You may wonder why anyone would want to spend money on specialist software for building taxonomies or metadata when you could just use a spreadsheet. Here are 5 good reasons:
Relationships and mapping
There are many more relationships to a taxonomy /thesaurus than broader/narrower. These include related term links, use/use-for links, non preferred terms, superseded/superseded by links. Using a relational database, a.k.a.® makes easy work of these. Relationships can also be made between multiple schemes i.e. mapping taxonomies to retention schedules and access / security models.
Build once use many times
With its relational database terms are created once in a.k.a.® and used multiple times. Build a hierarchy in Project, Excel, Windows Explorer etc and you have to enter terms multiple times to use them multiple times, adding several expensive days of effort to your project.
With a relational database a.k.a.® is able to provide a single source environment for metadata management. Users are able to add layer upon layer of customized metadata to describe, administer and manage their terms, classes, etc – within a single library. With Project, Excel, Windows Explorer and various eCM systems it is difficult to manage layers of complexity associated with multiple metadata sets.
Reporting and Presentation
Specialist products like a.k.a.® provide inbuilt reports to present taxonomies etc in industry standard formats and customizable reports to enables multiple views of your taxonomies i.e. terms with scope notes, non preferred terms with relationships, etc.
And specialist products like a.k.a.® can export taxonomies to the web enabling user navigation of the taxonomy using hyperlinks. See the NAA AGIFT Thesaurus online, where hyperlinked navigation is made easy by using the relational database in a.k.a.®.
Exporting and Transformation
Lastly, if you have an eCM system/s you will want to export your taxonomy into them.
Exporting involves the transformation of your taxonomy into formats specific for TRIM, Open Text, SharePoint etc. And transformation requires data manipulation:- concatenating data, mapping fields, converting data values, removing invalid characters, etc. Specialist products like a.k.a.® remove the heavy lifting with inbuilt programming for to transform data.
The alternative is to input data into your eCM system manually (many days effort) or pay your system integrator to do it. Either way it’s a false economy.