You may wonder why anyone would want to spend money on specialist software for building taxonomies or metadata, like a.k.a.®, when you could just use a spreadsheet.
Here are 5 good reasons to consider a.k.a.® taxonomy building software:
Relationships and mapping
There are many more relationships to a taxonomy/thesaurus than broader/narrower. These include related term links, use/use-for links, non-preferred terms, and superseded/superseded by links.
Software that uses a relational database makes easy work of these. Relationships can also be made between multiple schemes, such as mapping taxonomies to retention schedules and access/security models.
Build once, use many times
With its relational database, terms are created once in a.k.a.® and used multiple times. When building a hierarchy in Project, Excel or Windows Explorer, you have to enter terms multiple times in order to use them multiple times. That can add up to several expensive days of additional effort for your project.
Because of its relational database, a.k.a.® is able to provide a single source environment for metadata management. Users can add multiple layers of customised metadata to describe, administer and manage their terms, classes, etc. – all within a single library.
With Project, Excel, Windows Explorer and various eCM systems, it’s difficult to manage layers of complexity associated with multiple metadata sets.
Reporting and presentation
Specialist products like a.k.a.® provide inbuilt reports to present taxonomies and other instruments in industry standard formats. They create customisable reports to enable multiple views of your taxonomies, like terms with scope notes, or non-preferred terms with relationships.
a.k.a.® can export to the web, so end-users can easily access and navigate taxonomies using hyperlinks.
Exporting and transformation
Lastly, if you have an eCM system (or multiple systems) you will want to export your taxonomy into it/them. That involves transforming your taxonomy into system-specific formats, like SharePoint, TRIM, or Open Text.
Transformation requires data manipulation: concatenating data, mapping fields, converting data values, and removing invalid characters.
Purpose-built products like a.k.a.® remove the heavy lifting with inbuilt programming to transform data.
The alternative is to input data into your eCM system manually (many days effort) or pay your system integrator to do it. Either way it’s a false economy.