We know what a taxonomy is and does.

A taxonomy provides the structure and classification for organization to create the best findability for content. It represents a predefined organizational structure that can cover a range of subjects from general industries or fields of study to the relevant words and terms unique to the business. They are usually arranged hierarchically, reflect general to more specific relationships and show correlations between subject areas.

Taxonomies also help to provide an optimized map or information architecture that allows users to intuitively navigate content, or directs users to the content the site owner wants them to see.

Classification and taxonomy are two closely related words that some people find confusing. Both terms reflect the fact that we encounter large amounts of information in everyday life and our brains need some way to synthesize and contextualize that information. Concepts like classification and taxonomy help us make sense of the world by improving our ability to find important content in an information-rich world.

As taxonomies are built, it is important to include subject matter experts – people who know the organization and the published guides about how it works. This is critical for proper development of a custom taxonomy. Just like going into a bookstore which is arranged differently than you think it should be, the arrangement of the taxonomy for an organization needs to reflect how the organization thinks of itself. The other way of looking at it (solely from the content data) often does not reflect how the organization wants to be seen.

Anyone who has built a true, solid standards-based taxonomy knows you can go down that rabbit hole with ease never to be seen again. This isn’t to disparage taxonomies by any means, but a true taxonomy is complex and comprehensive. 

Professionals should look for an experienced builder of solid standards-based taxonomies to associate content for appropriate machine-assisted indexing.

Data Harmony is a fully customizable suite of software products designed to maximize precise, efficient information management and retrieval. Our suite includes tools for taxonomy and thesauri construction, machine aided indexing, database management, information retrieval, and explainable artificial intelligence.

When it comes to classifying anything – insects, fruit, diseases or candy – it is important to remember how the content is classified impacts the findability of your data. Access Innovations has extensive experience in constructing taxonomies and can provide solutions that are ANSI compliant.

Melody K. Smith

Data Harmony is an award-winning semantic suite that leverages explainable AI.

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the intelligence and the technology behind world-class explainable AI solutions.