Metadata is information that describes various facets of an information asset to improve its usability throughout its life cycle. It is metadata that turns information into an asset.
Generally speaking, the more valuable the information asset, the more critical it is to manage the metadata about it, because it is the metadata definition that provides the understanding that unlocks the value of data.
Businesses who develop fit-for-purpose standardised metadata to describe their documents can find the “right information in the right place at the right time”. The value to the business is enormous. The inverse cost of not finding the right information is proportionate.
How Synercon can help
Synercon provides tools, techniques and training for best practice metadata management.
Metadata Management Tools
Our software tool, a.k.a. makes it easy to create, manage and apply high quality, fit for purpose metadata across the organisation.
a.k.a. can be used to build, maintain and enforce metadata schemas. Size and complexity isn’t an issue, with some clients using a.k.a. to successfully manage more than 60,000 data elements.
Functioning as a repository, the a.k.a. library provides a central source of metadata with inbuilt governance and controls.
Using generic output formats and API deployment, a.k.a. exchanges metadata with virtually any information system and integrates with the SharePoint Term Store.
Synercon can also provide the tools and expertise to implement auto-classification for generating high quality, consistent metadata for tagging unstructured records.
Metadata Management Techniques
Synercon has developed a range of methodologies to:
- Build and maintain a data catalogue
- Establish and maintain data quality standards
- Automate the generation and application of fit for purpose metadata
Metadata Management Training
Synercon has developed a suite of online training courses to help you best manage and leverage your metadata:
- Metadata and system design for information governance
- Metadata, taxonomy and ontology design for automating information governance
- Best practice taxonomy development
Our Training Courses
Frequently asked questions
What is metadata management?
Metadata is more than just data about data. It’s used to describe the content, context and structure of information resources.
The bulk of content is unstructured, so metadata is essential for making business information searchable, discoverable, understandable and accessible to users. This is especially true as adoption of enterprise-level content management systems, like SharePoint, becomes more widespread.
Metadata management includes methods, technologies and behaviours that contribute to the creation and maintenance of fit for purpose metadata. It is essential to effective data and information management and a key element of any data governance program.
What are the benefits of good metadata management?
High quality, fit for purpose metadata is essential to successfully manage ever-growing stockpiles of business information.
Improved data quality
Improved risk management
- Protect, classify and dispose of records appropriately
Improved business performance
- Leverage data for decision-making, planning, research and analytics
- Improve search, discovery and accessibility
- Power auto-classification and auto-appraisal
Why is managing metadata important?
When metadata is doing its job well, it goes unnoticed. But when it’s poor quality or missing in action, you’ll notice the difference.
In the era of ubiquitous computing, metadata has become infrastructural, like the electrical grid or the highway system. We interact with it or generate it every day…It is a means by which the complexity of an object is represented in a simpler form…When metadata does its job well, it fades into the background… everyone takes it for granted.
Consistent metadata is fundamental to interoperability between systems and federated operations such as search, access and security, and appraisal. When metadata is poor quality, you’ll experience:
- Difficulty finding and sharing information
- Incomplete or inaccurate records
- Low quality data with inconsistencies, errors and duplication
- Stalled progress with digital transformation initiatives
Without functional metadata, operational data won’t accurately an organisation’s assets or their true state. In some cases, this has led to operational failure with catastrophic consequences.
How do I manage metadata in SharePoint?
While SharePoint has established itself as a go-to document management solution, it provides limited functionality for managing metadata.
a.k.a. software fills that critical gap, allowing organisations to build and maintain schemas that integrate directly with the SharePoint Term Store.
The a.k.a. data library provides a central source of metadata that can be enforced across almost any information system, including SharePoint.
Synercon can also provide the tools and expertise to implement auto-classification, where high quality, consistent metadata is automatically generated and applied to documents and records stored in SharePoint.
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