Relationships can be challenging at best. Relationships with family, friends and people in general contain facets and dynamics that are evolving and often contentious. When it comes to data content, relationships are just as important and just as volatile.

Latent semantic indexing (LSI) is a natural language processing technique that analyzes relationships between a set of documents and the terms they contain. The result of those are search engines. Search engines can identify related terms for keywords by researching through billions of pages and use these findings to evaluate whether a web page offers truly comprehensive content related to a topic.

In the world of technology today, search is driven by user intent. Gone are the days when entering a keyword in the search engine then sifting through tons of results was okay with users. This is true for the casual searcher and even more so for those searching for content in their own databases and platforms.

Managing the relationships in your content starts with organizing your data in a database. This is a key step in ultimately finding it again when the time comes that you need it, and need it quickly. However, no amount of search engine optimization can beat a solid taxonomy in helping you find the data.

It is important to remember that metadata is key in revealing relationships. Relationships between terms, between definitions, and yes, between people. Your data can provide intelligence through analytics and predicting trends, etc., but only if it is properly organized. This is where a proper taxonomy is crucial.

The defining characteristic of taxonomies is hierarchical relationships. It is vital to be sure the hierarchical development is accurate and the relationships are true. Generic relationships, as explained in ANSI/NISO Z39.19-2005 (page 47), identify the link between a class and its members or species. The generic relationship is generally called a Broader term/Narrower term relationship.

True taxonomies can help manage big data by providing a solid standards-based taxonomy to index against. The results are comprehensive and consistent search results. Access Innovations is one of a very small number of companies able to help its clients generate ANSI/ISO/W3C-compliant taxonomies because of consistency.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.