Taxonomy Boot Camp 2019 Agenda

Click on a session title below to see full sessions descriptions and speaker details. To view the complete program by track see our Program Page. Or, click here to view the Final Program PDF.

    Day 1: Taxonomy Basics Track
    Day 1: Taxonomy Applications Track
    Day 2: Conference Sessions
Monday, November 4, 2019
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
  • Continental Breakfast
9:00 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.
  • Opening Remarks
  • Conference program chair Stephanie Lemieux welcomes attendees to the start of Taxonomy Boot Camp 2019!

    Stephanie Lemieux, President & Principal Consultant, Dovecot Studio
9:10 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
  • OPENING KEYNOTE: Building an Intelligent Foundation for Scalable Personalization
  • Electronic Arts (EA) has been developing a content graph in support of personalization programs since 2014, reconfiguring working teams around this strategic initiative. This has required re-thinking significant aspects of the content strategies, content engineering efforts, and content operations at EA. Eamonn presents the approach taken to build a solid foundation of content models, metadata, and supporting taxonomies. While far into this journey, EA has a long way to go. Hear about the challenges it has encountered along the way and the opportunities it sees in the future.

    Eamonn Glass, Director, Content Ecosystem Strategy, Electronic Arts
  • Mitchell Wahlmeier, Content Ecosystem Strategist, Electronic Arts
10:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
  • Coffee Break
10:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • Taxonomy 101 Workshop
  • This session provides an introductory understanding for those relatively new to taxonomy design and implementation, providing a strong foundation of terms, concepts, and approaches in order to ensure maximum value from the remainder of the conference. The session defines taxonomies and discusses the value they offer through a series of examples and case studies. Wahl and Cakici also cover common approaches and methodologies for taxonomy design, implementation, and maintenance, including a review of the role of technologies within the space.

    Zach Wahl, CEO, Enterprise Knowledge, LLC
  • Tatiana Baquero Cakici, Senior KM Consultant, Enterprise Knowledge, LLC
  • Taxonomy Case Studies
  • Improving Content Quality, Reuse, & Reporting

    Large content sets, distributed authoring environments, and multiple websites built on different platforms make applying consistent and accurate metadata very challenging. Intel is implementing enterprise taxonomy and metadata standardization to address these issues with the end goal of improving data quality. The speakers share Intel's approach to increasing metadata quality across a diverse content ecosystem. Learn how they developed a content tagging strategy involving a diverse set of stakeholders to collect more accurate and consistent metadata from content owners.

    Melinda Geist, Digital Operations Manager, Intel
  • Theresa Putkey, Content Strategist, Key Pointe Consulting
  • Putting Sony’s Best Footage Forward With AI

    With a deep library of clips from blockbuster franchises and acclaimed cinematographic masterpieces, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) runs a thriving footage licensing business. But for customers to find the clips they need for their projects, rich, taxonomy- driven metadata capturing the themes of each clip is essential. That’s why SPE launched its taxonomy and metadata enrichment initiative, scaling the project with AI. This session showcases concrete examples of how AI can support information professionals in building their taxonomy and illustrate its benefits in the context of business-critical search functions.

    Jason Lambert, Executive Director, Content Licensing, Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • Nicole Cotham, Metadata Librarian, Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • Ramona Pauna, PhD, Director of Customer Success, Expert System Enterprise
  • Collapsing Silos With Semantic Technology

    Hear about how Travelers Insurance iteratively aligned siloed taxonomies to create a broader enterprise view. This new approach will serve many business needs including improved search and automation of existing manual efforts related to taxonomy maintenance and implementation. Fisher and Doughty show how the original, dated taxonomy was moved from a document to a taxonomy management platform to support integration with many technologies. Also hear how an enterprise governance group was established along with extensive taxonomy and ontology training for all governance team members and power users to ensure the success and maintenance of the enterprise taxonomy.

    Kelly Fisher, Product Director, Travelers Insurance
  • Jenni Doughty, Technical Consultant, Taxonomy & Ontology Design, Enterprise Knowledge
  • Strategies for Dealing With Ambiguous Product in Retail Taxonomy

    Are these for walking or swimming? Would you call this a pump? In a retail taxonomy, sometimes it’s just not easy to tell where something should go or what it is. Lee provides some good strategies for placing those hard-to-classify items.

