DataFacet waves a WAND over SharePoint taxonomies

A perennial issue facing most content managers is training people to apply the right tags and metadata. Without good tagging content is lost, leading to duplication, ineffective search and a substantial amount of time wasted as people hunt for content they know is in there somewhere. The DataFacet solution from WAND Inc provides sets of extensive taxonomies, and tools to automate the classification of documents and web content.

SharePoint 2010 introduced the Managed Metadata service and Term Store – Microsoft’s first support for formal, multi-level taxonomies. SharePoint also provides taxonomy-based navigation, meaning at last you could realistically break free from the shackles of folders.

Faced for the first time with a blank Term Store (which holds a SharePoint 2010 taxonomy), many organisations – and SharePoint integrators for that matter – realise they do not have the skills to build deep taxonomies. Further, if a rich and deep taxonomy was provided, users are faced with the task of choosing the right terms.

WAND’s CEO, Ross Lehr says, “If you speak to a CEO he can tell you pretty quickly how many physical assets a company has, what their book value is, and where they are located. That’s because companies tag their physical assets and record and track them in their financial systems. Most companies now appreciate that information assets are at least as valuable as physical assets, and yet don’t put the same effort into their tagging, recording and tracking.”

WAND Inc is the largest developer of commercial taxonomies in the world. They have over 500 taxonomies in information domains ranging from mining and utilities such as power and water, through to IT, law and health. Under a licensing arrangement negotiated by Microsoft, earlier this year WAND made their general business taxonomy available as a free download for organisations using SharePoint 2010.

The DataFacet solution installs in SharePoint and augments the SharePoint term store. It provides a set of taxonomy-based business rules about how terms are applied to content, based on things such as keyword matches and synonyms. On check-in, content is analysed and users are presented with a set of recommended terms.

The DataFacet solution goes further. It provides augmented search for SharePoint. Users can navigate by taxonomy, but then search across libraries and sites, applying the same search terms by point and click.

The combination of rich taxonomies and automated classification and tagging is proving very popular for WAND. Enterprise Content Management vendors have been beating a path to their door, with integrations of DataFacet now found in many Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions, and OEM agreements being struck with ECM and search engine vendors.

Information management specialist Simon Rawson of PowerMark Solutions is excited by what he sees, “As regional distributor for a number of vendors, we deal with several plug-in components which together add up to a complete information management solution. Solutions which automate the application of metadata, such as DataFacet, or the application of security profiles, such as HiSoftware Security Sheriff, take away pain and effort from users. It means information becomes more easily found and accessible.”

DataFacet will be on show at the Share 2011 conference in Sydney on November 28-29th at the PowerMark stand.