iBase Digital Asset Management Blog


15th July 2019

A beginners guide to metadata

If you’re doing your research on digital asset management (DAM), it won’t be long before you come across metadata. It’s crucial to organising your files and assets, as well as helping you retrieve them. Should you choose to invest in a DAM system, it’s a great thing to know about.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what it is, its uses and how it can help your company organise files.

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A simple definition of metadata

In simple terms, metadata is information which is assigned to digital assets. It’s used to organise them into different categories, but also makes it easier when it comes to retrieving files. Rather than searching through all your assets, you can use different metadata tags to narrow down your search.

Metadata can be used to add a wide range of information, including:

  • Dates
  • Project ID numbers
  • Titles
  • Author(s)
  • Asset type, such as brief, draft, presentation or logo
  • Associated clients
  • Legal information such as countries of use
  • Associated products or services
  • Additionally, there are also different types of metadata fields. Users can choose from checkbox metadata (yes or no), dropdown lists (for limited options), date fields, numeric fields or open text fields.

    How important is metadata?

    If you’re searching for an effective DAM system, metadata is crucial. Not only that your system supports it, but that it allows you to customise metadata based on the requirements of your business or organisation.

    As an example, some companies would be better using specific, limited options for certain metadata. If you’re categorising video files by their genre, it’s easier if everyone chooses from the same six options or so, rather than entering their own description when they come to save the file.

    Your metadata strategy

    Given the central role metadata plays in organising and retrieving files, it’s important that companies consider their metadata strategy before moving assets to a DAM system.

    First of all, decide which metadata will be used to organise files and whether that will make it easy to retrieve all the different images, videos and text documents that your company stores digitally.

    Once this is decided upon, it’s good practice to create a metadata strategy with guidelines for all employees who will use the system. Conveniently, your DAM system will make it easy to distribute those guidelines to different employees, so they constantly have access to the latest version.

    More information on metadata

    While our blog post gives an overview of metadata basics, it’s important that companies and their staff have a solid understanding of the system they’re using.

    At iBase, we offer full training for our DAM systems. As well as training you how to use our system, we can pass on a wealth of experience and expertise when it comes to managing digital assets and how to make the most of your system.

    Want to give it a go? Feel free to get in touch with our team if you have any questions.

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    A Beginner's Guide to Metadata