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Digital Asset Management Metadata Increases Search Capabilities

So you’ve researched all the digital asset management systems, you’ve found the tool that is just right for you and now you’re ready to get started and begin loading thousands of images.  But WAIT!  How will you know that your audience will be able to find what they are looking for?  How will you know that you have all of the pertinent meta information associated to the media files?  How are we assured that others will tag images with the correct data?  After all, if thousands of images are loaded into a system and users can’t easily find what they are looking for then you’re not much better off than you were before you even had a digital asset management system.  So how do you make your DAM (Digital Asset Management) metadata work for your organization?

Look at the Audience who will use the Metadata

For starters, consider your audience.  Who is going to be looking for media and searching for digital asset management solutions?  Who uses your digital asset management software?

   1) Retailers that need your product photos?
   2) Sales people looking for presentation photos?
   3) Designers looking for images to use in printed ads?

If you start by putting yourself in the shoes of your intended audience(s) you can think through how users will approach your digital asset management system and what types of criteria will be useful for them to filter images.  This is the first step in ensuring that your DAM metadata will be useful to your audience.

Where to Find Existing Metadata in Your Files (To Save You Time)

Once you have defined the audience and understand how they will look for the images, look around for all possible sources that can be integrated together to build that metadata.  Common places to find data that could be metadata:

  • Some images have image data directly embedded into the photos and file structure.
  • Your photographer or stock photo provider may already have IPTC or other meta fields populated into the images.  Perhaps you already have organized images in folders, named them with meaningful names.
  • Perhaps there are other data sources in your company such as facility lists, product “item masters” that have related information that if brought together by a data guru could establish a rich resource of information to meet the metadata criteria.

Creating metadata out of your existing files automatically and writing it to your images can save days or weeks of work.  And the benefit to having your digital assets under digital asset management well tagged with metadata is that it will be much easier to search through the images in the future.

Honeycomb Archive – Data Guru Included

Unfortunately, many photo sharing websites and digital asset management systems approach metadata from the author’s perspective.  The photographer can see what shutter speed, flash settings and other EXIF data pertaining to the photos.  Honeycomb Archive can of course extract this information from your photos if desired, but does your audience really need this information?  More likely they need a robust search mechanism that allows them to filter on keywords that are pertinent to how they will use the photos.  If they are looking for photos of people they’ll want to search on criteria that filters people – gender, age, activity, etc.  If they are searching for product photos they’ll want to search on item number, style, color, still shot or product in use. 

Honeycomb Archive makes sense of the metadata from a real world perspective and is completely configurable to tailor search filters for your audience.  These tailored metadata tags are then easily assigned to new media with the option to assign metadata to multiple images at once or individually.  We also provide the data guru services to combine other sources that may exist in your organization to reduce or eliminate data management time.



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  • We will setup a fully working sample system to validate your business requirements before you even become a customer.
  • We will develop a comprehensive data strategy with your team (sharing our experience and best practices) until you are satisfied.
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