency in DAM which is what allows administrators control and end-users the ability to nd what isneeded on a moment’s notice. Furthermore, every metadata eld costs money and time to implement and adjust to.There is no benet unless the tagged content cuts costs or improves revenues; you need to demonstrate bottom-lineand top-line benets—although bottom-line ones are easiest to prove early on. It is dicult to analyze how muchoperations cost today and how much would be saved. Thereore, ocus on the productivity gains.There are some key metadata elds that you should ocus on: Basicmetadata Retrieval RightsKnowledgemaintenance CreatorCreatorEmbargo DatePeopleCreation DateTitleExpiration DatePlacesOwnerDescriptionLocation RestrictionsOrganizationsPublication DateSubjectUsage RestrictionsFinancial metadataTitlePublisherPricingHarvesting in-linemarkup Consistency is important when applying metadata. Consider the ollowing tags: ã President Barack Obama ã Barack Obama ã President Obama ã ObamaEach tag could point to a dierent topic. Yet, undamentally, it’s the same principal element o the subject o “President Barack Obama” that is relevant. Having a principal DAM administrator and/or metadata specialist onyour team will be highly valuable. In act, depending on the size o the organization, there may well be multipleadministrators in various locations responsible or tagging and asset ingestion (i.e. insertion into the DAM library).I this is the case, it is even more important to ensure metadata consistency.Last, there is metadata in headers, le systems, naming conventions and query logs that could be extractedautomatically. While automatic classication tools exist and produce results that are more consistent than human-generated ones, humans are more accurate and better at recognizing nuance. “Semi-automated” or “hybrid”approaches are oten the best way to go, generally with human involvement or distributed manual reviewand correction.
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