Keys to a Successful DAM Implementation – Build an Effective Metadata Model

December 2, 2019 Madison Casey

In the discipline of digital asset management, it’s often said that metadata is what transforms a digital content file into a digital content asset. The point of this truism is that digital content files will only have significant value for an enterprise if they can be found and used.  

All true digital asset management software solutions enable users to search the asset repository for the content resources they need. And to deliver robust search functionality, all DAM solutions rely on the existence of adequate and accurate metadata regarding each content asset. Therefore, it’s difficult to overstate the vital role that metadata plays in effective digital asset management.

In November of last year, Forrester Research published a report that described six best practices for successfully implementing an effective digital asset management system. One of those best practices is to establish an enterprise taxonomy and metadata strategy and model for rich content assets.

Forrester argues that most enterprises that are successful with DAM use a metadata model that incorporates technical metadata (such as the type and size of the file), descriptive metadata that describes the subject matter of the asset, and functional metadata (e.g. campaigns). Forrester contends that an effective metadata model will strike an appropriate balance between comprehensiveness and simplicity.

Forrester also recommends that enterprises should automate the asset tagging process whenever possible. For example, many types of digital content files have technical metadata embedded in EXIF, IPTC, and XMP metadata fields. Some DAM solutions (including ADAM) can automatically capture embedded metadata when a content asset is ingested.

Recently, a few DAM solution providers (including ADAM) have begun offering integrations with third-party providers that use artificial intelligence to analyze images and suggest descriptive metadata keywords. These capabilities may not completely eliminate the need for manual metadata entry, but they can lessen the burden for some enterprises.

Metadata management remains one of the more significant challenges associated with effective digital asset management, and enterprises are using a variety of techniques to automate portions of the task. The New Jersey DAM Meetup Group recently held a webinar that provided several important insights regarding metadata automation. A recording of the webinar is available on YouTube.

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