The Importance of Metadata in a Digital World

Data is king in today’s digital world. There’s data everywhere you look, and tech companies are continuously finding new ways to mine new insights and analyse data differently.

To that end, metadata plays a key role in shaping how information moves throughout the internet. HowStuffWorks defines metadata as “machine-readable data that describe other data.” If that definition makes your head spin, think about it this way: when we look at a page, we’re reading data. The metadata is what’s behind the scenes, and is what the computers read.

With this definition in mind, knowing how to leverage metadata in your operations can put your business ahead. So, keep reading below for four ways you can do just that. 

Helping With Information Governance

Information governance refers to how your company collects, organises, and stores the data that comes in. This makes it crucial when it comes to complying with regulations. However, the problem is that many businesses don’t do enough when it comes to information governance, which leads to unorganised processes at best and a legal issue at the very worst. Every business needs a metadata repository and a strict content management protocol. By doing this, it allows your employees access to the relevant information they need while keeping everything else as secure as possible.

Optimising Your Marketing Content

When it comes to marketing collateral, metadata helps make your blog posts and other materials for search engines. Ayima highlights the importance of using SEO, analytics, and paid media to find success in digital marketing. This means that a truly successful marketing strategy relies on more than just content. Metadata is crucial to organising your posts in such a way that readers can easily access the information they need. Such metadata includes short titles, descriptions, and keywords that help describe the content that’s on your page. 

Projecting Demand With Text Analysis

At its core, our previous post on How to Streamline your Business Processes Using a Document Management System touches on just how important text analysis is to daily business operations. Using metadata can help you mine text from a variety of sources, whether it’s survey answers or Tweets, which can in turn help your business project demand accordingly. This makes metadata especially useful for companies in the retail or supply chain industry. 

Reducing Software Costs 

Business software solutions are plentiful nowadays, and there’s no doubt that many of them are extremely helpful. That said, having your information dispersed across different systems can make it hard — and not to mention costly — to manage. If your business has a bunch of storage systems, you can simply use a metadata engine to connect all of them. Working under a unified namespace allows your business to simply add other cloud options as another storage tier. iTWire has reported that Australian businesses are increasing their security spending, which means that saving on storage can allow you to increase your budget elsewhere.

It can sometimes be difficult to understand metadata at first, but doing so can put your business at an advantage to leverage all the data that’s before you. These four uses alone make metadata worth investing in, especially if you’re already confident in your team’s ability to organise and analyse data.
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Regine Jessaly