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This workshop provides a basic knowledge of DAM, including what it is and is not; the 10 core characteristics; how to select, design, deploy and manage a DAM program; and determining the benefits of DAM. Fu discusses both the traditional library skills and the technical skills applicable to working in DAM (a Gen-Next role?), identifies the key concepts, looks at the role of IT and technologies involved in DAM, and illustrates by describing real-world examples.

This workshop provides a basic knowledge of DAM, including what it is and is not; the 10 core characteristics; how to select, design, deploy and manage a DAM program; and determining the benefits of DAM. Fu discusses both the traditional library skills and the technical skills applicable to working in DAM (a Gen-Next role?), identifies the key concepts, looks at the role of IT and technologies involved in DAM, and illustrates by describing real-world examples.


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Digital Asset Management: Intro & Career Path for Librarians

  1. 1. Digital Asset Management (DAM): Intro & Career Path for Librarians Computers in Libraries Conference Monday, March 30, 2020 9am - 12pm Laura Fu Sr. Business Analyst, Digital Asset Management Red Hat
  2. 2. My DAM Path 2002 - BA in Video/Television Production 2011 - First DAM job, client side 2013 - Finished MLIS 2014 - Moved to vendor side 2017 - Contract work 2018 - Service provider 2019 - Back to client side
  3. 3. What is Digital Asset Management? ● Place for all digital assets ● The “Central Truth” or “Single Source of Truth” ● Find and discover content ● Platform and a process ● Anywhere, anytime, any device ● Enterprise and brand consistency
  4. 4. 10 Core Characteristics of DAM 1. Ingest 2. Secure 3. Store 4. Transform 5. Enrich 6. Relate 7. Process 8. Find 9. Preview 10. Publish Source: Codified DAM Consultant
  5. 5. 1. Ingest ● Migrate, upload, transfer ● Individually or bulk ● Allow for manipulation of assets or metadata ● Healthy metadata! ● “Junk in, junk out” / Nathan Crowley
  6. 6. 2. Secure / George Becker ● Access control lists ● SSO or AD ● Roles and user groups ● Permission sets ● What a user can see + what a user can do ● Single environment with many experiences
  7. 7. 3. Store / Ann Marie Ludlow ● Binaries and metadata ● Multiple filetypes ● Images, video, audio ● Custom metadata fields
  8. 8. 4. Transform / Pixabay ● Render or transform ● Upon ingest or self-service ● File derivatives ● Thumbnails or proxy files
  9. 9. 5. Enrich / ● On-going metadata management ● Automated data feeds or system integrations ● Metrics or reporting
  10. 10. 6. Relate / Pixabay ● Relationships between and among original and variants ● Translations, project materials ● Version control
  11. 11. 7. Process / Startup Stock Photos ● Structured steps to manage, create, review ● Workflows ● Allow for collaboration ● Annotations and history
  12. 12. 8. Find / Gratisography ● Search and retrieve ● Metadata and collections ● Access control tools
  13. 13. 9. Preview / Cody King ● View before downloading ● Images, video, audio, animations ● Enlarge or zoom ● Pause videos
  14. 14. 10. Publish / andreas160578 ● Deliver to external tool ● Share with users and non- users ● Distribute outside system ● Link with hosting tool
  15. 15. What is Not a DAM? Cloud Sync System ● Free or low-cost, premium options ● File-sharing ● User focused ● All or nothing permissions ● Find assets Examples: Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive DAM Solutions ● Higher priced, contract required ● File management ● Asset focused ● Custom access and permissions ● Discover assets Examples: Widen, OpenText, Aprimo
  16. 16. Selecting a DAM ● Understand your assets, users, and budget ● SaaS vs On-Prem ● Ask for a sandbox ● 3rd Party Value-Added Service Providers ● Do your research (product review sites) ○ G2 ○ Capterra
  17. 17. Designing a DAM ● Taxonomy and metadata ○ Folder structures ○ Filenaming conventions ● User permissions and group ○ Business groups ○ Job titles ● Automations, integrations, workflows ● PIM and data enrichment
  18. 18. Deploying and Managing a DAM ● Staffing ● Training ● Change management ● User adoption ● Data governance board
  19. 19. What is the DAM Benefit? ● Improve speed to market ● Brand consistency ● Ensure proper access to appropriate assets ● Streamline workflows ● Time savings and cost savings ● Tells a story, creates a journey
  20. 20. DAM Skills for Librarians ● Cataloging ● Collection development ● Human-computer interaction ● Information architecture ● Knowledge management ● Marketing ● Metadata ● Organization of information ● Project management ● Research ● Systems analysis and design
  21. 21. Additional Reading General Reading ● Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive are not DAM systems ● Is Google Drive a DAM system in the cloud? ● Digital Asset Management for Dummies ● 4 Tips for Increasing User Adoption in DAM ● DAM Provides a World of Truth for Customers and Marketers ● Buying a DAM? Do Your Homework General Reading con’t ● How to Calculate the ROI of a DAM System ● Craft Your DAM Elevator Speech ● Who Needs A DAM Librarian? Review Sites ● G2 Crowd ● Capterra
  22. 22. Questions?

