iBase Digital Asset Management Blog

HOW TO CREATE A DAM TAXONOMY

14th December 2018

How to create a DAM taxonomy

Have you recently implemented a digital asset management (DAM) system in your company and want to get organised? Are you unsure of where to start with setting up a taxonomy? Maybe you want to understand the difference between taxonomy and metadata? Good news. iBase is here to help.

We are experts in all things DAM, who are here to help you perfect your system and truly make the most of your DAM. Keep reading to learn more about how to optimise your business and boost your bottom line with DAM taxonomy…

Taxonomy

Review your assets

First things first, a taxonomy is a way of classifying and categorising your files. It’s the first step in organising your files using a DAM.

But there’s little point organising your DAM system if it’s full of irrelevant, useless files. Before creating a taxonomy, it’s important to sort through your digital assets and determine whether they belong in the management system or not.

This audit will also give you a clear overview of what exactly is in your system and start to suggest ideas for taxonomy categories. You can also compile a list of file types to make life easier when forming your metadata – this is information you attach to files to categorise them within your taxonomy.

Create a list of terms

Once you’ve gone through your files, made sure everything is necessary and written a list of different file types, you can start to create a list of relevant terms to use in your taxonomy.

It’s important to keep this list clear and concise, excluding any irrelevant terms or categories. For instance, if you have the data field ‘month’ to organise your files by creation date, you only need the options ‘January-December’, making things much easier when allocating metadata.

Document your taxonomy

Once you have a list of terms and categories that you want to include in your taxonomy, you then need to document them in a clear format for future use. In this document, which you could create using Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets or XMind, you need to include:

  • All the taxonomy terms
  • Their options with operational definitions
  • Their relationships to other terms
  • All data field names and terms

It’s also useful to consider which elements of the taxonomy are searchable, and which are purely informational.

Test your taxonomy

So, you’ve got everything up and running and labelled all of your files with the correct metadata. But if no one can use it, it’s redundant. That’s why it’s wort bringing in independent testers to audit your taxonomy and verify that it is configured properly.

Alternatively, you can simply test it within the business. Ask colleagues and employees to search for specific files and note how easy it is for them to locate things, how long it takes them and whether there’s anything missing that could make their search easier.

Rinse and repeat

Finally, it’s important to remember that, although it is running and working well right now, your taxonomy may need slight alterations as your business continues to grow and develop.

You can ensure your taxonomy will grow alongside your business, by:

  • Examining failed search results
  • Documenting updates
  • Adjusting the taxonomy as new assets are implemented
  • Using search metrics

This way, it will continue to save time and money and improve the productivity of your company.

We can help

At iBase, our DAM systems are designed to allow the strict organisation of files depending on a variety of features. Any number of metadata fields can be attached to your files, to allow for bulk updates and easy access. Hierarchical keywords can also be associated with individual files to allow structured searching.

For more information about our DAM systems, or to speak to an expert about your requirements, don’t hesitate to contact our team today.

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How to create a DAM taxonomy