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Understanding MetadataA supplement to: Practical SharePoint 2010Information Architecture by Ruven GotzBuy the Book (or Kin...
Ruven Gotz             @ruveng             spinsiders.com/ruveng             ruven.gotz@avanade.comRuven Gotz             ...
The BIG Question                    What is                   Metadata?
Data about data
Ruven Gotz             @ruveng             spinsiders.com/ruveng             ruven.gotz@avanade.comRuven Gotz             ...
The BIG Question   What is Metadata?                     I think I get it                    What is                    IN...
What is
Let’s use a
What does a cow say?
What does a chicken say?
What does a duck say?
The sounds these animals make areattributes that distinguish them
• Prince  • Pop/Rock  • 1984Example from Yoav Lurie
Adapted from the “peasoup” story by SergeTremblay
What is our Base Metaphorfor files?
What if we saw this?
Better…
Solve with folders
Hire an intern
What is metadata?
This is metadata!
Carl Linnaeus (1751)
Taxonomy                                                              Animal                                              ...
Taxonomy                                                              Animal                                              ...
Taxonomy                                                              Animal                                              ...
Taxonomy                                                              Animal                                              ...
Taxonomy                                                              Animal                                              ...
Taxonomy                                                              Animal                                              ...
Taxonomy                                                              Animal                                              ...
Taxonomy                                                              Animal                                              ...
Taxonomy                                                              Animal                                              ...
Shared Drive ZooTaxonomy                                                                 X:                               ...
As we’ve already seen: This always works out great
Findability vs. Putability: a basic asymmetry
Shared Drive Zoo                                                            X:                                            ...
Moving this mess to SharePointmakes it worse
SharePoint Sux
The #1 rule of SharePoint?                Except when it makes sense                     Never use folders                ...
Folders for Security                Permissions assigned                     per folder
A Brief Detour
Simple Mind Map
Mapping for Navigation
Mapping for Priorization
A SharePoint Taxonomy (Navigation)
A SharePoint Taxonomy (Metadata)Customer Type   Sector      Size       Location   University• Lab           • Private   • ...
Adding Metadata (when uploading)
A SharePoint Simulation
Document Type Inventory Worksheet
What is metadata?
What is Taxonomy?
What are content types?
Vacation Request     Drug ReimbursementName _________         Name _________Emp. # _________       Emp. # _________Date __...
Both Content Types in One Library
Content Types for: Workflow, Policy, Security
Back to the Inventory Worksheet
Build Mind Map (based on inventory worksheet)
Why is it still so hard to get this to work?
Which leads to this:
Some great thinking by Carsten Knoch (Navantis)
Increasing the likelihood of metadata success                                                                ComplianceSea...
It’s a question of focus                           Metadata                           • Why?                           • W...
Share the responsibility
Less is more
To Sum Up…• Do you have a better understanding of Metadata?• Do you think you’ll be able to explain these  concepts more e...
Thanks for your attentionBuy the Book (or Kindle):http://amzn.to/JnxlcCPractical SharePoint 2010 InformationArchitecture b...
Understanding metadata - practical spia book
Understanding metadata - practical spia book
Understanding metadata - practical spia book
Understanding metadata - practical spia book
Understanding metadata - practical spia book
Understanding metadata - practical spia book
Understanding metadata - practical spia book
Understanding metadata - practical spia book
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Understanding metadata - practical spia book

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Understand what metadata is, and why you should be using it (instead of folders) in your SharePoint solutions. Also touches on content types, taxonomies and the use of visual tools to get to shared understanding with your stakeholders.

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  • Everyone knows…
  • It’s “Data about Data” as Einstein proved all those years ago
  • This answer helps exactly no-one
  • I won’t tell you yet but…It is an iterative process – you won’t understand it right away, but you will circle in towards understanding over time[ANIMATED]
  • Metadata is a new concept for manyUse of metaphors to explain the concepts
  • Metadata is a new concept for manyUse of metaphors to explain the concepts
  • If you were to ask a child: What does a cow say? How would they answer?
  • Ok, so that was goofing around – now let’s get serious.
