Metadata and taxonomy are both key terms when it comes to digital asset management. But to someone whose expertise lies elsewhere, it’s only natural that you might not be completely familiar with them, what they mean, and how they work together.

In this post, we’ll clear things up with some simple definitions and explanations when it comes to metadata and taxonomy.

What is metadata?

By definition, ‘meta’ means something that refers to itself. Moving on from there, it’s easier to understand that metadata refers to data that is used to define data.

Metadata is used within a digital asset management system to define digital files, making them easier to search for, filter down and retrieve when required. Metadata tags are added to files, which can be based on a potentially limitless number of variables, from their date and creator to specific campaigns, channels or purposes for which they are used.

What about taxonomy?

On the other hand, taxonomy refers to the structure of your assets within a storage or management system. In its original form, taxonomy is the branch of science concerned with classification. However, when it comes to digital assets, it usually refers to a hierarchical structure.

As an example, let’s say you have a group of assets which are images. These could be broken down into print marketing images, branding images, images for internal use, images for social media, and so on. Alternatively (or simultaneously) they can be split into images of your products, offices, staff, trade shows, and so on.

How the two work together

Taxonomy helps you organise your digital assets, providing a structure within which they can be stored and retrieved. However, it can’t do this without metadata, which is used to tag digital assets and put them into one or several of those classifications.

When used together, the two have a number of benefits for users…

Faster retrieval

First and foremost, you can always find the asset you’re looking for by searching within the taxonomy using the relevant metadata. When you do so, it will be much quicker and easier than searching manually through countless files, which will save a lot of time – not to mention the cost of that time for employers.

Eliminating lost assets

Having an established structure in place – and means of putting assets into that structure – also eliminates the cost of lost work, and subsequent cost of replacing that work with new assets. It’s much harder for assets to be misplaced – and virtually impossible for them to be purposefully damaged or stolen within a secure DAM system.

Improved standards

With all users able to retrieve the right files, taxonomy and metadata can also help businesses improve consistency and the standards of their work. Everyone has access to the same brand files in a central repository, providing a cohesive working system.

Making taxonomy and metadata a breeze

With so many asset types and potential categories, it’s easy for taxonomy and metadata to become overwhelming. Not with iBase. We’ve made sure our digital asset management software is completely easy to use, from automatic keyword tagging to a range of innovative search tools.

See for yourself with a one-to-one demo today. Simply contact our team and we’ll arrange a time that suits you.

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