Conference Program

View the Taxonomy Boot Camp Advance Program PDF

View the Advance Program PDF for Taxonomy Boot Camp PLUS its co-located events!

Taxonomy Boot Camp is the only conference dedicated to exploring the successes, challenges, methodologies, and products for taxonomies. 

Taxonomies exist to describe, organize, and connect information. Creating a common structure not only helps people and systems work more effectively but also helps create collective intelligence: the body of knowledge that emerges from collaboration and knowledge-sharing. Being able to effectively link people, content and data is the foundation for organizational learning and innovation. The increasing focus on knowledge graphs and AI tools reflects a desire to harness the emergent knowledge of the organization, and taxonomy is a linchpin in this effort.

Taxonomy Boot Camp showcases taxonomies as key components of knowledge and data management systems that aim to build collective intelligence within or across organizations and help solve real world problems. Speakers will share their experience in creating successful taxonomy solutions and advise on both hard and soft skills to help our attendees accelerate their learning and success. 

The Taxonomy Boot Camp program is designed to provide something for everyone, from taxonomy newbies to seasoned experts (and everyone in between). Beginner sessions provide those new to the field with the nuts and bolts they need to get up-to-speed and give more experienced practitioners insight into how others have evolved their approaches. Also hear case studies, practical sessions on taxonomy tools and methods, and cutting-edge developments in the field.

Monday, Nov 7

Keynotes

 

Opening Remarks

Monday, November 7: 9:00 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.

Speaker:

Stephanie Lemieux, President & Principal Consultant, Dovecot Studio

 

Keynote: Design for Cognitive Bias: Using Mental Shortcuts for Good Instead of Evil

Monday, November 7: 9:10 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Users' minds take shortcuts to get through the day. Usually they’re harmless. Even helpful. But what happens when they’re not? Thomas uses real-world examples to identify some particularly harmful biases that frequently lead users to make bad decisions. Hear about some information architecture, content strategy and design choices we can use in our apps, designs, and platforms to redirect or eliminate the impact of those biases. Finally, explore our own biases as practitioners and some methods to prevent our own blind spots from hurting users.

Speaker:

David Dylan Thomas, Founder, CEO, David Dylan Thomas LLC

Monday, Nov 7

Track 1: Taxonomy Fundamentals

 

Taxonomy 101 Workshop

Monday, November 7: 10:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

This introductory taxonomy tutorial covers key concepts to get you up-to-speed for the rest of the conference or helps prepare you to take on a role in a taxonomy project. Topics include the various uses and benefits of taxonomies, comparisons, and suitable applications of different types of taxonomies/controlled vocabularies (hierarchical, faceted, thesauri, and ontologies); taxonomy standards; the relationship of taxonomies to metadata; sources for taxonomy concepts; best practices for developing terms and their relationships; and tools for creating and managing taxonomies.

Speaker:

Heather Hedden, Data & Knowledge Engineer, Semantic Web Company, USA, and author of The Accidental Taxonomist

 

Observation to Insight: Interpreting Qualitative User Research for IA

Monday, November 7: 1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

This session provides a glimpse into what qualitative user research for IA looks like. Using actual examples from user interviews, Ingham and Long demonstrate how to unpack what participants are saying and doing and translate these observations to insights and their implications for IA (taxonomies, metadata, navigation, etc.) They discuss strategies for interpreting data and offer tips on formulating findings.

Speakers:

Sara Ingham, Information Architect and UX Researcher, Factor

Jennifer Long, Executive Administrator & UX Researcher, Factor

 

Developing Taxonomy Use Cases

Monday, November 7: 1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Use cases, user stories, and tasks drive feature development in the agile method by specifying their acceptance criteria. With taxonomy, use cases are often no more than vague functional requirements, such as “the taxonomy should improve content findability.” It is critical that taxonomy requirements be treated with more rigor, defining a sufficient level of detail to be able to accomplish a task. Use cases explicitly show how a taxonomy would improve findability, such as by providing assisted navigation with fly-out, cascading lists. Busch discusses why and how you can develop use cases, using examples from projects, at the start of an information management project to help avoid costly mistakes or unhappy clients when taxonomy deliverables are presented.