  • The music is the contentYou can know a lot of facts about the album:PrincePop/Rock1984You can know all the facts, but it doesn’t substitute for the content (the music)(Purple Rain example originally suggested by Yoav Lurie)
  • How do you sort CD’sArtist?Title?Year?Genre?Colour?You have to decide up-front – and stick to it –because the objects are physical
  • What if the store was full of unlabeled tin cans?You would need to open every can to see if had what you wanted(Tin can example originally suggested by Serge Tremblay)
  • Now we don’t need to open each can, but they are all in a jumble and you have to pick up each can to check if has what you want.
  • Items are grouped by area (canned fruit, canned sauce, canned vegetables)Signs point you to the correct area so that you can quickly find what you need.BUT: Because the objects are physical, you need to pick a method and stick to it
  • This uses the base metaphor that we live with every day.The concept of a “file” and a “file folder” as a way of storing digital data is a metaphor taken from the world of paper managementIt has become so ingrained, that we think of it as natural, but it’s not: It was invented in 1983 by Apple (wikipedia)
  • Old apple interface from the 80’s
  • All your files are stored in one folder and their names are completely meaninglessThis is like the unlabeled cans: You have to open each file to see what it contains
  • You have a bit of a better situationThe naming convention lets you find the file you need (but there’s no way to sort by year)Rely on users to follow the naming convention (religiously)
  • A ha!Now we’re in great shape. We’re like the supermarketStructured and LabelledBUT...
  • ... then, you hire a summer internWho doesn’t know the folder hierarchy and makes up their own
  • Findability is challengingPutability is the real problemThis is Bill English’s word for knowing where to save a documentWhat if we could make putability easier while also improving findability?This is the promise of metadata
  • Data about dataYes, but not enough info Seth Maislin of Earley & Assoc. says it's the "Is-ness" of something:This 'is' a contract. That 'is' a pop album.For us it enables findability, policy and processFindability for locating the right documentsPolicy – records managementProcess – Status of a business process (e.g. Not started, In process, Complete, Approved, Archived)
  • So, let’s create an alternative structure that is logically equivalent, but that makes putability much easier while preserving findabilityBy the way: One way to start to figure out an organization’s metadata is to look at the folder names.You will probably not want to simply copy this, but it can be a good guide/starting point
  • It’s not this… (visual joke)
  • It’s this…Not really this, but let’s use these creatures to understand.
  • Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of binomial nomenclature. He is known as the father of modern taxonomy
  • This works because it’s really about governance – this is a stable structure that can’t be changed by just anybody:Changing this structure requires a world-wide meeting of the top scientists in the field, usually involving name-calling and fist-fights (or so I’ve heard)[ANIMATED]
  • Did you catch the subtle change here.The taxonomy is now of your ‘X’ drive.
  • And this is a common result
  • The asymmetry is that you’ll spend less time looking for a place to save something then you will looking for something after the fact.
  • Problem here is lack of governance – anyone can add any folder anywhere anytimeThis boils down to the ‘putability’ problem – I’ll search for a long time to find a doc, but not for long to see where to put it.[ANIMATED]
  • Once you’ve migrated your x drive to SharePoint, and all the promised benefits fail to emerge, The reaction is: (next slide)
  • Never, ever, use folders!Except when it makes sense to do so.[ANIMATED]
  • Never, ever, use folders!Except when it makes sense to do so.[ANIMATED]
  • [ANIMATED] Here is one reason to use folders: Application of security and then simplifying it for the user by using the ‘no folders’ view.
  • I’m not Carl, but let’s talk about why this works.After all, it’s the same as a directory treeThe difference is governance
  • Is this too many to ask for?Do we force users to answer all these questions/enter all this data?
  • Instead of confusing people with the SharePoint interface, I use a familiar tool: ExcelUsing some simple macros, I am able to illustrate the power of filters and views.There’s no free lunch however: People now have to enter metadata.We can simplify this by defaulting values like “Date” to today and “Year” to current year.We can leverage content types as well
  • Explain metadata and then use this worksheet for ‘homework’
  • Think of them as different forms with slots to fill in.Two documents may have overlapping slots (or, metadata).It may make sense to store these two types of docs in the same library (HR Requests), but use content types to drive workflow, policy and prompt users only for the metadata that applies.[ANIMATED]
  • Think of them as different forms with slots to fill in.Two documents may have overlapping slots (or, metadata).It may make sense to store these two types of docs in the same library (HR Requests), but use content types to drive workflow, policy and prompt users only for the metadata that applies.[ANIMATED]
  • [ANIMATED]
  • Using mind-mapping tools to build the taxonomy from the homeworkI use MindJet MindManager – and I like and highly recommend it.There are other tools that are less expensive.
