New information architecture for international publisher

New framework designed to effectively manage and leverage content

Metataxis is thrilled to welcome Thomas Telford publishers as its latest customer.

Thomas Telford is the knowledge business and publishing arm of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), responsible for creating specialist products and services for the civil engineering and construction markets, including the bestselling NEC® suite of contracts and guides.

Metataxis will be developing an information architecture to support their publishing assets.

Structuring and classifying information with an information architecture framework will make it easier for users to access data and leverage the information’s full value.

Marc Stephenson, Director at Metataxis comments: “We’re delighted to be working with the Thomas Telford team, supporting this publisher with the design and implementation of a new information architecture framework for their publishing assets. This will enable them to exploit and manage their content with maximum efficiency and flexibility.”

Learn more about our information architecture services or simply contact us to discuss how we can help your organisation today.

Microsoft Purview – compliance in a box

How to govern, protect, and manage your data estate

Microsoft Purview seems to be the new kid on the block. Everyone is talking about it – but what exactly is it, what can it do and, moreover, does your organisation need it? Marc Stephenson, Director here at Metataxis, takes a look and shares his thoughts on this Microsoft solution:

According to Purview. Noun. The range of operation, authority, control, concern, etc. The range of vision, insight, or understanding.”

I think Microsoft has actually chosen a good name for the formally known as the “Compliance Center” product suite. (Please Microsoft can we try not to re-skin, re-factor or generally re-arrange this important area of functionality for a while now!)

At Metataxis, we are starting to find that getting to grips with Microsoft Purview is a growing demand.

What is Microsoft Purview?

Microsoft officially describes this tool as: “a unified data governance solution to help manage and govern your on-premises, multicloud, and software as a service (SaaS) data. Easily create a holistic, up-to-date map of your data landscape with automated data discovery, sensitive data classification, and end-to-end data lineage.”

Understand and govern data across your entire data estate

For years, organisations have recognised that they need to “do something” to get their compliance and records management ship in order. Today, with more sensitive data stored across apps, clouds, and devices, it’s never been harder to understand and govern sensitive information, identify data risks and manage regulatory requirements to remain compliant. And this is why only recently its has started to drive operational need.

And therein lies the key word: “operational.”

Many organisations already have compliance regimes in place, covering various levels of thoroughness, value, and application, but until they are actually in use, in other words, operational, it’s just good intentions, and maybe for some simply just box-ticking.

How Metataxis can help

Metataxis consultants are technical experts in all aspects of information risk, compliance, and records management, but crucially, we’ve spent many years implementing real-world Microsoft 365 systems for our clients. The art of this is the ability to translate the business need for compliance into a workable and scalable set of Microsoft 365 configuration settings.

Alas, this invariably involves some compromises, especially if you don’t have an E5 subscription, and only have an E1 subscription.

Thankfully, Metataxis has developed several approaches to leverage whatever Microsoft licence subscription you have and whatever compliance regime you have, into something that will work for your organisation. After all, your organisation’s “range of operation, authority, control, concern, …vision, insight, or understanding” is kind of important.

So, if you’re looking for governance, protection, and compliance solutions for your organisation’s data and assets across your environment – simply get in touch and we’d be happy to discuss how we can help you with Microsoft Purview.

To AI or IA ?

Do Artificial Intelligence tools need an Information Architecture?

In his latest blog, Marc Stephenson, Director at Metataxis, takes a look at the AI hype.

We know that the world has gone mad about Artificial Intelligence, or AI, ChatGTP and many other systems.

According to Wikipedia: “By January 2023, it had become the fastest-growing consumer software application in history, gaining over 100 million users”. That’s impressive!

Not a day goes by when I don’t read an article telling me that AI will either cause the apocalypse or solve all human problems. Of course, the reality will probably much less exciting. Don’t get me wrong – these AI tools are very impressive. I studied AI in the 1990’s as part of my MSc, and back then we were “only a few years from a sentient AI”. That was a somewhat optimistic prediction, but it’s clear that ChatGPT for example, is very good at solving some kind of problems (for me, one of the things ChatGPT does very well is write clear, grammatically correct English).

Another kind of hype

The AI hype is very similar to the search engine hype from the noughties. Back then, Google would remove all need for Information Architecture (IA) and Information Management (IM). We’d just use search for everything, right? Er no. Human information and knowledge is bit more complex and nuanced than that.

Who remembers the “Google Search Appliance” hardware? Just plug it into your server room and job done. No need for this difficult information architecture malarky.

Again, er, no. The issue is that a tool’s result is only as good as the person who uses the tool and the context in which they use it. In other words – the creation of the data model, training set, user interface, and the many surrounding processes, procedures, controls and governance measures, are actually very important.

Google Search Appliance

And as for dealing with bias, now that’s a whole blog in itself. What I’m saying is that if AI tools are to revolutionise how we use information, they will need an IA.

Well, for a while yet they will…

Of course, if you have any questions about information architecture, simply contact us.

Take your AIIM: AIIM Forum Europe 

27 June 2023 – Metataxis musings from the annual AIIM conference.

The Association for Intelligent Information Management (AIIM) Forum Europe took place on 20 June in London.

Marc Stephenson, Director at Metataxis, was at this compelling one day conference and exhibition and shares his experiences from attending the event:

Along with my colleague, Noeleen Schenk, we both attended the AIIM Forum Europe at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in central London. Like all conferences, it was a mixture of the mundane, interesting, and surprising. Before Covid, attendee numbers seemed to be on the decline at many industry conferences, but post-covid, there is a real sense that people want to meet in person again.

The most interesting presentation for me at this year’s event was on the uptake of Microsoft Purview. Some insightful user research (albeit slightly self-selecting) was presented that showed many organisations are interested in Purview, but few had actually started the required work, let alone completed it. A case of the implementation of records management technology not being as easy as it seems. This certainly matches the Metataxis experience – developing a realistic records management regime requires a lot more than just applying technology.

The surprising part of the conference was that if we are to believe the range of vendor stalls, paper and it’s digitalising still plays a key role in the day-to-day operation of information management. One could argue that only the major scanning vendors are able to pay for AIIM exhibition stands, but of course they wouldn’t pay for the stand if there was no business benefit. I remember that the “paperless office” was “coming soon” when I was an undergraduate (many) years ago! What happened?! Do we really need all this paper still? Or are we still fighting the backlog?

The conference was of course very pre-occupied with AI and how that might affect the Information Management world.

Now that’s a topic for another blog coming soon…

Taxonomy expertise delivers single version of truth

Metataxis taxonomy expertise improves information management for Central Government department.

Metataxis is delighted to be helping a UK Central Government department to improve the management of its information.

Our experts have been commissioned to create a single taxonomy for use across the entire organisation.

This new taxonomy will name, describe and classify all information held by the department. Once defined, the taxonomy will enable a “single version of the truth” for the improved handling, analysis, and interpretation of the information they hold.

It will also support a real cultural change towards end-to-end system management as well as consistency and standardised working for data, information, and records management. 

This six-month project will consist of phases to collate, validate, and deliver the taxonomy. 

The Metataxis team of experts will then go on to provide key recommendations on its transition to real-life operation and its ongoing maintenance moving forward, to maximise value.

If you would like to learn more about how we help both public sector organisations and private businesses address the challenges of information management simply contact us.