DAM Guide – Workflows and making use of metadata with DAM software
A workflow is a series of tasks and it can be automated. That automation is carried out through information technology, notably using digital asset management software.
Workflow: a definition
For companies and public-sector entities, an automated workflow typically consists of a chain of operations or steps in a project, campaign, or file life cycle that have been automated. When it comes to digital asset management, automated workflows often cover simple tasks, like archiving files after a certain amount of time, for example.
DAM software like Ephoto Dam simplifies the implementation of automated workflows for companies and public-sector entities. Automated workflows help them optimize their work time and the costs of various tasks.
How and why to implement automated workflows with DAM software
Using DAM software enables organizations to very easily implement automated workflows. A user first creates the automated workflow. They enter the essential information, such as the tasks to be carried out, the procedure for those tasks (i.e., the order in which they occur, the people who must receive information), and the rights of various users (rights for access, modification, approval, and extraction).
With DAM software, automated workflows are most often used for controls on the life cycle of multimedia files in the system. In this case, the automated workflow is simply the scheduling of tasks. The user just has to establish the procedure for those tasks. That way, the user can schedule an action so that a human doesn’t have to carry it out later. The user defines the tasks to be carried out and when they are to occur, whether in relation to other tasks or on specific dates. Thus, all sorts of tasks in the DAM system can be automated, from importing files to deleting them. An automated workflow can involve all sorts of tasks, including importing, sorting, indexing, publishing, creation/modification of image galleries, archiving, and deletion. At the same time, automated workflows often include the assignment of rights over files for each user or group of users (rights for access, modification, downloading, etc.). The procedure established for each document can, of course, be modified along the way.
In addition to regular file management, DAM software can be used to created automated workflows for carrying out projects, particularly thanks to document validation procedures. Indeed, companies and public-sector entities that use digital asset management software often work on projects involving large numbers of people who are sometimes spread out geographically. In this case, having an automated validation procedure is the simplest and fastest solution. For projects with such an automated workflow, each step must be validated by a manager, an employee, or a customer. Similarly, the automated workflow should enable everyone involved in the project to track progress. Thankfully, the DAM software enables sharing by allowing each person involved to access and add files. In concrete terms, in the DAM software, implementing an automated workflow involves establishing a validation procedure, and thus user rights relating to validation, viewing, modifying, etc. In other words, when you implement an automated workflow in your DAM software, you assign which users will have access to which content, who will have the right to modify content, who will have the authority to validate changes, and who will only have the right to approve, and when. Once again, an automated workflow, such as your pre-established validation procedure, can be modified at any time.
Finally, an automated workflow can be used to analyze data. The DAM software can automatically perform statistical analyses of traffic on the multimedia platform. Notably, this is one of the features of Ephoto Dam, which provides statistics on the most frequent searches, the most downloaded/imported/published files, etc.
Using metadata to support your automated workflow
You can use metadata associated with files to directly support your automated workflows. In fact, metadata are largely what makes automation of certain tasks possible. In particular, using metadata is essential for automating indexing. The DAM software will use the metadata to index files and thus enable users to find them without difficulty. Additionally, metadata are used by the DAM software to automatically produce image galleries, for example, based on themes.
Using metadata is also very important for tracking files in projects involving many different people. For example, metadata can include the modification history of files.
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