  • This comes from some great thinking by CarstenKnoch – someone with great insight into this issuehttp://carstenknoch.com/2012/04/sharepoint-metadata-design-principles/Search – Find docs: eg. Subject, Status, Pub type, Author, YearRM – manage compliance: Retention period, confidentiality status, FOI rulesProcess – Day to Day: Status, assigned to, Due Date, etc.
  • Pragmatic & Outcomes focused
  • The answers are not clear-cut, everyone has to be on the same page.These decisions are not made by the consultants, or even IT – it has to involve the business
  • Find the common denominatorShoot for the magic subset
  • Transcript of "Understanding metadata - practical spia book"

    1. 1. Understanding MetadataA supplement to: Practical SharePoint 2010Information Architecture by Ruven GotzBuy the Book (or Kindle):http://amzn.to/JnxlcC
    2. 2. Ruven Gotz @ruveng spinsiders.com/ruveng ruven.gotz@avanade.comRuven Gotz slideshare.com/ruveng
    3. 3. The BIG Question What is Metadata?
    4. 4. Data about data
    5. 5. Ruven Gotz @ruveng spinsiders.com/ruveng ruven.gotz@avanade.comRuven Gotz slideshare.com/ruveng
    6. 6. The BIG Question What is Metadata? I think I get it What is INow I see think Oh! I (Mostly)it get Metadata?
    7. 7. What is
    8. 8. Let’s use a
    9. 9. What does a cow say?
    10. 10. What does a chicken say?
    11. 11. What does a duck say?
    12. 12. The sounds these animals make areattributes that distinguish them
    13. 13. • Prince • Pop/Rock • 1984Example from Yoav Lurie
    14. 14. Adapted from the “peasoup” story by SergeTremblay
    15. 15. What is our Base Metaphorfor files?
    16. 16. What if we saw this?
    17. 17. Better…
    18. 18. Solve with folders
    19. 19. Hire an intern
    20. 20. What is metadata?
    21. 21. This is metadata!
    22. 22. Carl Linnaeus (1751)
    23. 23. Taxonomy Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Mammals Fish Amphibians Reptiles Birds Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Porcupines Guinea Pigs Hamsters and Mice & Rats Voles Real Voles Gerbils Hamsters Short-tailed Long-tailed dwarf dwarf hamsters hamsters Djungarian Roborovski dwarf Hamster hampsters
    24. 24. Taxonomy Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Superclass Mammals Fish Amphibians Reptiles Birds Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Porcupines Guinea Pigs Hamsters and Mice & Rats Voles Real Voles Gerbils Hamsters Short-tailed Long-tailed dwarf dwarf hamsters hamsters Djungarian Roborovski dwarf Hamster hampsters
    25. 25. Taxonomy Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Mammals Fish Amphibians Reptiles Birds Class Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Porcupines Guinea Pigs Hamsters and Mice & Rats Voles Real Voles Gerbils Hamsters Short-tailed Long-tailed dwarf dwarf hamsters hamsters Djungarian Roborovski dwarf Hamster hampsters
    26. 26. Taxonomy Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Mammals Fish Amphibians Reptiles Birds Predators Primates Whales Rodents Order Squirrels Mice Porcupines Guinea Pigs Hamsters and Mice & Rats Voles Real Voles Gerbils Hamsters Short-tailed Long-tailed dwarf dwarf hamsters hamsters Djungarian Roborovski dwarf Hamster hampsters
    27. 27. Taxonomy Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Mammals Fish Amphibians Reptiles Birds Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Porcupines Guinea Pigs Suborder Hamsters and Mice & Rats Voles Real Voles Gerbils Hamsters Short-tailed Long-tailed dwarf dwarf hamsters hamsters Djungarian Roborovski dwarf Hamster hampsters
    28. 28. Taxonomy Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Mammals Fish Amphibians Reptiles Birds Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Porcupines Guinea Pigs Hamsters and Mice & Rats Voles Family Real Voles Gerbils Hamsters Short-tailed Long-tailed dwarf dwarf hamsters hamsters Djungarian Roborovski dwarf Hamster hampsters