Notas del editor

  • Workshop Description: For a conference of librarians who are more familiar with the technology side of our profession, this workshop provides a basic knowledge of DAM, including what it is and is not; the 10 core characteristics; how to select, design, deploy and manage a DAM program; and determining the benefits of DAM. Fu discusses both the traditional library skills and the technical skills applicable to working in DAM (a Gen-Next role?), identifies the key concepts, looks at the role of IT and technologies involved in DAM, and illustrates by describing real-world examples.

    There are a lot of variations in the definition of DAM, and most come from vendors, so they have their own perspective on what makes them a better system. But I’m not here to sell you a DAM solution. I’m here to talk about how to be successful as a librarian in the DAM world. Today I’ll be sharing my perspectives from 10 years in the DAM world, what I learned in library school that has helped me in this profession, and what skills you already have as a librarian that will make you successful in DAM.
  • worked in libraries in middle school, high school, and college
    earned my BA in video production in 2002
    started to manage tape libraries early in my career
    started my MLS in 2008
    got a job as a Digital Asset Specialist at SHC early in my MLS program
    finished my MLS in 2013
    Moved to the vendor side and began supporting other clients in the DAM journey
    Worked as a contractor and a service provided, but missed being that fulltime internal librarian
    Started at Red Hat December 2019
  • For my presentation, I will use the term DAM to describe the industry of Digital Asset Management, as well as the system, which is affectionately referred to as “the DAM” within most organizations. Though sometimes companies have used DAM to mean “Data Asset Management” or the “Digital Asset Manager”. But generally, DAM is Digital Asset Management.

    Before we discuss Digital Asset Management, maybe we should define just what are “digital assets”? They are logos, product photos, brochures, videos, datasheets, newsletters, animations, audio clips. The list goes on. Digital asset management is the management of

    A DAM is more than just a place to put digital files, it’s the central truth of your organization. It is a single, governed location for all company content. We’ll discuss who can access what content and how a bit later, but the DAM should be the single source of truth for everything.

    When implemented properly, it can be not only the place to find content, but a place for users to discover content. Accurate metadata with relationships based upon your users needs and the company’s hierarchies and terminology will lead users to related content they may not have known existed.

    DAM is also more than just the platform, it is also the processes involved with managing the assets, from receiving them, to enriching them, to delivering them. Not only are your managing a collection of digital assets in the DAM, you can also create, collaborate, and share them from the DAM.

    And in today’s ever demanding world of technology, a DAM is accessible from anywhere, at any time, and from any device. On-Premis DAMs are still available, but most live in the cloud. This allows collaboration with global offices, or from remote locations such as photo shoots or when users are traveling.

    Finally, a core goal of a successful DAM is to keep and control consistency within your company and with your brand. By having this central truth, everyone is using the same content and messaging for their deliverables. Whether users are working on your website, on print materials, social media, or countless other digital channels, your customers or consumers hear it as the same voice.

  • The 10 core characteristics of DAM have been floating around for many years. The exact terms vary by resource, but the 10 attributes remain the same. I’ve credited the Codified Consultant as my source, but you will find a simliar list published on numerous websites.

    The purpose of these 10 terms if to determine whether or not a vendor meets the industry-wide accepted definition of a true DAM solution. This does not mean that a platform that does not meet all the criteria will not suit your particular needs, it just means that by industry standards, the tool may not be considered a true DAM solution.

    This list also serves as excellent guidelines for understand what DAM is.
  • DAM systems store assets as both binaries and metadata. A DAM system can store multiple file types and allows for the customization of metadata fields and the metadata in those fields attached to the stored files.
  • DAM systems render/transform assets on ingest into new forms, such as thumbnails or proxy files. The new forms generated on asset ingest via transformation should all be stored as asset parts of the original file uploaded.

  • DAM systems enrich assets through the extension of metadata and metrics regarding the use and reuse of the asset throughout its lifecycle
  • DAM systems relate assets by tracking the relationships between and among an original asset and versions or variants of the original. Versioning and version control tools are central to an asset's life in a DAM system
  • DAM systems regulate a structured process in the management, creation, and review of assets with workflow tools. Via programmed workflows, DAMs allow for a decentralized workforce to collaborate together in a centralized system.
  • DAM systems allow for users to find assets and to retrieve those assets by facilitating search through metadata, collections, workflows, and access control tools.

  • DAM systems have a preview function that allows users to view assets before downloading or opening a file on their own device.
  • DAM systems produce/publish content by providing methods whereby assets may be shared, linked to, or otherwise be distributed outside the system.
  • In order to understand what DAM is, we need to discuss what DAM is not.

    Some vendors might describe themselves as a DAM solution, but industry standards point to those 10 Core Characteristics as the minimum requirements to constitute a true DAM. Anything less is just a file server.

    If you have been tasked with implementing a DAM or are are looking a job descriptions posted as DAM roles, make sure everyone understands what is truly involved.