Speaker:

Joseph A. Busch, Founder and Principal, Taxonomy Strategies

 

Semantic Censorship

Monday, November 7: 2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

The beauty of language is that concepts can be expressed in many ways. The challenge for a researcher is to include all those variations to find all data related to their topic. With the pressures to conform to different standards over time, we need to be certain that information is not lost to researchers by changes in terminology. This quirk came to light during the COVID-19 pandemic: The virus was called by many different names through the course of the pandemic, from very scientific to very casual, to the point of pejorative. This session covers the implications of choosing—or not choosing—taxonomy terms viewed through the lens of censorship.

Speakers:

Angela Cochran, VP, Publishing, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)

Margie Hlava, President, Access Innovations

Heather Kotula, VP, Marketing and Communications, Access Innovations, Inc.

 

Tagging & Quality Assurance: Human-Centered Best Practices

Monday, November 7: 2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

You've got a new or improved taxonomy and are ready to leverage it by tagging or retagging real information assets. At least some of that tagging will be done by humans, but those humans may have had limited (or no) involvement in the taxonomy development process. How do you ensure that their work fulfills the purposes of the taxonomy and, ultimately, the needs of the organization? Knudtson draws on experience with multiple (very different) real-life tagging efforts and provides best practices in running a (re)tagging program with quality assurance (QA). Hear about tagging workflows, resource management, QA metrics, and developing indexing guidelines.

Speaker:

Melissa Knudtson, Taxonomy Consultant, Dovecot Studio

 

Developing a Successful Taxonomy Program

Monday, November 7: 3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

To be successful in taxonomy, you need to create an internal support program to keep it relevant, maintained, and trusted. A taxonomy program incorporates the governance components of business alignment, clearly defined roles and responsibilities, system capabilities, communication and change management, and more. Little and Quach present key best practices in developing a taxonomy governance program. To illustrate these principles, Nairouz and Pettai present a detailed view of the taxonomy program used to manage the Deloitte Global Enterprise Taxonomy, comprising 20-plus global vocabularies mapping to 44-member firms, including the process for maintenance and annual updates, change management, and application support.

Speakers:

Paula Little, Senior Information Architect, Factor

Charlene Quach, Information Architect & Taxonomist, Factor

Christine Nairouz, Global Taxonomy Program Leader, DDAI-Data Management Services, Deloitte

Lindsay Pettai, Global Taxonomy Manager, DDAI-Data Management Services, Deloitte

 

Designing Proof of Concepts: The Road to Building Buy-In for Semantics

Monday, November 7: 4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The term “proof of concept” (PoC) usually refers to technology projects, but for semantics-driven solutions, other elements can pose a real challenge. When embarking on enterprise semantics projects, there are many moving parts besides the technical infrastructure: editorial workflow, governance processes, and the modeling of the taxonomy, ontology, or graph itself. Jenkins reviews a project with a large governmental organization that broke down an enterprise taxonomy project into multiple PoC components to help build buy-in and prove the overall approach. Dwyer discusses how the IMF is exploring knowledge graphs and ontologies for knowledge discovery and enterprise search using a PoC to help bring these cutting-edge concepts into focus.

Speakers:

Michele Ann Jenkins, Senior Consultant, Dovecot Studio

Sonia Dwyer, Knowledge Management Officer (Content Lead), International Monetary Fund

 

Enterprise Solutions Showcase Grand Opening Reception

Monday, November 7: 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Join us for the Enterprise Solutions Showcase Grand Opening reception. Explore the latest products and services from the top companies in the marketplace while enjoying flavorful fare and drink. Open to all conference attendees, speakers, and sponsors.

Monday, Nov 7

Track 2: Taxonomy Applications

 

Taxonomy Case Studies

Monday, November 7: 10:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Reimagining Metadata Through a Digital Transformation
10:15 a.m. - 10:35 a.m.

In law, knowledge is the holy grail, and processes to capture knowledge have been embedded for years. With the move to AI-driven enterprise search, maintaining a single source of truth is paramount, while keeping technical debt low across multiple integrated cloud platforms and applications. Jacobson shows how Australia's largest top-tier law firm reimagined the way it worked with metadata through a digital transformation. Hear about the planning, the metadata audit review process (including machine learning to reclassify large numbers of documents), and the cultural considerations involved in the rollout of enterprise search.

