DAM Guide – Digital asset management software: why should you use it?

To deal with the proliferation of multimedia files now used by companies and public-sector entities, digital asset management (DAM) software offers many advantages. DAM software helps simplify the management of all multimedia files.

Equipped with shape recognition tools, DAM software makes it easier to index files in your photo library, which means it also makes it easier to search for files. When files are indexed according to their content, you can search for similar files. The software will then compare the shapes of buildings and objects, look for the same faces, or seek out similar color palettes. In addition, you can index and search for files according to the geographic location where a photo was taken or where a media file was created. This makes it possible to search by using a map or by entering an address. Based on similar content or locations, the software can also create albums, galleries, and more.

DAM software can optimize the management of all of your media files. Digital asset management actually includes management of the entire media life cycle within the system. This includes sorting files according to a predetermined sorting plan, but also storage, archiving, and viewing of files.

With DAM software, companies can save both time and money. These advantages come from how DAM software simplifies data management tasks.

DAM software offers indexing that works automatically, making it easier for the user to search for multimedia files. This indexing can be based on various pieces of information: metadata, content, as well as tags entered by a human. Metadata used for indexing—with formats like EXIF, IPTC, XMP, and ID3—result in text-based indexing. The metadata contain a wide variety of information, from the date of creation, to the creator’s name, to comments. Indexing can also be based on content, including shapes, faces, and colors in an image, or meaningful words that appear most often in a text. By analyzing the content, the software is able to index by theme.

DAM can use two different methods of storage. You DAM system can rely on cloud hosting of data or on hybrid storage. With cloud storage, assets are stored on servers external to the company’s site. They are then accessed via an internet connection. It’s possible to combine cloud hosting with internal storage: this is considered hybrid storage. With this method, you combine both storage types to take advantage of their respective benefits: data security and flexibility with storage space.

Having multiple forms of DAM storage applies not only to your multimedia files, but also to the DAM application itself. Some DAM software is only accessible via the internet, while other applications can be installed directly on devices.

DAM software can be used by companies and public-sector entities to establish a workflow. You can automate file management or even work processes, saving time and money for your organization. In particular, this makes it easier to manage projects involving many people or people who are geographically distant from one another. For example, you can use DAM software to create an approval process for the steps in a project or to create a process for each file imported into the system. You can also create an automated workflow to generate statistics, for example, on your files and users.

Files accessible through digital asset management software are secured by different means. Securing assets includes, in particular, preventing the theft and destruction of files, preventing distribution to unintended audiences, avoiding inaccessibility, and more. Various measures are put in place to secure digital assets, starting with management of user rights and access by user profiles. In addition, you can implement conditions of usage and intellectual property protections thanks to watermarks or signatures, for example. Finally, digital assets are secured by the data hosting infrastructure. Data are protected by keeping the infrastructure on secured sites, as well as by using methods of cybersecurity (e.g., firewalls, backup servers).

With digital asset management software, you can control which users can share which photos. This is possible thanks to customized user rights, generally for groups of users, but also, sometimes, for individual users. When you create a group profile, you can determine what rights its members will have to share photos. In particular, these rights relate to importing and exporting photos, indexing, publishing, distributing, modifying, and deleting files, and more.

Some user profiles can be personalized to offer rights that differ from those of other users. For example, you can have group managers who have additional rights and a certain level of authority.

All DAM software allows you to sort your photos. This makes it easier for users to search for files. Photos are stored according to set criteria, in a set order, or by category. The software automatically sorts the photos. It will then retrieve them according to a request from a user. To do this sorting, the DAM software works off of certain information contained in file metadata. As such, users play a certain role in the sorting of photos since the way in which the metadata are completed will determine the effectiveness and relevance of sorting.