David Nguyen


Catalog Specialist II

The perspective that an “asset” is simply the product of any one human thought has helped shape the way in which Nguyen successfully approaches digital asset management for a variety of companies.

What companies/organizations have you worked for as a DAM professional? What was your role at each?

I found a real focus and understanding of DAM as a Photo Studio Supervisor at Academy Sports + Outdoors. My role started by managing, and then to organizing and apply metadata to all images used throughout the creative services department.  It eventually grew to encompass the upgrade and development of their digital asset management system from being a mere image repository to an enterprise encompassing asset handling lifecycle. Recently I completed a short stint working at Amazon for their streaming instant video service. I helped launch their service in Japan, Germany, and the UK. Currently I am working as a Photo Studio Supervisor for zulily.com and hope to take my experience and apply it to a rapidly growing company with similar results.

How do you describe digital asset management to others?

Rather than describe my role, I describe the value created and lost from anything a company creates but does not retain. I describe to others that DAM is not a software or a service, but a living breathing system that provides people access and gives an organization control. There is potential value to all human thought and an “asset” is simply the product of any one of those thoughts.  Whether your goal is to maximize the value of an image created for advertising, or reducing the cost of creating new images, DAM concepts give an organization the tools to execute these goals of efficiency.

What’s the most important thing for someone new to DAM to understand about DAM?

DAM is not just images and metadata but anything that can be created and stored. Images, logos, layouts, copy, code, video or anything else that can be recorded and stored. It is important to develop the scope of what an organization needs or ever will need. It is important to understand how those assets are created, stored, used and expired.  I believe it is important to take a holistic approach in developing rules and processes that should be employed.

What is your ongoing greatest challenge with DAM?

The capturing of accurate data and the marrying of this to assets will always be a time consuming challenge. Learning how to standardize the import and application of metadata reduces work hours and allows for scalability. Importing vendor assets and the accompanying metadata can be messy but developing the right fields and integrated systems continues to be a challenge.

What is your vision for DAM? What will it look like in 5 years?

My vision for DAM is a modular set of systems that can fulfill the needs of different organizations but capture the use of assets and marry that with performance data.  I imagine a future where DAM systems become hubs of information, providing data and project management tools to help creative departments. I hope that one can eventually capture the effort expended to create new assets and marry that with effectiveness data.


This interview originally appeared on DAM Guru on Mon, 07 Jul 2014. For more DAM News interviews, see the interviews index page.

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