Metadata Management

Machine Generated Metadata in SharePoint.

Integrating Search with Managed Metadata Services

Metadata is essential for findability, yet the vast majority of content within organizations has poor metadata. Creating metadata is challenging, and doing it by machine is the only practical way to get consistent, quality metadata on a broad basis. SharePoint provides a facility for referencing and managing metadata called the Managed Metadata Service (MMS).

The BA Insight AutoClassifier leverages this to provide a rules-based engine fully integrated with SharePoint. This paper discusses the need for Metadata and demonstrates how to use the AutoClassifier and MMS to create metadata and improve findability.

Challenges of Metadata Management

In order to meet today’s information challenges, metadata must be:


  • 1
    Fully customizable in order to meet organizational requirements
  • 2
    Standardized and comprehensive across all subsets of information
  • 3
    Automatically and immediately applied with manual update capabilities
  • 4
    Utilized to enrich the end user search experience

Managing Metadata in the Enterprise

While it is well known that metadata is the key to effective search, in enterprises good metadata is rare. On the web, pages are tagged and curated manually by people who have a strong incentive to do so and a large SEO industry behind them. In the enterprise, it is impossible to tag everything by hand. Requiring authors and content contributors to tag everything usually backfires as it is very time consuming and people often avoid tagging or circumvent systems set up to force them to tag.

For example, one organization found that over 40% of their repository was tagged with the first term on the dropdown list. People simply picked the quickest choice, not the correct choice. Inconsistent tagging and incomplete or simply wrong metadata results in poor search – and also degrades compliance.

Your Search is Only As Good as Your Metadata

Automated tagging is the only practical solution for effective metadata management.  Manually generated or processed metadata can be supplemented by machine-generated metadata very cost-effectively. Machines may not be perfect at tagging based on human language, but they are much more consistent and often more accurate than humans.

The BA Insight AutoClassifier leverages MMS to precisely define the metadata tags and automate the process of classifying information to improve the user experience.  It applies text analytics and semantic processing to add consistent, quality metadata to content surfaced within SharePoint.  It also works with content stored outside of SharePoint, as long as it is indexed into SharePoint Search.