Another DAM Blog

Blog about Digital Asset Management


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What is your DAM title?


While seemingly more unimportant nowadays, business titles within an organization can sometimes explain a person’s functional role, authority, seniority and/or pay grade.

I have blogged about a variety of DAM titles used within the Digital Asset Management field, like Digital Asset Specialist (DAS), Digital Asset Management Manager (DAMMmmmm), DAM Director (DAMD), DAM VP or the title I have at this time… Digital Asset Manager.

I hosted a podcast where I interviewed someone who has a DAM title that will catch people’s attention.  Instead of calling himself Digital Asset Manager, he was creative enough to come up with Darth Lord of the DAM and includes this on his business card.

Better than some other business cards I have heard of.

It sounds better than DAM lord. That is similar to another movie I saw. And he likely prefers it his way. No helmet required.

If you work in the field of Digital Asset Management, what is your DAM title?


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What are some DAM job descriptions?

“Mind readers wanted.”

This is first line from an actual Digital Asset Management (DAM) job description posted this year. More on that later.

Aside from asking where to post and find DAM jobs, several people are asking what are typical DAM job descriptions. After presenting this information during a DAM Conference, here are parts of actual DAM job descriptions and knowledge shared by several DAM professionals on the job market today.

This is part of the equation that involves people along with process and technology for DAM.

While some people may use Digital Asset Management (DAM) sometimes within an organization, there is an increase in the need for people who may work full-time on DAM within an organization. We’ll explore several of these positions so you can have an idea of what some organizations have for talent and resources for those who do this type of work.

Here is a part of a job description for a Digital Asset Manager:

  • Responsible for leading overall strategy, implementation and workflow of the Digital Asset Management system for [organization]
  • Acts as primary liaison between [organization] and various photo studios with regard to image names, new photography and archiving
  • Responsible for assigning appropriate metadata for assets to ensure accurate usage rights
  • Manages the Digital Asset system and facilitate the uploading of assets as well as maintaining and upgrading the system
  • Registers internal and external users to the Digital Asset Management system based on permissions
  • Facilitates retrieval of previously cataloged images/shoots
  • Processes raw images using the appropriate software
  • Archive assets as necessary
  • Generates asset download reports
  • Maintains accurate procedures and records for the system
  • Keeps informed of latest Digital Asset Management technology trends and innovations
  • Other duties as identified and assigned

What are we looking for when filling the human resources gap with people needed to help manage your organization’s digital assets?  There are no hard and fast rules, but rather guidelines. Any of these could be staff or contractual positions:

  • Administrator (DBA)
  • Archivist
    • With Digital, not just analog (print) experience
  • Analyst
  • Consultant
    • Either an internal, permanent staff for ongoing consultation OR an external (temporary), outside perspective looking in with a fresh viewpoint
    • Advisor, coach and/or functional role
  • Digital Asset Manager
    • Support DAM system and users
    • An industry expert in the field
  • DAM Specialist/Coordinator
    • Organize and upload assets
    • Metatag assets
  • Data Entry Specialist* (depending on volume)
  • Engineer/Developer/Programmer/Information Architect
  • Help Desk
  • Intern
    • Temporary position (more on this in a future blog post)
    • Willingness to:
      • Learn about DAM
      • Work on metadata and taxonomy
      • Upload assets
  • Librarian
    • With Digital, not just analog (print) experience
  • Metatagger (aka “Metator“)
  • Project Manager
  • Sales
  • Taxonomist

What we call the position (job title) is less important than what they actually do.

DAM professionals who communicate with management need to have an understanding of high level business needs and how DAM can meet those needs. Why? Because it is important to quantify:

  • Cost savings
  • Time savings
  • Reductions in risk (with knowledge of rights)

Yes, Digital Asset Management is a business need, not just a technology or another database.

If you are looking to hire a DAM professional, such as Digital Asset Manager, have potential candidates include their answers to the following questions as part of the job application:

  1. Have you worked with a Digital Asset Management System? Where? How long?
  2. How much experience do you have creating Metadata Schema?
  3. Do you have any training experience? What type?

That should help gauge the level of experience of most candidates.

Now about that “mind reader” job posting. Often, management and human resources do not know what DAM professionals are supposed to do (a bit difficult to write a job description that way), but they are slowly realizing there may be a need for Digital Asset Management and that is followed by realizing the need to fill a position with a DAM professional. That professional may be assigned (or volunteered) within the organization. The professional may be hired from the outside. Beside that, DAM professionals should use best practices and notice common behaviors when these practices are not followed. How?

  • Communicate
  • Evaluate
  • Recommend
  • Reference
  • Document
  • Estimate
  • Train
  • Plan
  • Budget
  • Deliver
  • Report
  • Anticipate
  • Follow up

That does not take any mind reading. I am not a mind reader. I am a Digital Asset Manager.

Besides, I forgot my mind reading hat at home.

What is your DAM job description?

Administrator
Business Analyst
Consultant
DAM Architect
DAM Director/DAM Manager/Digital Asset Manager
DAM Specialist/Coordinator
Digital Archivist/Librarian
Engineer/Developer/Programmer
Intern
Project Manager
Taxonomist/Metatagger (aka Metator)


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Why do I need a Digital Asset Manager?

At a recent Digital Asset Management Conference, I was asked to present on the role of the Digital Asset Manager (what I do on a daily basis). This is not because I need to justify my position in this economy nor explain what I do aside from drink coffee all day, but rather to explain what it takes to:

  • Listen, learn and adapt to changes in the business needs of the organization
  • Promote, train and support all DAM users on a daily basis
  • Explain how we measure ROI with every project, collection and asset we add to the DAM
  • Simplify and unify across departments by sharing assets in DAM
  • Network and interview potential users of DAM to see what their business needs are (which are usually similar to everyone else’s needs in the organization)
  • Report on the progress of the DAM on weekly and monthly basis
  • Create workflow for the use of assets with DAM
  • Create and maintain up-to-date DAM documentation
  • Maintain consistency
  • Maintain metadata standards used within the organization
  • Review and test any configurations and/or customizations for the DAM
  • Be the biggest proponent, in-house advocate and expert in DAM for your organization
  • Make  sure a DAM solution does not become another ‘shelf baby’ (i.e. another tool which an organization invested in, but did not get user adoption, so it is another waste of time/money because no one uses it)
  • Maintain an active registry of DAM users and needed permissions

This is one position that is in demand nowadays, but can be quite technical and requires:

  • Patience (lots of it)
  • Energy (lots of it)
  • Attention to detail
  • Process-orientation in order to create workflow that make sense to users
  • Love of data (metadata)
  • Consistency and flexibility (being methodical helps too)
  • Thriving on progress (even baby steps)
  • Customer service (i.e. user support)
  • Ability to demonstrate how to improve production with DAM to save time and money, when used properly
  • Prior DAM experience

In a previous post, we covered why you might need a DAM. So, your organization gets a DAM solution, it gets implemented for your organization and it is ready for regular operations.  Now what?

  • Who is driving the progress of DAM?
  • Who is tracking progress, measuring growth and addressing risks to report on a weekly/monthly basis for stakeholders?
  • Who will answer DAM questions and support DAM users?
  • What happens when something goes wrong?
  • Who is in charge of the DAM?
  • Who will fix it?
  • Who will be the adviser when to file a trouble ticket with the vendor versus what can be resolved in-house?
  • Who will create the trouble ticket when the time comes?
  • Who will follow up?
  • Who will train users and power users of the DAM? (Attrition happens)
  • Shall I go on?

Do you have a Digital Asset Manager?

Let us know when you are ready for consulting or assistance in finding Digital Asset Management professionals for your business.