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Introduction to Business Taxonomies November 5, 2010, 11:30-12:30 ET Joseph A. Busch, Senior Principal Zach Wahl, Director Information Management.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Business Taxonomies November 5, 2010, 11:30-12:30 ET Joseph A. Busch, Senior Principal Zach Wahl, Director Information Management."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Business Taxonomies November 5, 2010, 11:30-12:30 ET Joseph A. Busch, Senior Principal Zach Wahl, Director Information Management

2 Agenda What is a Taxonomy & Why is it Important? Business Taxonomy vs. Traditional Taxonomy Approaches to Getting Started 2

3 What is a Taxonomy? Overall scheme for organizing content to solve a business problem: – Improve search – Browse for content on an enterprise-wide portal – Enable business users to syndicate content – Provide the basis for content re-use 33

4 Why is Taxonomy Important? E-Commerce – Merchandising, cross-selling, up-selling Publishing (public & internal) – Aggregation, syndication, RSS feeds, alerts Regulated industries & government agencies – Compliance, transparency – Business rules 44

5 Merchandising: A case study (2005) Conversion rate for product findability – $80M web sales net income – 10% conversion rate increase$8M per year Lift in order size from satisfaction – $80M web sales net income – 20% lift in sales $8M per year Faceted searching & shopping Redesigned site architecture, search engine + Taxonomy 5

6 Publishing: Aggregation, RSS feeds, Alerts 6

7 Compliance, Transparency: Keeping the Metadata with the Data IMF time series – World Economic Outlook (WEO) in October 2009: Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries includes Angola (which joined OPEC in January 2007) and Ecuador (which rejoined in November 2007, after suspending its membership from December 1992 to October 2007) – WEO in October 2006: OPEC does not include Angola & Ecuador AttributeValue GroupOPEC PeriodAug 2009 MBD Reduction 2.8

8 Information Collaboration: Taxonomy Business Rules Taxonomies can do more than sell vacations, cars & cruises Taxonomies can help us decipher complex issues: – Help citizens select health insurance policies – Help parents find advice on dealing with underage drinking – Help high school juniors find colleges with particular programs – Help pharmacists find generic drugs to substitute for brand names – Help nurses identify side effects of medication or medical devices – Help telephone sales reps correctly describe packaged products – Help procurement professionals purchase computer equipment – Help managers share better management practices 8

9 What is a Taxonomy & Why is it Important? Business Taxonomy v. Traditional Taxonomy Approaches to Getting Started 9

10 Explaining Traditional Taxonomies Biological/medical/ library science taxonomies – An overall organizational system with many branches or sub- branches that organizes their world of information – Extremely rigid approach Purely subject-oriented Consistent & methodical Every item has one & only one correct categorization Instantive categorization approach – Defined by is a relationships each child category is an instance of the parent category – Pure taxonomic approach Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Class Reptilia Order Squamata Family Colubridae Genus Pituophis Species Catenifer 10

11 Defining the Business Taxonomy Categorization structure designed by & for business users – Business users as primary taggers/content contributors – Business users (or their constituents) as primary consumers Used for both (or either) primary or secondary categorization: – Primary: Navigation, management – Secondary: Search, tagging Tend to be less rigid & constrained Influenced by usability concerns – Minimize number of clicks Often content-driven – Ensure balanced content distribution Allow flexibility, redundancy – Items may be organized into multiple categories – May support multiple taxonomies for disparate audiences May use one or more different categorization approaches 11

12 Traditional v. Business Taxonomy: Side-by-Side Comparison Traditional Taxonomy Back-end visibility Integration & classification Absolute granularity Ultimate classification Business Taxonomy Front-end visibility/navigation structure Navigation & integration/classification Increased usability Simplicity 12

13 What is a Taxonomy & Why is it Important? Business Taxonomy v. Traditional Taxonomy Approaches to Getting Started 13

14 Taxonomy Development Methods MethodDescription Automated analysis Munge, blast, & crunch text to analyze corpus Workshopping Guide group in activities to identify key concepts Strawman Prepare best guess, then bring it to the table to discuss Adapt existing vocabularies Customize internal terminology, industry standards, etc. Hybrid Combination of some or all of these methods 14

15 What Do You Need to Get Started? Understand your audience Understand your publishers/ content managers Understand your technology platform Understand your content – How much content? – How it is tagged? Understand the scope of the project Taxonomy design projects seldom do (and never should) exist in a vacuum. Unless the project managers & designers recognize & adapt to the project constraints, the project is doomed to failure or obscurity. 15

16 Understand Your Limitations Many, if not most, taxonomy projects fit within the context of a large project & are driven by artificial limitations: – Schedule – Budget – Personnel Relax: youre not alone. Few taxonomy design projects are perfectly resourced & funded. The most important thing is to start the process. Recognize you can make do with given resources as long as you begin the process correctly & build from there. 16

17 Define Your Use Cases Understand how/why you will be using taxonomy & metadata Define who your content managers are in order to understand their capabilities: – Willingness to manually enter fields – Ability to properly tag content Define your audience to understand their needs: – Sorting needs Communicate benefits to all users 17

18 Key Components to a Successful Taxonomy Project: Project Best Practices Incremental, extensible process that identifies & enables users, & engages stakeholders Keep your audience in mind Strive for subject-based categorization Be consistent Control depth & breadth Make a long-term investment A means to an end & not the end in itself Not perfect, but it does the job it is supposed to dosuch as improving search & navigation Improved over time & maintained 18

19 Questions? Joseph A. Busch, , Zach Wahl, , 19

20 ASIST Taxonomy Webinar Series Introduction to Business Taxonomies – November 5th 11:30am-12:30pm EST – Joseph Busch and Zach Wahl Taxonomy Workshops – November 8th 11:30am-12:30pm EST – Rachel Sondag and Jill Tabuchi Practical Taxonomy Design – November 10th 11:30am-12:30pm EST – Jill Tabuchi and Joseph Busch Taxonomy Governance & Maintenance – November 12th 11:30am-12:30pm EST – Nick Nylund and Joseph Busch 20

21 Summary This session provided an introduction to what a taxonomy is, the value it offers your business, and the various approaches to getting started designing effective taxonomies for your own organization. 21


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