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Table of Contents
Finally, in order to fully exploit the potential of a DAM system, not only a targeted metadata strategy and a sophisticated metadata schema are needed, but also metadata governance. In simple terms, this term refers to a framework that specifies rules, guidelines and procedures for handling metadata in the company. The ultimate goal of metadata governance is to standardize the storage and archiving processes in order to avoid file chaos in the DAM system and to ensure that digital asset management continues to function efficiently and smoothly in the future.
Established metadata governance in a company primarily ensures controlled naming and description or keywording of digital content as well as the use of a sensible and interoperable metadata schema. This is because the structures defined in the metadata schema form the basis for the search and filter functions in the DAM system, which is why they must be regularly checked and updated again and again.
As soon as you consider implementing a DAM solution, you should define roles and responsibilities for managing the DAM system and all related processes. This includes putting together a metadata governance team that regularly reviews compliance with policies and standards, as well as the functionality of the metadata schema.
The metadata governance team should define cross-company rules for handling metadata and record them in a document that is accessible to all. In addition to a set of rules, the document should also include some sort of glossary for the metadata vocabulary. This is particularly important if the DAM system does not provide any selection fields and the metadata must be entered manually.
Finally, the tasks of a metadata governance team include organizing or conducting training for the users of the DAM system to ensure that they understand the importance of metadata and dutifully comply with the guidelines and standards. In addition, the team must ensure that when the rules are updated, all users affected by the changes are informed.
Sound metadata governance always includes identifying opportunities for improvement. This means that the metadata governance team must regularly gather feedback from users. In addition, if the requirements for the DAM system change, for example, new asset types are introduced, it is the team's task to rethink the metadata schema and adapt it if necessary.
As the points listed here show, setting up rules is not enough for solid metadata governance. In order for the rules to be adopted and lived in the DAM, additional structures must be created in the company. Regardless of the size of a company, it is therefore advisable to put together a team that is responsible for enforcing metadata governance as well as for the continuous optimization of the metadata schema. Especially with regard to the latter, it is indispensable that the metadata governance team not only regularly exchanges information with the company management, but also seeks discussions with the colleagues who work with the DAM system on a daily basis.
Metadata is the key to ensuring that you realize the full potential of your DAM system, and therefore your assets. They ensure that your assets can be easily retrieved and repeatedly monetized in the system, while guaranteeing that copyright and trademark requirements are not violated. However, this requires that the metadata schema that forms the basis for organizing and maintaining assets in the system is well thought out. To conclude, therefore, let's turn once again to best practices, i.e., procedures that have proven their worth in the context of a metadata initiative.
As mentioned elsewhere, the metadata needs of individual DAM users should not be overlooked in any such initiative, nor should the metadata capabilities of other product-relevant systems such as CRM or PIM. After all, understanding where metadata is used in the organization and how to implement an organization-wide metadata strategy will also increase the overall benefits of any initiative. Along those lines, it makes just as much sense to focus on interoperability when defining the metadata schema and metadata standards, that is, metadata that can be read by all systems in the organization and thus used by all employees. One way to improve interoperability is to use standards such as the XMP framework or to use an enterprise metadata dictionary.
Finally, a metadata initiative should not be seen as a one-time project, but as an ongoing task. Starting with a small, focused set of fields and then moving to a more complex scheme is a good way to introduce and establish a metadata strategy, communicating metadata requirements not only internally but also externally. Similarly, regular audits should be conducted to ensure that metadata is being added correctly and that standards are being met.