    Erik Lee, Taxonomist, Zappos
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
  • Attendee Luncheon
1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
  • Defining & Pitching the Business Case for a Taxonomy
  • What does it take to sell a taxonomy project? How do you explain the business case and benefits a taxonomy will bring to your organization? Lambe discusses how to determine the pain points to be solved and how to link taxonomy work to business needs. He covers how to frame and pitch the business case for your project to management, as well as clearly identify measures of effectiveness that can improve success.

    Patrick Lambe, Principal Consultant, Straits Knowledge
  • Using Object Models to Supercharge Taxonomy Design
  • A big challenge in taxonomy work is helping leadership and subject matter experts connect taxonomies to the fundamental workings of their organization or system. Object models are the bridge between detailed, effective taxonomies and high-level user requirements. Using a simple and easy-to-learn visual language, object models can help you quickly sketch an entire organizational unit or the key parts of a system in a way that everyone in the room—from developers to CEOs—can view together and understand. Learn this unique approach to taxonomy generation and hear case studies of successful taxonomy creation using object model workshops, which help make taxonomy more accessible to organizational leaders, resulting in greater support and alignment.

    Daniel O'Neil, Business Analyst & Information Architect, The Understanding Group
  • Robert Royce, President & Co-founder, The Understanding Group
1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • Framing Taxonomy Projects: On Heidegger & Motorbikes
  • Vocabulary development is generally done for a specific purpose: to index documents, structure website navigation, arrange products for ecommerce, etc. The process of building and validating a vocabulary can circumscribe a domain in a structured way useful for modeling information environments and provide a useful jumping-off point for validation. This validation step is crucial to this process: the negotiation between taxonomic thinking and the point of view of subject matter experts, users, content owners, and other stakeholders. Hear how the process of vocabulary construction and validation can help outline and structure a domain, be a paradigm for discovery, and define the scope of your project within the larger domain.

    Bob Kasenchak, Information Architect, Factor
  • Moving From Taxonomy to Ontology
  • Organizations often struggle with ontology development and fully leveraging the many benefits they offer, including user interface enhancements, machine learning, and AI. White provides observations and insights on the most practical approaches that organizations can use to transform an existing taxonomy into an ontology. Methodologies focus on techniques and best practices rooted in information science and real-world findings. Hear about facet analysis, semantic relationships used in taxonomies and ontologies, and the overall business value of an ontology.

    Ben White, Information and Knowledge Management Consultant, Enterprise Knowledge
2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • Adopting an Existing Taxonomy
  • Few have the privilege of creating their taxonomy from scratch. Working with existing taxonomies typically involves using terms, definitions, and a structure developed by other people who may not be available for consultation. They are often already entrenched in an organization’s workflow and can be difficult to change on a macro level. This talk shares strategies for adjusting to an existing taxonomy, including ways to get up to speed on its general philosophy and specific terms. Ammerman also discusses how to deal with taxonomies that do not conform to standards and how to determine which changes are worth fighting for.

    Nick Ammerman, Library & Taxonomy Manager, American Planning Association
  • The Science of Taxonomy in Product Data Management
  • Different taxonomies have different purposes in product data management, such as classification, navigation, and syndication. Many companies use their ERP or financial taxonomy to manage product information when there are better ways to achieve success from both the internal and external customer perspectives. Mapping and managing between taxonomies and attribution schemas and keeping them clean are essential for good product data. Chantal discusses best practices for managing product taxonomy and the challenges of managing them in an integrated manner for the best customer experience.

    Chantal Schweizer, Practice Director, Strategic Data Services, Pivotree
2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Managing Stakeholder Input: Cat Herding and Duck Rowing
  • Every successful taxonomy project relies on working closely with people. This often involves groups with different backgrounds and levels of taxonomy familiarity. How do you prepare people to give meaningful feedback? How do you elicit, aggregate, and track their input? What is the best way to socialize the outcomes to a wider audience? Learn how to run successful kickoff meetings, framework workshops, and stakeholder review sessions. Jenkins also reviews useful templates and online tools for soliciting input from larger groups, helping you reduce cat herding and get all your taxonomy ducks into well-ordered rows.

