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Table of Contents
There is no universal recipe for a successful metadata strategy. This is because each company must find its own strategy and configure the DAM system according to its own needs and requirements. However, the following step-by-step guide can serve as orientation by naming the milestones that should be passed in a metadata initiative.
Every initiative needs goals that need to be achieved. A metadata initiative is no different. The first step is to identify the use cases of the DAM system and analyze the status quo. It is essential to involve the employees who work with the DAM system on a daily basis in order to find out how the system can be optimized for the benefit of the users. Once the use cases and users have been identified, the goal of the metadata initiative can be defined and the appropriate type of metadata determined. For example, if you want to focus on simplifying access to your organization's asset inventory to improve return on investment, you should look at descriptive metadata. On the other hand, if your focus is to facilitate collaboration between departments, teams, and employees involved in creative processes, such as creating marketing materials, process metadata has a role to play.
Consistency is one of the keys to a successful metadata strategy. Thus, it is critical to establish standards for labeling and describing files to make assets accessible and, most importantly, interoperable. However, there is no need to reinvent the wheel when setting metadata standards. After all, there are established standards such as Dublin Core, XMP or IPTC that can be used as a guide. Furthermore, it may be the case that the metadata you need for your objective is already in use in your organization and system landscape. Thus, it is advisable to first check how digital content is organized in other systems and whether the metadata used there can also be considered for asset organization in the DAM system. After you have checked which metadata is available and have found out the options of your DAM solutions, you can move on to the next step and design the metadata schema.
The metadata schema defines the layout of the metadata fields and determines the organization of the information in the DAM catalog. In defining the individual fields, you can again use the above-mentioned standards or other industry- and application-specific standards as a guide. Once the schema is defined, the values for the fields can be set using a taxonomy or a hybrid vocabulary. By using a predefined vocabulary or drop-down menu, you can prevent errors from occurring when manually entering metadata and also avoid inconsistencies. For organizations that manage large volumes of assets, however, it can also make sense to turn to smart tagging. This automatically enriches digital content with metadata using AI-based algorithms and machine learning.