Enterprise videos must have metadata, analyst says

Videos can be used to train employees, for product demonstrations and as marketing campaigns within an enterprise; these videos must be easily searchable within a database accessible throughout the company, according to a report by Leslie Owens, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. located in Cambridge, Mass.

Videos are often an unstructured data problem within the enterprise because people are not sure of how to organize them, according to Owens.

“(Videos) don’t describe themselves, they need to be transcribed,” she said. “The quality of the video and audio varies a lot and some aren’t recorded well.”

Enterprises must have thorough descriptions for videos and have metadata about the files such as key words, according to Owens. Metadata like key words and tags group relevant videos together so this can also help viewers find similar videos on their subject of interest.

Elliot Ross, the IT manager at Independent Learning Systems Inc., an Ottawa-based company that trains people in development and e-learning, realizes the importance of archiving videos for training purposes. However, he is not sure how to organize video material.

“It (organizing videos) should be more important that it is,” he said. “Our archiving is plain-file system storage.”

Identifying the metadata and finding where videos are located within the plain-file system storage is challenging, Ross said.

Videos must be easily found in the companies database to be used again instead of having to re-film a video, according to Owens.

“Unless it’s searchable, it’s lost,” Owens said.

At the Montreal-based National Film Board of Canada, films go through digitization processes and are also placed online for consumers to view.

When digitizing a film, each frame is scanned individually for restoration purposes in the highest resolution and the audio is archived separately. Then the elements (both audio and visual) are resynchronized and placed on the NFB Web site, according to Julie Dutrisac, the head of research and development at the NFB

“It is a very complex and high-end process,” said Joël Pomerleau, the director of platform development at the NFB.

A collection of 13,000 NFB films has been catalogued by librarians with multiple film descriptions. These films are searchable online by metadata like keywords, various categories like genres, and also sorted by who made the film. There are also bloggers’ relevant links to the films posted to help people find the films easily through the blogs.

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