Taxonomies and Excel – Yikes
I have to admire some people’s hard work. Some of these people are those who create and maintain taxonomies using spreadsheets. According to our SharePoint and Office 365 State of the Market Survey Results, that represents about 15.5%. That’s a hefty number, considering the scenario.
When I compare what happens with an automated solution, such as ours, with what happens in a spreadsheet, my admiration even increases. Seriously.
Let’s look at it in process order:
- Metadata is manually created versus compound term metadata is automatically generated
- End users manually, either on their own or through a drop-down list, appropriately tag documents and file content in the folder assigned by the IT team versus content is automatically classified to the appropriate nodes in one or more taxonomies
- The taxonomy is updated manually versus the business user is prompted when making changes based on the corpus of content – so, time-consuming versus instantaneous
- The term sets are updated, if they are being used, versus the term sets are automatically populated or changed in real time
- Steps 1-4 are reiterated on a regular basis
That’s quite a bit of work – I’m tired just writing about it. Unfortunately, as we are human we all make mistakes.
The spreadsheet method is a rather-error prone approach, compared with the automated one, which has the ability to catch any machine mistakes – yes, machines sometimes don’t understand human gobbledygook.
Think of a million documents, with the majority having their own unique nomenclature. Or setting up similar nomenclature, such as a product number from manufacturing to a brand name from marketing. That’s a lot of work.
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Do you keep taxonomies in Excel? Do you find this cumbersome? I’d be interested in knowing which steps I missed.