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Blog about Digital Asset Management

7 thoughts on “How can I measure DAM progress?

  1. Great blog! I’d like to add Digital Rights Management to the list. Organizations that take Digital Rights seriously and utilize Digital Asset Management as a tool to help control and enforce DRM are in a better position to distribute their content safely, and are less likely to incur potential lawsuits.

    When we work with publishing companies that commission a large amount of photo shoots, we always ask to see their photo contract forms. Many times these signed agreements have a lot of legal mumbo jumbo, but do not contain specifics on usage rights for the Web, for print, or for merchandize. Worse off, many publishers have to way to link the signed paper contract back to the actual digital photos or articles. A DAM system can easily help in this area, through the use of metadata and relationships. Wether the publisher chooses to assign a rights/contract ID number to assets or chooses to scan the article and relate it to the associated assets is an implementation point.

  2. I blogged about DAM and Right Management earlier.

    Most DRM simply limits the access or use of an asset. DRM applied to assets is often easily broken by an end user. What I believe DRM should do (but rarely does) is track what assets were used, where they were and how they are to be used. This tracking aspect can be achieved not by using spyware like some vendors have tried in the past, but by ordering assets from the DAM and answering these where and how questions. This way assets can be re-used from the DAM (without causing redundancy of the same assets each time an asset is used) as long as the appropriate rights have been tracked and usage has been approved before even getting access to hi-res asset.

  3. Right, user based DRM is certainly easy to circumvent but tracking and understanding what rights you have to use stock photography or commissioned photography can be achieved much easier through Digital Asset Management. I think we agree on this 🙂 Cheers, and keep up the great posts!

  4. Thanks, Henrik, for some practical ways to measure DAM use. It’s really important to provide implement-able ways to measure use, instead of just talking about these things in the abstract. However, it seems that for the first list of bullet points, these are more about use than progress. I suppose when I see the term “progress,” I’m thinking about greater adoption, more sophisticated use, better metatagging. For example, one bullet point below says “How many assets are metatagged…?” but would it be more useful to ask not only how many are tagged, but how accurately these assets are tagged? Thanks for the great, practical ideas with respect to measuring usage.

  5. Thank you for your comment. Without use, there is no progress. Any solution not used is a shelf baby that simply collects dust. The idea is to measure the use and note what shows growth (progress) vs. what does not. If it does not show use (and improvements), there lies a challenge to make it better. You make an interesting point about “…how accurately these assets are tagged.” Of course, we can periodically poll users, “Did you find what you were searching for?” and try to capture the search quiry for further analysis. This accuracy in metadata is relatively based on what metadata values are available as well as searchable. If users can not regularly find what they are searching for (and those unsearchable assets actually exist within the DAM), there is likely room for improvement with the existing metadata as well as the process in creating metadata going forward. This topic is likely worth a blog post in itself.

  6. Hi Henrik,

    Coming late to this great discussion, although it is still timely despite your having written this blog 3 years ago.

    I agree wholeheartedly that one characteristic feature of an ‘enterprise’ DAM is a built-in reporting tool, or a ready-made integration with some reporting software. However, for organizations that can’t afford to purchase a high end asset management repository that includes reporting, there are still options out there for creating the reports using a variety of commercial solutions. In this case, you need to have a good understanding of the DAM’s data model, which would require some training (or poking around).

    Data analysis can be misleading unless the company has a clear sense of what key performance indicators they need to track. For instance, number of downloads might be misleading because there may be ‘failed’ downloads that require multiple retries.

    One interesting and quite doable way to track usage is based on messages sent back to the DAM from the ‘publishing’ tool. So for instance, if you’ve integrated your DAM with your CMS, then whenever a user has made a call and placed an asset on a page for the site, that data can be tracked on utilization. Likewise, if some user places an asset on an InDesign page, some DAM systems will actually allow you to track usage on-page.

    A really basic KPI for measuring the success of a DAM system is user-generated database calls. I say user-generated, because some DAM systems are chatty on the back end. So you rightly assess that the more people using the system and the more requests they make are definitely good indicators for option, although not necessarily conclusive evidence that things are going well.

    this should be a session at one of the DAM conferences this year – or perhaps we should just create some webinar ’roundtable’ and invite a few other people to bounce this around a bit.

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