    Michele Ann Jenkins, Senior Consultant, Dovecot Studio
  • Raising the Profile of Taxonomy During Chaos
  • Imagine joining a UK government project as its first-ever taxonomist against the backdrop of Brexit, creating huge uncertainty at every level. At a time of great upheaval in politics, the economy and law, how do you make sure your little taxonomy niche doesn't get overlooked? Lippell will pass on her experience, tips and tricks that she used to help bring colleagues to a shared understanding of the benefits of taxonomies in digital content delivery for government. When content priorities and outcomes change by the hour, tagging and metadata are even more essential than usual. If you can keep your head when all around are losing theirs, then you might be a taxonomist.

    Helen Lippell, Taxonomy, Metadata & Search Consultant, Chair, Bite-Sized Taxonomy Boot Camp London
3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
  • Coffee Break
3:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
  • Inside an Enterprise Taxonomy Shop
  • Just over a year ago USAA set out to fix a top employee pain point: finding company documents and procedures in the enterprise knowledgebase. After an initial project realized dramatic improvements in search performance metrics and employee feedback, a year-long effort was undertaken to accomplish this across the enterprise. Now USAA has built a permanent Knowledge Management Findability Experience function and department. Bowling gives an inside look at building this function from the ground up, including intimate views of documented taxonomy sustainment and creation processes, update requests, roles, and metrics.

    Jay Bowling, Senior Product Manager and Knowledge Architect, USAA
  • The Knowledge Graph— The New Unknown Beast
  • Knowledge graphs are everywhere! Google has one, Amazon also, and of course Microsoft has one too. Gartner has identified knowledge graphs as new key technologies in its Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence. So, what is a knowledge graph? Do we have to be afraid that we have to throw away all we built over the last years and decades? What can we do with it? Will we have to feed it? How can we tell if it is healthy and can help us? What can we use it for? In his talk Nagy addresses those questions and tries to demystify this new phenomenon.

    Helmut Nagy, CPO, Semantic Web Company GmbH
3:45 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
  • 5 Essential Components of Taxonomy Governance
  • Taxonomies are born into a world of change and need to be regularly updated in order to remain relevant and useful. Governance is the tool that can move your taxonomy team from a state of reactivity and fire drills to a state of controlled and measured taxonomy optimization. Using real-world examples, Chao shares five governance components that should be included in every governance plan as well as a governance assessment framework that you can use to assess maturity, identify gaps, and determine next steps to take your taxonomy governance to the next level.

    Erica Chao, Information Architect & Taxonomist, Factor Firm
  • Taxonomy-Driven Event Processing for Intelligent Customer Operations
  • Chat or voice conversation between agent and customer can be a black hole. In the modern intelligent customer operations center, interactions between agent and customer are a source of rich information that helps agents to improve the quality in real time, creates more sales, and provides far better analytics for management. This is enabled by taxonomy, speech recognition, entity extractors, and machine learning to classify chats in various ways in a real-time knowledge graph that knows (and stores) everything about customers and agents. Hear how graph-based technology can be used to improve quality of conversations, increase sales, and improve business visibility.

    Jans Aasman, CEO, Franz Inc.
4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Managing Taxonomy Tagging
  • A taxonomy is useful only when it is properly tagged to content, which is not always a given! Hedden and Casey look at various issues in tagging with a taxonomy, including the benefits and drawback of manual vs. automated tagging and how taxonomy design can suit the method of tagging. Tagging interfaces and rules are also important, whether system-enforced or as policy. Black discusses how to manage large tagging projects when a taxonomy must be applied quickly to large collections of content for new system launches, such as a DAM or CMS. Hear about bulk tagging approaches, training short term-tagging teams, and doing tagging quality assurance.

    Heather Hedden, Senior Consultant, Enterprise Knowledge, LLC
  • Terry Casey, Indexer-Taxonomist, Casey Indexing & Information Service
  • Katherine Black, Senior Consultant, Dovecot Studio
  • Partnering with IT to Deploy Taxonomies
  • You can have the best taxonomy or ontology in the world, but if the IT team doesn’t know about it, or won’t implement it, what’s the point? Come hear this all-star panel talk about how they successfully partnered with data architects, developers, and project managers to get integrated into development workflows. Learn what words to use when working with IT, documents to provide, cost-saving estimates to promise, and more.

