Using Integrated Digital Asset Supply Chains To Derive Relevant Metadata For Digital Assets

A few weeks ago, I wrote a feature article, Finding Signs Of Life In DAM about why some people are saying ‘DAM is dead’ and what could be done about it.  In the first piece, I attempted to diagnose the problem and came up with some possible lines of enquiry to devise solutions, including digital asset supply chains and interoperability.  The article was debated at some length on the DAM News LinkedIn group and two contributions from Jim Jezioranski and Eric Fulmer in particular persuaded me that DAM user education should get added into the list of topics to cover in this series (although I should make it clear, there were some good points raised by other people involved also).

Turning to the digital asset supply chain, in the next article, I have examined why this I believe this aspect is integral to the process of assigning relevant metadata to digital assets.  I propose some tentative options for implementing more efficient supply chains which would simplify the metadata entry process for users (although I also acknowledge there are risks and trade-offs which will need to be carefully navigated)

A digital asset supply chain means being able to make explicit the implicit connections between the sources and destinations of assets: in other words, where they came from and where they are going.  If there is greater awareness that digital assets are not just disconnected entities, but an appreciation that they will need to get ingested into DAM solutions (and used afterwards) then there is a greater opportunity to acquire contextual information about them which can be used later for metadata-related purposes.” [Read More]

With the exception of Mark Leslie’s excellent article about digital supply chains,  most of the material I read concerning this subject covers subjects like ‘creative operations’, workflow or marketing operations management.  While those are not invalid subjects, the potential to use digital supply chains as both sources of metadata and digital asset operations governance tools has not yet been given sufficient attention and I hope my article will add to the number of voices who intend that to change in the future.


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  • I’ve used the Digital Supply Chain analogy with much success when dealing with leadership. They absolutely get it when you put it in familiar terms!

  • Francois Blayo

    Our company is advocating that Digital Asset Compliance is a key-point to get a valuable DAM content. Metadata must be provided as soon as possible in the supply chain by people able to deliver relevant information. It can be helped if necessary by AI tools such as Clarifai or Google vision to enrich the descriptive facet. Technical quality of the asset must also be analyzed as soon as delivered and, ideally, before being ingested into the DAM itself. No use of messy content. Last but not the least, legal aspect must be considered because each asset should be link to legal information such as copyright, right expiring date, region of use, allowed uses and ideally the correponding contract.

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