The importance of governance for digital asset management

Taxonomy and management to ensure it is used correctly are essential to DAM.

Important to Digital Asset Management, or DAM, is to mark assets so that they can be easily found, which is extremely important for large text, image, and video libraries.

But random multi-user labeling does not work: the labeling must be consistent and, according to a taxonomy, a hierarchical classification scheme. If you are a library user, consider Dewey’s decimal system; but unlike public libraries, there is no single taxonomy that meets the needs of retailers, healthcare, finance, scientific organizations, or sports associations.

What is digital asset management?

In a recent episode of MarTech Live, Paul Murphy, a digital imaging specialist at UEFA (Union of European Football Associations), explained how he collected a large collection of football photos from a variety of sources. “For the Euro 2016 tournament, we had several photographers working on editorial, commercial and operational content,” he explains. So different providers, different content sources, different photography styles, but end users can access a mix of them depending on their originals.

Murphy’s team mapped the keywords photographers use on the labels into a UEFA vocabulary to make the labels filterable for end users. The controlled vocabulary was also distributed for photographers’ reference. “We had a photo editing team that worked with all of the content during the tournament to make sure everything was done according to our applicable business and labeling rules, and then we were able to do a quality check as well.”

According to Murphy, it was even more difficult to apply management to games played during the regular season, where a single photographer could take editorial photos and even work for a sponsor to take photos with stadium ads as the backdrop. “We see that we are overloading the supplier, so we have a few hundred images.”

These images should be properly marked, but the photographer may not know that a specific camera in the UEFA vocabulary has a specific name in a specific location. That’s why Murphy’s team is improving the quality of the labels. “We are almost perfect for a big tournament,” he said. “We are trying to improve the other aspects”.

Mark Davey is a leading DAM consultant, founder of IQ Equity, and responds to Murphy’s comments: used, especially even in the larger version, Cory Doctorow coined the term ‘meta-crap’: this is when people weren’t getting a taxonomy, metadata, and control over these things. ‘This can have consequences for the user experience at the company.

DAM and the art of government

The administration is defined by Dictionary.com as ‘government’; exercise of authority; controls. In a digital asset management scenario, the most basic definition of management comes down to users who have access to what resources and why. It also contains the parameters of the system itself, as well as information that moves within each limit within limit.

Clearly, different DAM systems manage resource management at the user level or, more generally, through user group directories or galleries. Does it seem complicated? This can be especially true if plans, communication, and documentation are not sufficient.

Do you really want the design studio that compiles the annual report to have access to photos of your company’s CEO during the Christmas party? Are there images of rights-managed in your DAM, and would it be expensive and embarrassing to be hit by an internet attack if the license was only for printing? Do you change everything by multiplying the number of DAM users by the number of possible resources and combinations?

DO not worry.

 Regardless of the structure of the DAM system, there are ways to simplify management and ensure that the right people only have access to the resources they need. And while many articles say that management is important in terms of DAM’s best practices, you should not discuss much implementing a management strategy, discussing the topic with DAM users and stakeholders, inevitable changes, and managing common sense. not. the process.

First, a digital asset management strategy should be very different from the organization-wide IT management plan. When developing a management strategy for a DAM system, consider the following:

1. What is the organizational culture of your organization? If the culture is a bit loose, as with many creative agencies, simplicity is the key to establishing management practices.

2. If the DAM system is used by several departments, a management committee should be formed with members representing each group of users and IT. Meet briefly and regularly – communication is key.

3. Determine who will apply metadata, how it will be applied and who will create it. Is it partly due to integrated fields like IPTC, or will it use a set of predefined elements or a standard like Dublin Core?

4. Is there a consolidated taxonomy or a controlled vocabulary? If not, can you collect data to create a controlled vocabulary? Is it possible to use a taxonomy or classification hierarchy for the whole organization in addition to the vocabulary?

5. Do you need a conservation policy and conservation programs? Do your assets expire or lose over time? Do you need to archive items to some extent? Document everything, no matter how small or light.

Whether your DAM is starting your business for the first time, governs in a system that has been around for some time, or simply needs to evaluate existing policies, your management strategy needs to be well documented. A good DAM manager likes, just like a librarian who distinguishes between reference material and borrowed material. This can be in the form of spreadsheets or flowcharts in a safe place, which define user group permissions, resource constraints, metadata fields, and necessary workflows, such as options, controlled vocabulary, and taxonomy structure.

Additional tools can be used to store user logins, manage taxonomy, and automate metadata applications to complement and contribute to the management strategy.

The most important aspects of the management strategy are the organizational purchases of the digital asset management policy and the documentation of these rules. The advantage is the ease of decision-making, made possible by an established management plan. Do not worry if this policy is formal or official; it is important to maintain the discussions that led to the management plan and write it all down.

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