Taxonomy Consulting

Taxonomy Purposes and Benefits

Taxonomies are structured, controlled sets of terms/tags/categories use to aid in the retrieval of content. They may be implemented in many different kinds of systems: content management systems, web content management systems, SharePoint, digital asset management systems, document management systems, records management systems, library systems, museum and archives systems, and proprietary database management systems. Taxonomies serve various purposes and benefits related to helping users find the content they want.

    • Browsing
      A taxonomy for browsing guides users through a hierarchical arrangement of concepts, so they can find an appropriate topic of interest, without having to guess the exact name of the topic, or discovery a new category of interest, and from there can access content on that topic.
    • Filtering
      A taxonomy structured into facets, also called filters or refinements, allows users to dynamically restrict search result sets based on various criteria, aspects, or attributes, in combination.  Each facet has a controlled list of terms from which to select.
      Faceted taxonomies and hierarchical taxonomies can be combined.
    • Searching
      A taxonomy or controlled vocabulary with synonyms/variant terms can support search by matching user-entered search strings to taxonomy term concepts which are appropriately tagged to only and all relevant content. Documents with different wordings of a concept will not be missed, and documents with the same word in a different meaning will not be incorrectly retrieved.
      On a public website, a taxonomy may also aid in search engine optimization (SEO).
    • Tagging/Indexing
      Documents are more easily found if they are tagged with keywords, tags, or topics. But if the tags are inconsistent in their names, then tagging will be inconsistent. Two documents on the same topic, might receive different tags. By tagging only with terms on the approved, controlled list of taxonomy terms, documents can be consistently tagged and found.
      Tagging may be manual, automated, or semi-automated with human review.

A single taxonomy may serve multiple purposes; but sometimes distinct taxonomies work best.


Taxonomy Consulting Services

Heather Hedden provides taxonomy consulting services in any one or combination of the following:

    • Taxonomy review and evaluation
      Providing feedback and high-level recommendations for improvement; taxonomy testing assistance
    • Taxonomy revision
      Major or minor editing and enhancing of a taxonomy
    • Taxonomy design
      Consulting regarding the type of taxonomy/thesaurus, size and scope, breadth and depth, and partial or complete taxonomy development and build-out
    • Metadata design
      Consulting on the design of a larger metadata model or strategy, of which a taxonomy is a part
    • Taxonomy governance recommendations
      Drafting guidelines for taxonomy maintenance, for indexing, and for taxonomy management system considerations

 

Depending on the size of the project, Heather Hedden will either undertake the entire project solely or work with experienced taxonomy consulting partners.

List of past projects and clients