    Yonah Levenson, Metadata Strategy & Terminology Governance, WarnerMedia, USA
  • Annette Feldman, Deputy Director of Metadata Technology, Associated Press
  • Ken Murphy, Director, Enterprise Metadata, Discovery
  • Tatjana Versaggi, Technical Project Manager, Taxonomist, General Electric, USA
  • Feras Abu Amra, IT Project Manager, IMF
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Enterprise Solutions Showcase Grand Opening Reception
Tuesday, November 5, 2019
8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
  • Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
  • KEYNOTE: Knowledge Management in the Age of Smart Machines
  • Our experienced speakers cut through the hype and share how new technologies like AI can be used for business benefit and competitive advantage. This facilitated panel discussion describes what technologies are available and how companies can use them. It explains how businesses can put artificial intelligence to work now, in the real world. AI will improve products and processes and make decisions better-informed/important but largely invisible tasks. AI technologies won't replace human workers but augment their capabilities, with smart machines working alongside smart people. AI can automate structured and repetitive work, provide extensive analysis of data through machine learning (“analytics on steroids”), and engage with customers and employees via chatbots and intelligent agents. Get insights and ideas on how to experiment with these technologies, consider the ethics of these technologies,  and use them to revitalize knowledge management in your organization.

    Euan Semple, Director, Conference Chair, & Author, Euan Semple Ltd
  • Tony Rhem, CEO/Principal Consultant, A. J. Rhem & Associates
  • Phaedra Boinodiris, Principal Consultant Trustworthy AI, IBM
9:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.
  • KEYNOTE: Delivering Killer App Taxonomy Experience in SharePoint Office 365
  • For years Synaptica has advised our clients that there are just some things they can’t do with their taxonomies once they migrate them to the SharePoint Term Store. Restrictions within SharePoint prevent much of the richness of thesauri and non-hierarchical relationships from being expressed. Finally, a breakthrough solution has been developed through a joint venture effort between Synaptica and Search Explained. Clarke and Molnar briefly review the common pain points experienced in SharePoint taxonomy implementations, before demonstrating innovative new user experiences that transcend these pain points to deliver a taxonomy-rich search, browse and tagging experience within SharePoint.

    Dave Clarke, EVP, Semantic Graph Technology, Squirro
  • Agnes Molnar, Managing Consultant, Search Explained
9:45 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
  • KEYNOTE: Building the Knowledgeable Application with AI
  • Few organizations realize that 80% of their most critical data cannot be handled by business applications because it is unstructured (contracts, emails, customer correspondence…). But the missing piece in this puzzle actually exists: Natural Language Processing (NLP), a form of AI that extracts meaning from documents, thanks to organizational and linguistic knowledge. The outcome is a genuinely knowledgeable application: one that delivers effective search and analytics, accelerates business processes, and enables professionals to focus on the highest added-value parts of their mission. Discover why leading organizations have made NLP a priority and how they are using it to build knowledgeable applications for search, analytics and process automation.

    Christophe Aubry, CEO, Expert System
10:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
  • Coffee Break in the Enterprise Solutions Showcase
10:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
  • Content Models & Taxonomies: BFFs
  • Taxonomies help organize, categorize, and relate content. But before that, you need a model for that content. This session looks at content models from a new angle and how to use taxonomy to bring content to life. A model of the types of content and their relationships reveals the many ways content types can be classified to improve findability. When taxonomies are woven into the fabric of your content, internal search becomes easier to facet and sort, and curation is dynamic and ongoing. It’s a perfect match of content strategy and information architecture. Content models and taxonomies really are BFFs.