    Note that some of these non-DAM system may still meet your needs. This isn’t to say that those tools are not useful, just that they don’t meet the criteria for a true DAM Solution. If you don’t need all the extra functionality that a DAM offers, a simple file-sharing tool or shared drive may be enough.
  • Starting out trying to find a DAM to fit your needs can be overwhelming. There are many things to consider, and once you chose a solution, that vendor should provide a dedicated implementation manager who will help you plan the migration and initial build. But what do you need to consider before finding the one?

    First and foremost, you need to know your assets, users, and budget. How much content is there, and what type? Still images, video? And how much space does it take up? Who will be using the DAM and how? What is the current process for managing and retrieving digital assets? And what is the budget and timelines?

    Finding these answers will require identifying the key stakeholders and gathering different business groups’ information. At this time, you can also prioritize the onboarding process. What is the most important group to get onto the DAM? Do other groups have existing workflows and repositories to support their daily needs until the DAM is ready to accept their assets?

    Budget is also important in selecting a DAM. Although I’ve never been privy to numbers in my role, I know that different DAMs have different price points. There are the “cheaper” options, and there are the really expensive ones, but the pricing is typically based on the number of assets, number of users, and how much customization and functionality you need. Even within one vendor, there are several pricing options based on what modules or how many licenses you choose.

    It’s all about cloud technology these days, but some DAMs have on-prem options. Software as a Service, or SaaS, is the more popular choice these days. But in some instances, cloud servers are not permitted. I’ve heard that government agencies are not always permitted to rely on cloud technology. So you need to know what you can and can’t do, and understand the pros and cons of both. On-prem solutions can run into a storage issue, but cloud-based solutions have been know to go down or be delayed when there are global server issues with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud. A SaaS solution is constantly pushing out updates and new features to all its clients, but that demands a dedicated person to monitor, test, and train users. Compare your options and make sure your vendor can support your needs on either side.

    I don’t know any DAM solution that doesn’t offer a sandbox environment. Some people call it the test environment, or the playground. But the sandbox is the fully functional environment for you to play in. It’s where you build and test features and functionality and user groups before moving it to your live production environment. It usually isn’t connected to your SSO or AD, there aren’t many users, and there will be lots of dummy data and generic test files, but it’s the best place to learn how to build and manage your DAM. This should be offered no matter what, but it’s better safe to ask! I admit: I have tried to configure new features in my sandbox and broken stuff before. I’m glad I found out in there and not in production!

    If you’re a team of one or are new to the field and you’re worried about mastering the tool and supporting your employer, consider investing in a third party value-added service provider. There are several of them out there, and each have their speciality in the MarTech world. Some focus on content management, some on workflow tools, some on DAM. And even then, some are official partners with specific DAM tools.

    These service providers act as your back-up team. They are knowledgeable and certified on specific tools and are your go-to guru for enhancements, feature updates, training, even implementation and daily administrative duties. If you really don’t have the budget to hire a team of dedication DAM librarians, a service provider could serve as a PT filler. Think of them as qualified, on-call subject matter experts. The details of their services and availability will be determined by your contract, but they are there to fill in any skills and resource gaps!

    There are a few product review sites out there that include peer-to-peer reviews and collective knowledge on various marketing technology. It’s a great starting point to see what vendors are out there and how the industry rates them. It’s not an exact science; it’s clear that some vendors did more to ask their users to submit a review. But the reviews are honest - I’ve even submitted some anonymous reviews - and there are charts and ratings systems for easy comparison.
  • Your vendor, if they are a good one, will have a dedicated Implementation Manager to guide you and should provide templates and instructions for every step of their system’s design. But there are a few things within your current situation that can also guide you in this journey.
    Even if you don’t have a DAM right now, you have taxonomy and metadata, or at least some general information to get you started. There’s surely a shared drive or even folders on your own desktop that you can provide an idea for some taxonomies. How do you currently organize files? What are the names of the folders on your computer or in a shared folder structure? The way things are organized now, no matter where it might be, will give insight into how to structure your DAM, at least initially.
    Along with folder names, file names provide insight into how your company describes assets. Often times, people put useful information right into the file name, like a SKU or unique ID, even a product or business name. Better yet, if there’s some sort of filenaming convention in place, you can use this to map metadata into your DAM. Every DAM should have the ability to auto-populate metadata from embedded metadata or even the filename. This assumes that the filename always follows a template though, so it does require accuracy from the content creators. But you can easily identify key metadata fields, controlled vocabularies, and even business rules, like required vs optional, minimum or maximum character length, or whether a field is alphanumeric or date or free text.
    When it comes to permissions and user groups, look at how your company is organized. Be it Business Units or Line of Business, there is certainly some type of hierarchy in existence. People on the same team likely will use the DAM for the same purposes, so speak with leaders from each team to understand how that translates into User Groups and Permission Sets. Some permissions may be based on a job title, too. Maybe the entire Online Business Unit needs access to search for Product Photography, but only the Art Director and Graphic Designer have permission to upload new files or edit metadata.
    When it comes to taxonomy, metadata, and permissions, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Start with what’s already there and confirm with your key stakeholders that it translates OK into the DAM.

  • Intuitive
    Avoid re-creating content that already exists
    Prevent assets from being unused
    Identify opportunities to repurpose content
    Cash-value vs Efficiencies