buy, build, automate: why you should buy your taxonomy

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Buy, Build, Automate: Why you should Buy Your Taxonomy Tom Reamy Chief Knowledge Architect KAPS Group Knowledge Architecture Professional Services http://www.kapsgroup.com

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Buy, Build, Automate: Why you should Buy Your Taxonomy. Tom Reamy Chief Knowledge Architect KAPS Group Knowledge Architecture Professional Services http://www.kapsgroup.com. Buy, Build, Automate – How to Decide?. A hierarchy does not a taxonomy make. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Page 1: Buy, Build, Automate:  Why you should  Buy  Your Taxonomy

Buy, Build, Automate: Why you should Buy Your Taxonomy

Tom ReamyChief Knowledge Architect

KAPS Group

Knowledge Architecture Professional Services

http://www.kapsgroup.com

Page 2: Buy, Build, Automate:  Why you should  Buy  Your Taxonomy

2

Buy, Build, Automate – How to Decide?

A hierarchy does not a taxonomy make.– Browse structures, categorization engines, file plans

Taxonomies are infrastructure resources, not a project Subject matter is important

– scientific standards – Mesh, etc.– Limited domain – wine, geography

What is it used for? Indexing, browsing. How is it evaluated? Formal metrics, usability

Page 3: Buy, Build, Automate:  Why you should  Buy  Your Taxonomy

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Automatic taxonomies aren’t

Quality of automated taxonomies is poor.– Unusual hierarchy, uneven granularity, weird node names

Expensive software that does only one thing – and does it badly

Taxonomies are about meaning – and automatic taxonomies are about co-occurring chicken scratches.

Don’t forget the cost of the programmers to install, maintain, customize – and the upgrades!

Still need human categorizers – edit, sanity check

Page 4: Buy, Build, Automate:  Why you should  Buy  Your Taxonomy

4

Building a taxonomy is really hard

Custom built taxonomies are the most expensive way to do it.

Who Builds? – taxonomist wannabe, consultant– Taxonomy development is not for the faint of heart – it’s hard

and requires special skills– Mercy of high price consultant

Hard to maintain – user’s change, so taxonomy needs to – often!

Representing user’s thinking – but users think so badly!

Page 5: Buy, Build, Automate:  Why you should  Buy  Your Taxonomy

5

The Solution – Buy Your Taxonomy

Formal taxonomies are fixed resource – little or no maintenance

Formal taxonomies support communication– Your content is not completely different

Formal Quality Metrics– Corpus, coverage, nomenclature, dependency– No mixed classes, noun forms, proper speciation– Bell Curve, balance of breadth and depth

Quality of taxonomy is high – teams of professionals, vetted over years with multiple customers

Page 6: Buy, Build, Automate:  Why you should  Buy  Your Taxonomy

6

Conclusion

There is no such thing as “One size fits all” with taxonomies Building a taxonomy is expensive, hard to do and hard to

maintain Automated algorithms don’t work with context, know the

relationships between topics, or understand your business or application

Classification on top of a formal taxonomy can represent users perspective, support multiple applications, and enhance communication within and between companies

Page 7: Buy, Build, Automate:  Why you should  Buy  Your Taxonomy

Questions?

Tom Reamy – KAPS Group – [email protected]

Jim Wessely – Advanced Document Services - [email protected]

Wendi Pohs – InfoClear Consulting –[email protected]

Page 8: Buy, Build, Automate:  Why you should  Buy  Your Taxonomy

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Real Conclusion – all of the above

Buy a taxonomy or find taxonomic resources – for some subjects– Budget for customization

Buy software that automates some of the process, especially categorization & content management

Build taxonomies for some subjects – using software, existing taxonomies or other information structure resources

Hire professionals – don’t try this at home Taxonomies are living, breathing, evolving structures – plan

accordingly Taxonomies are not expensive – compared with search, CM,

portals – and not finding/using content