Listen to Nancy Price talking about Digital Asset Management
Henrik de Gyor: This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Nancy Price. Nancy, how are you?
Nancy Price: Great, Henrik, how are you?
Henrik de Gyor: Great. Nancy, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Nancy Price: Well Henrik, I kind of stumbled into Digital Asset Management after working as a cataloging librarian at an academic library. It’s actually pretty funny because when I started I really wasn’t very clear on what I’d be doing other than applying metadata, but it turns out that I really performed that day to day activities that make Digital Asset Management magic happen. So on any typical day, I would upload assets into the system. I applied descriptive metadata so the assets can be discovered by our corporate users. I manage the assets for different stages in their lifecycle. I developed system workflows for onboarding new types of asset. I version assets. I provide user assistance and customer service. I fulfill requests for asset location and delivery. I document system processes and communicate them to users. I develop training materials and provide system training and I work with IT to troubleshoot the system and for upgrades and a UAT testing. So I can typically have a pretty full day and I really liked the variety that might position offers, so I do really enjoy Digital Asset Management.
Henrik de Gyor: Nancy, how does is a premier brand for girls use Digital Asset Management?
Nancy Price: Well, I think we use Digital Asset Management and any other corporation in our industry would. We use it to organize and store digital assets such as images, videos, graphics, and those are all used to support the creation of our content and for our marketing purposes. I’m actually very fortunate that our company were pioneers in Digital Asset Management adopting the system in 2006. At that time, when I started I was charged with gathering assets off the departmental servers and ingest them into our new Digital Asset Management system. The 27,000 files I found on the servers had file names like hair or blue dress and then, there were a duplicate file of the thing image that had totally different file names. So I know for a fact that Digital Asset Management has improved our productivity here and it’s my opinion that a digital file is just that, a file, but once it is entered into a Digital Asset Management system and metadata is applied, it becomes an asset because I believe it’s the metadata that gives it value.
Nancy Price: For example, if you had a system with 400,000 assets, but you didn’t have any metadata, people wouldn’t use the system because they had to page through every asset, define what they need, which isn’t very efficient. So I really do believe that metadata provides the access points to discover the assets, whether it be by brand or category or a year. And it also allows that asset to be discovered for purposes other than for which it was intended. And that will increase the value of the asset. So there’s plenty of reasons to use Digital Asset Management today and I believe that we are using it in a very efficient manner as we use it for workflow and for versioning and for managing other aspects of the system. Like when assets need to be retired or for usage rights, so we use it in a variety of ways and it is been very productive for us.
Henrik de Gyor: Nancy, what are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?
Nancy Price: Well, I would say that some of the successes is that when we first went into Digital Asset Management, our system was more of just a repository for digital assets with rudimentary functionality and now it’s really grown into become quite the dynamic graphical database with the ability to search, display, transform, share, download, and link assets within the system. Some of the challenges that we face are integration with other systems. For example, the ability to push assets from your DAM into your content management system or the ability to link your assets in your DAM to Adobe Creative Suite products such as InDesign. We’ve also had some challenges with vendor’s proprietary software limiting our ability to automate certain processes. We also have problems with vendors not really offering some of the features that we would like, like versioning. We had to do customization on our and have the ability to version the assets. It wasn’t something that came with our system, so there are some challenges in features that we’d like to see and have not yet been developed yet.
Henrik de Gyor: What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals to become DAM professionals?
Nancy Price: Well, you know, I have such a unique background. I really do believe that my master’s degree in library science and experience with international bibliographic standards for description access gave me a really solid understanding of the theory behind information organization and management, but I do know that an MLS degree is not very feasible for a lot of people, so my suggestion would be to seek out a course or a workshop in metadata standards for digital collections and learn about the different international metadata standards such as Dublin Core or metadata object description such as mods. The Visual Resource Association Standard, which is the VRA. Library professionals have been developing these standards for decades and we can really learn from the effort that they’ve already expelled in this area. DAM professionals can learn a lot from the metadata standards that exist today. I would also like to offer one other piece of advice is when you get that first Digital Asset Management job, the first thing you should do is locate that one source of truth for accurate data. When I started over 10 years ago, that’s the first thing I did. It took months to find it, but I did end up finding the fountain of truth and that way I know that the information that I am entering into my system is accurate. It’s correct data, and it’s coming from a reliable source. If you don’t have correct metadata in your system, users will give up on it and it ended up compromising your system and its efficiency and how it’s used. So I really, I’m a big stickler for accuracy. I also think that consistency is vital to any Digital Asset Management system. Your metadata should be well documented along with the parameters around how it’s applied. So this maintains consistency on how you will apply metadata throughout the system and throughout the years, and that is extremely helpful and especially when you’re. You try to automate processes. Consistency is key.
Henrik de Gyor: Well, thanks Nancy. For more on this, visit anotherdampodcast.com for 200 other episodes like this. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again.
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