A large U.S. based financial services company was moving to a new enterprise content management system (eCMS) and needed a taxonomy to better find information. I collaborated with attorneys and a financial services expert to create a taxonomy for the client.

Process

The financial services company created numerous forms for the banking and financial services industry. For each form they output, they needed to track about 15 items (research, output formats, revisions, XML files) around that form. Since they produced thousands of forms, the number of files they needed to track numbered in the tens of thousands. Here’s how we approached the project:

  • Content audit: Initially we had the client walk us through their content and their systems, then we did a deep dive into the subject matter. During this audit we discovered that the client was using “component content management” which is much like object oriented programming. They re-used the same chunks of content in various forms and documents, but they didn’t keep track of these chunks via taxonomy. One of the editors on the project knew where all these chunks were located.
  • Taxonomy framework recommendation: Our recommendation covered metadata and taxonomy options. The framework covered different areas such as the lines of business, the jurisdictions and legislation.
  • Taxonomy development: During the development process, we build out the different taxonomy categories with the client. On this project, the attorneys we worked with were very detailed-oriented. The terms they wanted to include were too granular and we had to remind them that taxonomy isn’t meant to pinpoint an item, but to group items together.

Results

We created a taxonomy that allowed them to access their files through many facets. The faceted taxonomy was extensive, with 8 different facets and about 20 additional metadata fields. Halfway through the taxonomy development, the client started filling out the taxonomy, thereby allowing them to learn, review, and evaluate any changes they made. Near the end of the project, we did a dry run of applying taxonomy and metadata fields to specific items to show how these items would be located.

Related: Working with Stakeholders to Build a Taxonomy.