Building a data strategy for today and the future

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Linda Burman

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Today, most companies create and deliver content for multiple distribution channels in addition to high quality print. But the workflow remains pretty much the same: content is created and then passed from one department to the next along the ’traditional’ workflow chain. When it’s complete it’s stored somewhere, often in a digital asset management system belonging to the content distributor. Usually it can then be located by a few fields such as “date" or “name" or possibly, “department".      

While known processes are easier to manage, there are many inefficiencies in this approach. Often it’s difficult to know where the different steps begin and end so there can be considerable duplication. Since each step includes highly labor-intensive tasks, the processes are expensive. Also, locating individual content assets for re-use and reviewing the usage rights to republish them can be a nightmare. 

Changing the workflow and making better use of DAM (digital asset management) systems can greatly reduce the overlap, help break down the silos and improve time-to-market. But to be effective, companies must first set up an appropriate data infrastructure to operate across systems and people. Fortunately there are software products and people who can help with that process.


About Linda Burman

Linda Burman is CEO of L. A. Burman Associates Inc., a consultancy with more than two decades of experience helping companies address business and technical challenges inherent in restructuring and improving traditional content workflows and multi-channel distribution. Her expertise includes gathering agreed-upon requirements from business owners for multiple delivery channels, creating an integration infrastructure and ’translating’ those requirements for IT resulting in new workflows. 

The consultancy focuses on digital asset and content management, workflow for multi-channel content production, design and development of metadata and taxonomies, user experience, and management of rights and permissions. Clients include publishing and media companies, agencies and corporate marketing departments of major retail, health care, insurance and technology companies.

Burman has held senior technical and business roles at software and hardware vendors including North Plains Systems, Kinecta (now Oracle) and Apple Computer. She is former chair of the IDEAlliance PRISM Metadata Working Group, Past President of Content Management Professionals, an IDEAdvisor, co-author of Mastering XML Pro (Wiley), a member of the IPTC (International Press and Telecommunications Council) and the recipient of an IDEAlliance Leadership Circle Award. 

About Andrea Mahoney

Andrea Mahoney is an Information Systems graduate with a database programming background.  She joined the graphic arts industry in 1990.  Her work with graphic arts resellers and her production experience in packaging, specialty print, book publishing and commercial printing has provided the foundation to use technology to automate manufacturing.

In 2005 she started TriBay, a workflow integration company that quickly evolved upon her discovery of new automation tools like Switch.  She specializes in automating workflows for print production, bindery and fulfillment along with integration for online systems and MIS.