What is Metadata?

What is Meta Data?

by Gabrielle Eagles


Meta data is data about data – confused?


Ok. Meta data allows you to put a tag on documents/files/web content to make it easier to find later. In fact metadata is what makes Google so successful as a search engine because every web page on the planet is tagged to make it findable. A little closer to home, your legal department would likely “tag” all of their contracts with a ‘contract number’. They can also add additional meta data (or “tags) like ‘Company name’ or ‘expiration date’. Now when you go to search for all documents related to Company A, you will see that there is a contract there.


This example is related to Content Management or Enterprise Content Management (ECM) as it relates to our business – RKO implements content management solutions and a key part of the implementation involves working on a clients’ meta data so that their content (documents, emails, images etc) are easy to find. Unfortunately it’s also often overlooked in an effort to install software “out of the box” resulting in poor adoption by users.


So metadata is a way of providing context to a piece of content so that it is findable later when you need it.  If you ignore metadata in your implementation you may as well store your documents in a shoe box.


How much metadata is too much metadata? See the following blog post


Still confused? I’m happy to chat with you in person. eMail me at Gabrielle Eagles.

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