iBase Digital Asset Management Blog

A Beginner's Guide to DAM Metadata

31st July 2018

DAM metadata - a guide for beginners

So, your digital asset management (DAM) system is up and running. You’ve uploaded all of your company’s assets and you’re ready to boost your business’s productivity. That’s great news, but have inputted your metadata yet?

Without the correct metadata, no one is going to be able to find the files they need, making your DAM system ineffective. If you’re not sure how to add metadata, stick around. We’ve put together a simple beginner’s guide to DAM metadata to help get you started.

A Beginners Guide to DAM Metadata

What is metadata?

If you’ve ever looked at the first few pages of a book to find the publisher or edition, you have used metadata to gather information. Metadata is essentially a set of data that describes and gives the basic information about a specific file.

Most digital files have some level of metadata attached to them. From images to documents, your online assets will most likely use metadata for organisation.

Why is metadata important for effective digital asset management?

Metadata is crucial if you want to get the most out of your DAM system and its functions.

One of the main benefits of a DAM system is the quick and easy search and retrieval of digital assets, saving both time and money. However, without the correct metadata, this key feature is redundant and locating assets will be extremely difficult, costing your company valuable time.

Metadata can also be used to ease sharing of files and assets. iBase’s DAM system allows users to select specific metadata fields to be shared on social media, as well as controlling who on the system can view individual metadata fields.

What metadata should I include?

So, what fields should you include in your DAM metadata? In order to get the best results out of your DAM system, a mixture of descriptive (tells the user more about the file and helps narrow the search) and administrative metadata (includes information about usage and rights, etc.) is necessary.

Getting the balance right between enough and too much metadata is also important. You need to be able to locate assets with ease, but don’t want to clutter the interface and confuse the user with unnecessary fields.

Important metadata fields for DAM include:-

  • Title – Users obviously need to know what the file is.
  • Description – A long sentence that explains what the asset is.
  • Keywords – Include a list of relevant keywords to make it easier for users to search for and find digital assets.
  • File Type – Is it a video, pdf, image? And is it, for example, a GIF, JPG, PNG?
  • File Size – Important for deciding if the file is of high enough resolution to use.
  • Upload Date – Who uploaded the file and when? This is useful if you want to see when work has been edited or changed.
  • Usage Rights – Avoid copyright issues and the use of out-of-date files.
  • Unique ID – Provides an unambiguous reference to ensure correct use.
  • Asset Usage – Prevent overuse of certain files by detailing past uses.

Talk to a DAM expert

If your digital asset management system doesn’t allow you to easily add metadata, it might be time to switch. Here at iBase, our feature-rich, cloud-based DAM system is expertly designed to allow easy use and optimum production. Contact us today to find out more, give us a call on +44 1943 603636 or submit a query via our Contact Us form.

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