    Carrie Hane, Digital Strategist, Founder, Tanzen LLC
11:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
  • The Web Vocabulary & Enterprise Taxonomies
  • The web vocabulary has emerged as the most important metadata standard for web content, used by Google, Microsoft, Amazon’s Alexa, and many other online platforms. How is related to enterprise taxonomies? How can taxonomists best utilize features of the vocabulary to improve the descriptiveness of information published online? Michael explains how the vocabulary classifies different dimensions of information, and how taxonomists can use the vocabulary, including entity types, properties and different strategies to include taxonomy terms as values. Learn how to provide more precise answers to online queries, whether through search, chat bots, voice bots, or other online channels.

    Michael Andrews, Content Strategy Evangelist, Kentico Software
11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
  • A Spring Without a Source
  • Taxonomies are foundational knowledge organization structures for entire information ecosystems relying on a single source of truth for concepts used in navigation, content tagging, and insight discovery. With increasingly agile and fast-moving taxonomy development and use, it’s easy to neglect the rigor necessary to build a strong foundational taxonomy. Taxonomies without this rigor can easily become ill-fitted for the processes they are meant to support. As with any ecosystem, the early introduction of unwanted elements can have downstream effects. Hear about the often unintended biases introduced during taxonomy building and the subsequent content tagging process, and how to build taxonomies with discipline and rigor using verified sources and strong governance processes.

    Ahren Lehnert, Principal Taxonomist, Nike Inc.
12:15 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Serendipity vs. Search: What Artificial Intelligence Can & Can’t Do
  • Some organizations want to apply AI techniques in their efforts to construct taxonomies better and faster. Various AI techniques can produce interesting groupings or clusters of content that are useful for discovery, but not as useful for search. Can AI do any more than produce a good bucket of candidate concepts and show possible meaningful relationships?

    Heather Kotula, VP, Marketing and Communications, Access Innovations, Inc.
12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
  • Attendee Luncheon in the Enterprise Solutions Showcase
1:45 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • Taxonomy Frontiers
  • The Future of Taxonomy: Knowledge Graphs

    Taxonomies are the foundation for controlled vocabularies, which enable enhanced search, categorization and the ongoing development of ontologies. Moving beyond taxonomies and ontologies, however, the development of knowledge graphs starts to add the semantic layer needed to enrich and enhance all types of information. Doane helps us understand how and why to build knowledge graphs, and the benefit your organization can realize.

    Mike Doane, Senior Lecturer, University of Washington
  • Conversations With Robots: Voice, Smart Agents, & Structured Content

    In 2019, we’re already seeing the impact that voice search, AI, and smart software agents like Alexa and Google Assistant are making on the way information is found and consumed on the web. Through examples drawn from healthcare and government, Fitzgerald illustrates the changes IAs and taxonomists face in the burgeoning age of voice UI and AI and introduces simple techniques attendees can use to advocate for structured content approaches to their work.

    Andy Fitzgerald, Information Architect & Content Strategist, Andy Fitzgerald Consulting, LLC
2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Taxonomy & Personalization
  • While trying to realize the dream of personalized experiences, there has been a stream of brand and customer experience fails that continues to mar the reputation of personalization. Taxonomists and IAs have since begun writing the missing manual for steering clear of such madness. What does it mean to design for personalized UX, and why are information sciences pros well positioned to ride to the rescue? This session will help you lean into your organization’s personalization or martech efforts and take your taxonomy skills in a fresh direction. MacIntyre gives five scenarios in which the skills of taxonomists matter more each day. Patterson and Roux discuss how Salesforce optimized its taxonomy and tagging strategy in order to enable a more dynamic, targeted, and personalized user experience on

    Jeffrey MacIntyre, Principal, Bucket Studio
  • Arthur Patterson, Content Strategy Manager, Salesforce
  • Lindy Roux, VP & Managing Director, Tendo Communications
3:30 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
  • Coffee Break in the Enterprise Solutions Showcase
4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Stump the Taxonomist
  • Interested in industry trends? Stymied by a taxonomy design challenge at work? Bring your toughest, crunchiest taxonomy issues and challenges to our panel of seasoned full-time taxonomists, who compete to answer your questions with insight, entertainment, and perhaps even controversy! The best questions (as voted by the audience) will bring home prizes!

    Stephanie Lemieux, President & Principal Consultant, Dovecot Studio
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Networking Happy Hour in the Enterprise Solutions Showcase

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