Speaker:

Sarah Jacobson, Director - Knowledge Management, MinterEllison Lawyers

Building Taxonomies to Unlock the Value of Digital Assets
10:40 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Electronic Arts takes hundreds of photos in the production and marketing of its major gaming franchises, like FIFA and Madden. Prior to this year, photos were stored in numerous cloud drives and even offline hard drives. To prevent time lost hunting for images and the expense of reshooting when you can’t find things, EA decided to create a centralized digital library. This required creating an information domain model and controlled vocabularies to support a scalable asset hub. Provenzale reviews the team’s approach to domain discovery and taxonomy design and the challenges, including examples from the finished library and artifacts from the requirements gathering process.

Speaker:

Brian Provenzale, Senior Taxonomist, Electronic Arts (EA)

Expertise Location Quick Win in Office 365 at FMO
11:05 a.m. - 11:25 a.m.

Connecting people to people, content to content, and people to knowledge is the core of KM at FMO. Recently, FMO has increased its workforce at a fast pace and a wealth of new knowledge has been added to our human capital. However, it is increasingly difficult to identify the right colleagues when seeking support and expertise. Hear how FMO created an "expertise locator" as a KM quick win to address this challenge in a GDPR compliant way. This enriched employee directory reuses and (slightly) customizes existing Microsoft 365 user profiles, applications, and the term store management tool.

Speaker:

Maria Violeta Bertolini, Knowledge Management Officer, FMO - Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank

Federated Ontology Contribution & Governance at Capital One
11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Aiming to tackle data discoverability and usability challenges, Capital One’s Enterprise Data Standardization program included the operationalization of an enterprise ontology. Recognizing that the ontology must be managed in a scalable, and federated manner, Capital One brought together a collaborative working group to define a contribution and governance framework for ongoing development and support. Hear about the challenges and solutions for reaching consensus and the benefits of a federated model for enabling rapid contributions while ensuring robust and non-duplicative models.

Speakers:

Brian Donohue, Manager, Enterprise Data

Jennifer Doughty, Senior Solutions Consultant, Data & Information Management, Enterprise Knowledge

 

Taxonomy & the Headless CMS

Monday, November 7: 1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

“Headless” CMS tools, which decouple content structure from its front-end presentation, have seen growing adoption over the last several years as they support creating flexible, reusable omnichannel and personalization-ready content. However, many organizations struggle with adopting a “decoupled” mindset, a gap that can be filled by taxonomy (and taxonomists) with the vocabularies and tools we already use. Fitzgerald provides an overview of the benefits and challenges of the “headless” approach and examples of how taxonomy best practices can be used to bridge this divide to create holistic, scalable solutions.

Speaker:

Andy Fitzgerald, Information Architect & Content Strategist, Andy Fitzgerald Consulting, LLC

 

Using Taxonomies to Train Named Entity Recognition Models

Monday, November 7: 1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Many organizations need reusable semantic services across the enterprise, such as the automatic and consistent extraction of named entities from text. There are low-cost services from cloud providers, but some companies train their own extractors for each type of entity (e.g., brand names, proteins, or product names). To train and deploy such specific extraction models, taxonomies can yield quality and cost benefits by automating the laborious pre-labeling of training documents and training of extractors. Discover a step by step approach in this session, including the technical and economic advantages using demos and example applications.

Speaker:

Andreas Blumauer, Founder & CEO, Semantic Web Company Inc.

 

How Product Data Effects Search: MISUMI Case Study

Monday, November 7: 2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Indexed product data can help drive search to success by aiding with recall and precision. Hear about the efforts that EIS and MISUMI have undertaken in the last year and a half to use product data to increase MISUMI’s website search accuracy and how these successful searches drive conversion. Crumlett and Schweizer also identify metrics that are important to drive and measure search success.

Speakers:

Nick Crumlett, Senior Director, Software Development, MISUMI

Chantal Schweizer, Director of Solution Delivery, Earley Information Science

 

Hierarchies, Meet Graphs

Monday, November 7: 2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

As information paradigms shift, effective means of representing and displaying knowledge must change to keep pace. The rise of knowledge graphs and the underlying graph database technologies which support them, as well as generationally driven demands on knowledge creation and sharing, makes it essential to consider new ways of presenting traditionally hierarchical knowledge organization systems such as taxonomies. Hear about different ways to pivot taxonomies for viewing, including associative relationship browsing, traversing associative relationships to surface concept properties, and visualization.

