Taxonomy? Show me the money first!

Are Australian organizations ready to take advantage of the semantic web and master data management? A recent survey shows that while we are on the right track, we need to get better at demonstrating the business value of taxonomies and metadata:

  • Nearly three quarters of respondents are using some form of taxonomy to manage their information.
  • Only 13% were happy with their use of taxonomies and related tools.
  • However many respondents stated that they lacked the resources to improve. In particular, information professionals struggle to present a compelling business case to decision makers.

Organizations who wish to make their documents and data accessible externally or internally need to use consistent metadata standards and vocabularies. Taxonomies form a critical part of this information governance process. Innotecture and Straits Knowledge will be providing a workshop in Sydney in March 2011 that will enable attendees to run their own taxonomy projects and provide the business justifications for doing so.


The Australian Taxonomy Use & Skills Survey was conducted online by Innotecture Pty Ltd and Straits Knowledge in late 2010. 125 Australian information professionals responded. These included IT managers, information architects, knowledge managers, records officers and librarians. Survey respondents worked in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Innotecture is an Australia-based information management consultancy. Straits Knowledge is a Singapore-based consulting and research firm focused on knowledge, learning and innovation. Straits Knowledge founder Patrick Lambe is the author of Organising Knowledge, a pioneering book on the strategic importance and business value of taxonomy development for organizations.

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