    29. 29. Taxonomy Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Mammals Fish Amphibians Reptiles Birds Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Porcupines Guinea Pigs Hamsters and Mice & Rats Voles Real Hamsters Voles Gerbils Subfamily Short-tailed Long-tailed dwarf dwarf hamsters hamsters Djungarian Roborovski dwarf Hamster hampsters
    30. 30. Taxonomy Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Mammals Fish Amphibians Reptiles Birds Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Porcupines Guinea Pigs Hamsters and Mice & Rats Voles Real Voles Gerbils Hamsters Short-tailed Long-tailed dwarf dwarf Genus hamsters hamsters Djungarian Roborovski dwarf Hamster hampsters
    31. 31. Taxonomy Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Mammals Fish Amphibians Reptiles Birds Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Porcupines Guinea Pigs Hamsters and Mice & Rats Voles Real Voles Gerbils Hamsters Short-tailed Long-tailed dwarf dwarf hamsters hamsters Djungarian Roborovski dwarf Hamster Species hampsters
    32. 32. Shared Drive ZooTaxonomy X: Sales & Production Marketing Marketing Sales Web Design Newsletter Social Commercial Industrial Government Healthcare Labs Hospitals Clinics Mobile Private Public Large Medium Small Urban Rural Not University Associated
    33. 33. As we’ve already seen: This always works out great
    34. 34. Findability vs. Putability: a basic asymmetry
    35. 35. Shared Drive Zoo X: Sales & Production Marketing Marketing Sales Web Design Newsletter Social Major Commercial Industrial Government Healthcare Hospitals Labs Hospitals Clinics Mobile Colleges Private Public Big Small Large Medium Small Urban Rural Not University Associated
    36. 36. Moving this mess to SharePointmakes it worse
    37. 37. SharePoint Sux
    38. 38. The #1 rule of SharePoint? Except when it makes sense Never use folders ever
    39. 39. Folders for Security Permissions assigned per folder
    40. 40. A Brief Detour
    41. 41. Simple Mind Map
    42. 42. Mapping for Navigation
    43. 43. Mapping for Priorization
    44. 44. A SharePoint Taxonomy (Navigation)
    45. 45. A SharePoint Taxonomy (Metadata)Customer Type Sector Size Location University• Lab • Private • Large • Urban • Yes• Hospital • Public • Medium • Rural • No• Clinic • Small• Mobile
    46. 46. Adding Metadata (when uploading)
    47. 47. A SharePoint Simulation
    48. 48. Document Type Inventory Worksheet
    49. 49. What is metadata?
    50. 50. What is Taxonomy?
    51. 51. What are content types?
    52. 52. Vacation Request Drug ReimbursementName _________ Name _________Emp. # _________ Emp. # _________Date _________ Date _________Dates Requested: Drug Used:From __________ Name __________To: __________ Cost: $ _________Manager ________ Manager ________Approved Y/N Approved Y/N
    53. 53. Both Content Types in One Library
    54. 54. Content Types for: Workflow, Policy, Security
    55. 55. Back to the Inventory Worksheet
    56. 56. Build Mind Map (based on inventory worksheet)
    57. 57. Why is it still so hard to get this to work?
    58. 58. Which leads to this:
    59. 59. Some great thinking by Carsten Knoch (Navantis)
    60. 60. Increasing the likelihood of metadata success ComplianceSearch & Discover Records Search Management Magic Metadata Intersection Business Process Day-to-day workflow This graph originates from thinking by Carsten Knoch
    61. 61. It’s a question of focus Metadata • Why? • Where? • How?
    62. 62. Share the responsibility
    63. 63. Less is more
    64. 64. To Sum Up…• Do you have a better understanding of Metadata?• Do you think you’ll be able to explain these concepts more easily to your stakeholders?• Did you get value out of this presentation?
    65. 65. Thanks for your attentionBuy the Book (or Kindle):http://amzn.to/JnxlcCPractical SharePoint 2010 InformationArchitecture by Ruven Gotz
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