Speaker:

Ahren E Lehnert, Senior Manager, Graphite, Synaptica LLC, USA

 

Climbing the Ontology Mountain to Achieve a Successful Knowledge Graph

Monday, November 7: 3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Ontologies have gained momentum as a strong foundation for resolving business challenges through semantic search solutions, recommendation engines, and AI strategies. Taxonomists are now faced with the challenge of gaining knowledge and experience in designing and documenting complex solutions that involve the integration of taxonomies, ontologies, and knowledge graphs. Taxonomists are well-poised to learn how to design user-centric ontologies, analyze and map data from various systems, and understand the technological architecture of knowledge graph solutions. Cakici and Doughty share practical ontology design considerations and review the most common use cases for knowledge graphs to help taxonomists learn to identify business problems that will most benefit from graph solutions.

Speakers:

Tatiana Baquero Cakici, Senior KM Consultant, Enterprise Knowledge, LLC

Jennifer Doughty, Senior Solutions Consultant, Data & Information Management, Enterprise Knowledge

 

Taxonomies & Search

Monday, November 7: 4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

This session showcases the roles that well-implemented taxonomies and metadata have in making knowledge management systems more than just buckets of documents with a search box. Lambe and Molnar present a SharePoint case study in which an elegant design uses the context of work to add taxonomy tags and metadata in a knowledge hub, minimizing the manual tagging effort while offering a rich search and discovery experience.

Speakers:

Patrick Lambe, Partner, Straits Knowledge and & Author, Principles of Knowledge Auditing

Agnes Molnar, Managing Consultant, CEO, Search Explained

 

Enterprise Solutions Showcase Grand Opening Reception

Monday, November 7: 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Join us for the Enterprise Solutions Showcase Grand Opening reception. Explore the latest products and services from the top companies in the marketplace while enjoying flavorful fare and drink. Open to all conference attendees, speakers, and sponsors.

Tuesday, Nov 8

Keynotes

 

Welcome & Keynote: People Driving Knowledge Sharing: Sense- Making Frameworks, Tools, & Strategies

Tuesday, November 8: 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Building on early knowledge mapping work, Snowden discusses how small things create resilience and sustainable change while large initiatives are more all or nothing. Typically based on an ideal future state definition, large initiatives produce a more linguistic conformance approach than real change. It’s more difficult to allocate blame with smaller initiatives, and the right people usually get the credit. If something small fails, we are likely to learn from it. Getting to the right metaphor is important. The estuarine metaphor is a physical image that people understand. It’s not all about linear flows; tides matter. Cynefin ideas resonate between the familiar and the novel and produce a body of material that can be reused or adapted. Working with nautical charts to create a real-time strategic representation for organizations with the ability to initiate surveys in real time, Snowden links to the future of C2 command in military terms. He emphasizes that any approach to strategy needs to be dynamic and non-linear, allowing for fractal or, maybe better, holographic representation (break it and the picture is still there in the shards) for a fluid integration of strategy with operations and tactics. We need new ways to express strategic intent--enough structure for direction while maintaining spontaneity and adjustments. This links in turn to the balance of rules and heuristics and critically ideas of distributed, not delegated, authority. Gain new insights and ideas from Snowden!

Speaker:

Dave Snowden, Chief Scientific Officer, Cognitive Edge

 

Keynote: Cross-Team Collaboration For Knowledge Discovery

Tuesday, November 8: 9:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

For over 25 years Synaptica has been helping clients to Organize, Categorize and Discover enterprise knowledge. Individually and collectively these three tasks require people from different teams and departments to collaborate, to understand each other’s roles, and to share knowledge. The common goal is to make search more relevant and knowledge more discoverable. Achieving this goal requires the coordinated effort of content specialists, information scientists, data scientists, and computer scientists. In this short talk Clarke will discuss how to promote cross-team collaboration that pulls together stakeholders responsible for content, metadata, taxonomy, databases, information architecture, and search.

Speaker:

Dave Clarke, Founder, Synaptica

 

Keynote: Sinequa

Tuesday, November 8: 9:45 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Check back for more information soon!

