Understanding the power of metadata is an essential component to successful digital transformation. It can be crucial to an organization’s future content management solution.
Metadata is data that provides information about, or describes, other data. It is often used to describe the characteristics and properties of a piece of information or a set of information. Metadata can include information like the title, author, date created, date modified, and file format of a document, as well as information about the size, resolution, and dimensions of an image or video.
Metadata can be classified into two main categories: internal and external.
Internal metadata is data that is stored within the contents of a file. For example, a Microsoft Word document may include internal metadata such as the author, date created, date modified, and the number of words in the document. This type of metadata is typically created and managed by the application that created the file, and it can be accessed by opening the file and viewing its properties. External metadata, on the other hand, is data that resides outside of the file in a separate location. This can include information such as the file’s location, its access permissions, and its relationship to other files or data.
External metadata is typically stored in a separate database, catalog, library, or index that is associated with the file. For example, a digital image file might have external metadata that includes information about the camera used to take the photo, the date it was taken, and the location where the photo was taken.
Metadata can be created in different ways, it can be entered manually by a user or administrator, or it can be generated automatically by the application or system that creates or saves a file. The method of creating metadata depends on the context and the purpose of the metadata, it is important to have a well-defined schema and standard for creating, maintaining, and using metadata.
Custom metadata is additional data that is added to a file to provide more information about the underlying data. It is different from the basic metadata that is automatically generated by applications. Custom metadata can include tags and classifications that help to further describe and categorize the file. Applications like Shinydocs Discovery Desktop can be used to add custom metadata to files. The process of adding custom metadata can also be automated using scripts or other programmatic methods. This can help to improve the organization and management of files, and make them more searchable and accessible.
With the use of metadata, organizations can realize several benefits:
– Enhanced search options – by adding additional information about the file, such as custom metadata, search results can be more accurate and specific, making it easier to find the information you need.
– Streamlined migration projects – custom metadata can be used to add migration rule tags, making it easier to move files to new systems and keep track of where they need to be moved.
– Defensible disposition – custom metadata can be used to set rules on a file, such as how long it needs to be retained, which makes it easier to comply with legal and regulatory requirements.
– Compliance with privacy regulations – custom metadata can be used to flag files that contain PII (Personal Identifiable Information) which is important for organizations to manage in order to stay compliant with growing privacy regulations.
– Creating connections between seemingly unrelated files – custom metadata can be used to create connections between files that may be associated with the same project, such as invoices and CAD drawings, by linking them with project ID metadata.