5 Top Ways to Get Organized with Metadata
Understanding why accurate metadata is essential to your organization can make the difference between success and failure. One of the most basic functions of a proper metadata structure is to directly help with the searching and finding of assets quickly and easily, it sounds simple, but you wouldn’t believe how many organizations struggle with this very fundamental issue. Also, making sure you are entering correct metadata is crucial, one simple mistake can effectively render hundreds of assets to be inaccurate. An example would be that you or your client are merely embarrassed by using an incorrect image. Imagine you have a campaign with multiple professional athletes, and in an ad that references Kyrie Irving, there is a photo of Kevin Durant. Not the end of the world, but a definite knock on your credibility to accurately use the correct image. But there can also be much more severe and costly consequences as we get into rights management and having the proper license to use a specific photograph or image. Running a national advertisement without rights to a particular image could cost your company serious $$$$ in fines and legal fees!
Although metadata can be an incredibly detailed science, you have to start somewhere. So, before you do anything let us help you get started with 5 basic categories that can have an immediate impact with your internal production teams:
Defining a metadata schema is a delicate balance; a large number of data fields provides more search options for end-users but also increases production efforts as all that metadata needs to be entered into the system. Understanding end-user search habits will guide process efforts needed upstream. For example, if users only search by the filename, why burden your art buyers with large forms of manual data entry.
Term 'keywords' is sometimes interchanged with 'metadata' and is important to keep separate. Keywords (or 'tags') need to be used correctly using database best practices to ensure not only accurate end-user search results but also reporting and analytics. Be sure not to mix data fields into your keywords such as; job number, filename, dates, names, status, etc. This leads to unstructured data and ultimately either a poor user experience or unnecessary load on the system (or both.)
Who is it from, do you know? Because knowing the source and the usage rights is vital. Was the image or footage contracted for exclusive rights, one-time use or perhaps only for the Web? When do I no longer have rights to use this image? These questions can add up to significant financial penalties if not compliant.
Proper metadata schema is vital in not only staying relevant but evolving with your users. User interface navigation has shifted from browsing a traditional folder hierarchy to search, sorting and filtering. As databases evolve from relational to semantic and UI's evolve from browse to search, you will rely on your metadata schema to deliver a positive user experience.
Can I change the metadata? Yes, you can and then some. Assets, organized succinctly, and grouped, are called Taxonomy (classification), not to be confused with Taxidermy. You can easily categorize your files to simplify searches. Adding specific metadata with standards, makes accessing, re-purposing, and sharing assets far more efficient.
Every company’s way of approaching metadata and taxonomy will vary. The above mentioned categories are really just the basics to consider when getting started with implementing an effective metadata strategy. In order to find the most effective strategy for your organization we recommend working with a seasoned marketing technologist who understands what the most effective ways of implementing a system that works for your company’s specific needs. We encourage you to schedule an assessment with an IOI Solutions Architect, this is a no obligation call to help get you started on the path to productivity.
About Damian Diaz
Damian Diaz has been in the Digital Asset Management and Marketing & Creative Technology space since 1999. With experience in marketing, sales, and the tech side of the business, he's watched the industry evolve from its infancy in print centric technologies to the enterprise marketing marketing solutions we see today. As a Director of Global Marketing his main goal is to deliver relevant content, events, and experiences which not only inform, but educate those interested in marketing technology solutions.