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Classification schemes & taxonomies

How Synercon can help

At Synercon, we know how complex it is to build ontologies, taxonomies and other information governance tools because we do it too.

As digitisation accelerates, a lot more people are engaged in developing taxonomies and generating metadata.

It’s a deceptively simple task because you can just start by putting terms into a spreadsheet, or directly into system tables. But taxonomies can come unstuck quite quickly because there are so many needs to take into consideration. That’s where we can help.


Our flagship software, a.k.a., is an enterprise tool designed to create data and information governance tools which meet industry best practice.

With a.k.a. software, you can easily build all types of taxonomies like metadata schemes, data catalogues, business classification schemes, faceted classification schemes, glossaries, thesauri and ontologies that meet ISO and government standards. Our agile design tools enable you to design and configure schemes to meet you own specific requirements.

a.k.a. provides functionality to support taxonomy development and review that you won’t find in spreadsheets or systems like the SharePoint Term Store. With a.k.a. you get tools for importing and exporting, bulk data management, simple and advanced searching, along with APIs for uploading and downloading schemes. You also get a full range of governance tools, for tracking and auditing changes, and managing approvals.


For over 20 years we have assimilated and evolved techniques for building taxonomies that meet industry best practice. To enable you to build sustainable workable taxonomies, we provide know-how including:

  • Functional analysis and sequential analysis for business activity classification
  • Facet analysis to build faceted classification schemes to feed databases and the SharePoint Term Store
  • Relationship modelling to manage complex taxonomies
  • Ontology modelling for autoclassification and autoappraisal
  • Techniques for integrating taxonomies and harmonizing language across an organisation


Our training courses tackle the challenges associated with designing and developing best practice taxonomies that are fit for their intended purpose. In our taxonomy courses you will learn about:

  • Different taxonomic structures and discuss how structure relates to function
  • Taxonomy components and how they work together
  • Knowledge domains and faceted classification systems
  • Taxonomy and data governance standards
  • Metadata, taxonomies and system design
  • Building taxonomies and ontologies for auto-classification
  • Change management issues relating to the uptake of taxonomies and maintenance over time

Quick links

Before you start building your new classification (metadata) scheme…
Classification definitions and sources
The dark art of classification


Frequently asked questions

What is a taxonomy?

A taxonomy is a classification scheme where concepts are organised into groups or types. They can take many forms, but typically
concepts are organised into lists or hierarchies. More complex taxonomies, like thesauri and ontologies enable many types of
relationships between concepts.

How are taxonomies used?

Taxonomies are used as the source of metadata for describing information assets.

They are the principle means by which people interact with information systems

As a core component of information systems, taxonomies underpin key information management functions, including:

  • Navigation and search
  • Capture and migration
  • Aggregation
  • Arrangement
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Sharing and collaboration
  • Security and protection
  • Retention, archiving and disposal

They are also used for building information architecture and organising information so it is accessible, usable, and relevant to the end user.

What is a business classification scheme?

A business classification scheme is a taxonomy which documents the functions, activities and transactions undertaken by a business.

Commonly known as a BCS, it provides a contextual framework for the classification of records and underpins the development of other classification systems.

Classifying records using a BCS is a requirement of ISO 15489, the international standard for records management, ensuring that records and metadata remain linked to their business context even in the event of organisational change.

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