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Who should upload assets to a DAM?

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When implementing a DAM, one of the questions that will come up is who will upload (aka import) assets to the DAM with the metadata. Often, the case is uploading to the DAM will be a regular process with a stream of new assets. That is unless the organization stops producing new assets, limits the total number of assets in the DAM or is not using the DAM (aka another shelf baby).

The answer to who should do this depends on the following:

  • How complex or easy is the process to upload assets and metadata to the DAM?
  • Is the uploading process clearly defined?
  • Who will be trained to perform the upload task regularly?
  • Who is the best fit for consistent and methodical uploading of assets and metadata to the DAM?
  • What is the volume of assets to be uploaded regularly? (Will you need more than one person to upload assets to the DAM?)
  • How long does uploading assets and metadata take per asset? (Develop an average metric to use for scheduling purposes)
  • How often will the organization need to upload assets? (daily, weekly, monthly?)
  • How quickly will you need to upload these assets for your business needs? (Is this tied to any production needs or deadlines?)
    • Who is faster at uploading, better at uploading and/or cheaper for uploading (pick two)?
      • Someone within your organization?
      • Someone outside your organization?
      • The DAM vendor, if they offer this service?
  • Who has the time to do the uploading? What other job duties  do they have? Will their schedule permit them to upload to the DAM in a timely fashion?
  • Who will communicate when assets and metadata are ready for uploading to the DAM?
  • Who supplies the assets? Who creates the metadata?
  • Is there a quality control check for uploads? Do you need one?
  • Who is responsible for linking the metadata with assets?
  • What happens after assets are uploaded to the DAM? Do people need to be notified when newly uploaded assets are available in the DAM? Is the DAM used as a centralized distribution point for assets?

Like any position in an organization, find the people with the qualifications necessary and the willingness to do the work. Typically, this position involves:

  • Data entry skills.
  • A mindset for working with data.
  • Positive attitude and ability to think constructively (no, you don’t want a robot).
  • Willingness to learn new things.
  • Technical savviness is a big plus.

Be sure the individuals working on the DAM understand:

  • What the job/tasks involve and what it does not.
  • The process or workflow.
  • This is not creative position, but rather a creative problem solving position involving data entry.
  • Communicate regularly. Listen to them when they have questions or suggestions since they be able to improve the process or even streamline it for all.

A few words of caution when picking the individuals who will do the uploading to the DAM: Do NOT randomly pick a person from your staff to do this task. If you don’t pick the ‘right person’ to do this task, not only do you risk the task not being done correctly (because they don’t get it or can’t wrap their head around it after training), but you also risk having a high rate of attrition and frustration until you find the ‘right person’ to do this task regularly. If the person did not intent to do this type of work (which often resembles data entry), they may be quite reluctant (particularly at first) to do this. Remember, no one is born with this knowledge nor mindset. Training is a must.

In order to get consistent results in uploading assets to a DAM, the easiest way is to have a finite group of trained and practiced individuals to upload all assets and metadata to the DAM. This will help:

  • Focus the accountability for all uploaded assets.
  • Limits the scope of issues that could occur.
  • Make it easier to resolve any issue before it becomes rampant or repetitive.

The smaller the group, the better trained the group can be (if all trained at the same time) and the more consistent the results will be in the DAM (if they all practice this regularly).  If you do keep all the uploading within your organization, train a finite group rather than one individual in order to have a backup in case that one person is sick, on vacation or leaves the organization for any reason, particularly in today’s job market.  I would not recommend giving every DAM user access to upload freely to the DAM, otherwise you risk correcting issues more frequently and this is often a recipe for a growing disaster of inconsistency. This task should be left to a select few DAM power users.

Who uploads assets to the DAM in your organization?

Author: Henrik de Gyor

Consultant. Mentor. Podcaster. Writer.

One thought on “Who should upload assets to a DAM?

  1. We employ both a centralized and a decentralized model for content management. In the regions we use a centralized model. It’s easier for us (and we get higher quality metadata) to train a content team that, in turn, works with all the various countries and business groups to gather up the content. In North America, we have a decentralized model. We’ve been fairly successful training individuals on using the systems and providing quality metadata, but also have a more rigorous QA process in the workflow.

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