Here at the Synaptica most of our blog posts are focused on developing and managing complex taxonomies which is what our taxonomy consultants are usually doing at client sites during the week unless they are busy blogging.
There are certainly different levels of complexity depending on the Client, but the business needs are typically robust enough that at one point the customer also looks for a tool to manage those vocabularies and Synaptica fits the bill. Typically this is because of the need to maintain relationship between terms in a thesaurus (like BT (Broader Term), Narrow Term (NT)) that are hard to manage in a spreadsheet or relationships between different vocabularies which many of the thesauri management tools in the marketplace do not allow. They may also have a need to integrate these vocabularies into other systems like search engines, CMS/DMS, DAMs etc. beyond sending excel sheets around their company which can be quite painful.
We have also however seen some pretty cool uses of the tool like Jim’s recent post about Thinking Outside of the Synaptica Box about our own in-house usage. Our clients see the power of the tool and adopt it for their own needs- many times bring users into the fold that never thought that they would be creating and maintaining a “taxonomy”!
This post on Project Management from the Developer’s Perspective : Project Taxonomy by Stacey Mulcahy on the O’Reilly InsideRIA blog reminds me of some of the unique ways that customers are using the Synaptica tool for.
In her post, Stacey does an awesome job of explaining how “Adopting a project taxonomy is one of the simplest pro-active ways to avoid hours of frustration caused by miscommunication. Once team members, regardless of discipline and role, utilize a shared vocabulary, interactions become more meaningful and ultimately more productive as more time is spent in communicating the message and less time clarifying its context.”
Things like Synaptica’s “MyWeb Views” allow Admins to quick created ‘Read Only’ Views for the whole organization to be on the same page- for example with a link to images likes Stacey suggests in her post so everyone gets on the same page as to what a specific term means- for the organization as a whole- or possibly only for that specific project that the team is working on.
It is a must read post and if you are thinking about the different ways controlled vocabularies are being used in your enterprise and already have Synaptica in house and just want to get others in your organization to benefit from the tool- look at your Project Managers and let them know that you have a tool in house that can simplify the way they manage their taxonomies with their project teams to avoid hours of possible frustration.
Daniela Barbosa 2008