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

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Introduction to Business Taxonomies November 5, 2010, 11:30-12:30 ET


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    1. Introduction to Business TaxonomiesNovember 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

    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 3

    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 4

    5. Merchandising: A case study (2005) Redesigned site architecture, search engine + Taxonomy • 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

    6. Publishing: Aggregation, RSS feeds, Alerts

    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

    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

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

    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

    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

    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

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

    14. Taxonomy Development Methods

    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.

    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: you’re 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.

    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

    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 do—such as improving search & navigation • Improved over time & maintained

    19. Questions? Joseph A. Busch, + 703-748-7215, jbusch@ppc.com Zach Wahl, +703-748-7082, zwahl@ppc.comhttp://www.ppc.com

    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

    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.