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From the Experts:
A Guide to Data in Digital Asset Management.

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Chapter one:


In the world of digital asset management, nothing happens without data.

You can’t find content without it. You can’t effectively create content without it. And you certainly can’t track or measure performance without it.

Data powers everything you do in your DAM, and it enables your users to take the actions they need within the system to do their jobs effectively. And yet, despite its importance, data in DAM continues to be one of the things users struggle with the most.

Why is that?

To put it simply, DAMs are complex systems that manage thousands, sometimes millions, of digital assets on behalf of users – users who are human, and may engage with this content in unique and unpredictable ways. No wonder, then, that it’s difficult to truly understand how to structure your data in a way that is most effective.

That’s why we’ve asked for help. In this guide to data in digital asset management, we’ve partnered with some of the industry’s leading experts and consultants, and asked them to explain how data in DAM works, and how you can leverage it to its greatest potential – whether that’s to improve team productivity in the DAM, increase findability of assets, or maximize the value of modern technologies like AI in your platform.

In this guide we’ll cover:

  • Metadata in digital asset management
  • How to think about keywording and how it’s different from other forms of metadata
  • How your digital asset management data should mature and evolve
  • The future of data in DAM, with a focus on AI and machine learning

Meet the Experts

John Horodysky

Executive Director, Salt Flats LLC

John Horodyski has executive management strategy experience in information management, including digital asset management (DAM), content strategy, metadata and taxonomy design, MarTech, content management, governance, and rights management. He is an Executive Director at Salt Flats LLC, and a world-leading expert who has provided strategic direction and consulting for a variety of Fortune 100 and 500 clients, from consumer packaged goods, to media & entertainment, the pharmaceutical industry, and insurance. John is also an Adjunct Faculty at San Jose State University, where he teaches a graduate course in DAM. 

In addition to regular training and public speaking on digital media and metadata, John is a Board Member / Metadata Editor of the Journal of Digital Media Management, and is a monthly DAM contributor to CMSWire. John published his book, “Inform, Transform, Out-perform: Digital Content Strategies to Optimize Your Business for Growth.”

John’s latest book, “Metadata Matters” was published April 2022 and explains how metadata is the foundation of digital strategy.

Clemency Wright

Founder & Director, Clemency Wright Consulting Ltd

Clemency Wright is the founder and director of Clemency Wright Consulting. As a Keywording Consultant, she helps creative businesses optimize access and visibility to digital content online using strategic keywording methodologies.

Clemency trained as a Keyworder at Getty Images in 2001, before becoming a Search Vocabulary Editor responsible for creating and editing Getty’s vocabulary of keywords powering the customer website. In her customer-facing role at V&A Images, Clemency managed design and advertising customer accounts, and advised upon keywording methodology for the V&A Images online collection.

Clemency blends keywording expertise for both commercial and non-profit organizations. Clients include Save The Children and The National Gallery, professional photographic bodies, independent creatives and stock photo agencies.

Clemency provides keywording services as well as controlled vocabulary and metadata consultancy. She holds a BA (Hons) in American Studies and an MA in Arts Administration, and is dedicated to continually developing and sharing expert knowledge within her network.

Madi Weland Solomon

Principal Consultant, ICP

Madi is Principal Consultant at ICP and brings over twenty years of knowledge and experience from a range of sectors.

She is a creative technologist and specializes in enterprise taxonomy, information architecture, data strategy and semantic technologies. She has held executive roles in large multinational companies and teaches a Metadata and Taxonomy course at FH Joanneum University in Austria. She is also the Managing Director and owner of Dots the Camden Music Shop, is a gigging musician, and a popular speaker at conferences.

Kristina Huddart

Digital Asset Management Specialist and Consultant, Huddart Consulting

Kristina Huddart is an independent DAM consultant who helps brands and cultural heritage organizations to find, implement and make the most of their DAM practices.

Huddart Consulting specializes in building strong, successful DAM operations with the right combination of people, process, data, and technology. Kristina provides services to organizations including:

  • Selecting and implementing DAM systems
  • Building DAM practices including metadata and taxonomy design, governance structures, data migration, and more
  • Leading change management and user adoption of DAM and surrounding marketing technologies
  • Supporting companies with evaluating and optimizing their existing DAM operations

For almost a decade, Kristina has helped firms build their DAM practices, continuously improve on processes, and grow user adoption to achieve maximum DAM return-on-investment. Serving clients from financial service providers, energy companies, beauty and wellness organizations, and cultural heritage organizations, she strives to deliver the best DAM solutions for her clients’ specific needs. Kristina is also a thought leader, author, speaker and educator.