In the first post for our intro to digital asset management, we did briefly mention metadata, so let’s expand more on that subject.
You may hear the term ‘metadata’ mentioned numerous times when talking to people about DAM, and not know exactly what they are talking about.
Many sites will cover this in more depth than I but, to take a laymans perspective, we are talking about information about the assets ( pictures, videos, text etc), that you are managing. So data about data is a popular reference, though I prefer information that allows your family on social media to find stuff about where ‘you have visited places and people in your world travels but never really wanted your family to know about it’ type of thing. So kind of you tagging yourself on social media sites and regretting that tagging once you get a firm job offer and find out your new boss now knows all your vices. That’s the basics of metadata, but with less control and efficiency. We are all doing it, but we just don’t recognise it as metadata.
Once you get to metadata in a DAM environment you will run the full spectrum of very detailed information, file type, colour space, user logging etc, into the more in depth workflow information. of who created what, when, and who needs to know that.
The basics are, METADATA IS GOOD! If I was Yoda then I would phase it, ” your friend metadata is”. Without it you have a file store with no ability to search or find files, which is pretty much what you may have now. Being able to search and find content then allows much of the following;
Significantly less time spent by users finding things they know already exists
Significantly less time recreating stuff they already know exists.
More sharing of content
More reuse of content.
Business cost savings and efficiencies
…to name but a few.
So I may have gone on about DAM systems, but without metadata they are close to rubbish. You may as we’ll create a chocolate teapot as it would be as much use. If you are choosing a DAM system I cannot emphasise enough about how that system manages metadata is important to you.
To quote Yoda, “DAM system without metadata bad. Blind you are if you choose that” (slight paraphrase)