 

Keynote: Developing & Successfully Using Powerful Recommender Systems

Tuesday, November 8: 10:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

In knowledge-intensive workflows, where decisions have to be made continuously, users benefit from accurate suggestions. In recommender systems, the business objects (documents, experts, products, suppliers, etc.) that best fit the respective context are automatically brought into the spotlight. The possible applications are many. Blumauer provides a comprehensive overview of possible uses of recommender systems and why they should be central building blocks in the digital workplace, especially in enterprise information systems such as knowledge and content hubs, customer experience platforms, or support systems. He shares examples and demos applications in the environment of HR management, drug approval, and technical support for software or legal. Hear how to establish a recommender in your own environment and move your organization’s digital transformation ahead.

Speaker:

Andreas Blumauer, Founder & CEO, Semantic Web Company Inc.

Tuesday, Nov 8

Sessions

 

When Taxonomy Met Ontology at Etsy

Tuesday, November 8: 10:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Etsy is working to incorporate semantic data models alongside its traditional product category hierarchy to better understand its 100-plus million one-of-a-kind listings. Members of the taxonomy team share where they came from and how they made it to this union between taxonomy and ontology. Hear how they demonstrated the need for richer semantic data to leadership and internal partners that rely on the data structures to build products for Etsy sellers and buyers. They also touch on how they decide what goes into the traditional taxonomy versus what belongs in these new models. Etsy's ontologist describes the processes and tools used to relate these new data models to the existing taxonomy to ensure a long, successful partnership.

Speakers:

Marc Shimpeno, Staff Taxonomist, Etsy, USA

Susannah Woodbury, Senior Taxonomist, Etsy

Jennifer Borrell, Senior Taxonomist, Etsy

Ren Pope, Senior Data Modeler & Ontologist, Etsy

 

Tags to Topics: Politico’s Automated Classification System

Tuesday, November 8: 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Taxonomies can enhance the discoverability of content or hamper it. Hear about the hurdles, stakes, and strategies involved in writing a customized taxonomy and transitioning subscriber content from vertical-based manual tagging to an automated, evergreen, extensible topic classification system. Hear details about how Politico replaced lists of 1,300 tags with fewer than 500 topics, how they’ve kept the taxonomy at that number for several years and current at the same time, and how they save Editorial the trouble of tagging, without depriving them of input and control.

Speaker:

Valerie Miller, Former Taxonomist at Politico

 

Industry Insights

Tuesday, November 8: 12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.

 

Taxonomy Breaking Down Silos

Tuesday, November 8: 1:45 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Taxonomy design is the first challenge, but gaining adoption across corporate silos can be even harder. This session includes two case studies of how taxonomies break down barriers between different teams and systems. Maddison presents Adobe’s approach to inform and excite partner teams to gain trust, how they alias to existing taxonomies to not reinvent the wheel, and make adoption easy for new teams as they implement in backend systems. Popky and Hedden discuss the principles of taxonomy linking and Harvard Business School’s hub-and-spoke model of bridging across multiple taxonomies to create a single unified view and the challenges of building and maintaining this model for the HBS Knowledge Site.

Speakers:

Rachael Maddison, Content Infrastructure Architect & Lead Taxonomist, Adobe

Donna Popky, Senior Taxonomy & Information Architecture Specialist, Harvard Business School

Heather Hedden, Data & Knowledge Engineer, Semantic Web Company, USA, and author of The Accidental Taxonomist

 

Taxonomy in the Age of Personalization

Tuesday, November 8: 2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

The most successful organizations have anchored their content experience with personalization, which allows users to connect with content based on key characteristics. This session provides an understanding of how taxonomy powers what every end user now expects—a seamless and personalized experience. O’Brien-Scott and Wahl detail real-world use cases and best practices for taxonomy design for personalization. When these capabilities are harnessed properly, they can enable cutting-edge solutions such as recommendation engines, automated content assembly, and omnichannel delivery.

Speakers:

Zach Wahl, CEO, Enterprise Knowledge

Sara Mae O’Brien-Scott, Semantic Engineering Consultant, Enterprise Knowledge

 

Stump the Taxonomist

Tuesday, November 8: 4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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!

Moderator:

Zach Wahl, CEO, Enterprise Knowledge


 

Networking Happy Hour in the Enterprise Solutions Showcase

Tuesday, November 8: 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Stop by the Enterprise Solutions Showcase after a full day of stimulating conference sessions to mix and mingle with other  conference attendees, speakers, and our conference sponsors.

Featuring These Co-Located Events