On the Edge: How to Overcome the Content-Related Challenges of Building a Semantic Publishing System
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  Fran Alexander   Fran Alexander
Information Architect
BCA Research


Wednesday, August 19, 2015
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Level:  Business/Strategic

This presentation, given by the Information Architect for BCA Research (provider of independent economic and investment research since 1949), offers a different perspective to technical project reviews by focusing on the political, editorial, and cultural issues that needed to be managed and resolved within the business. Such aspects are easily overlooked but, if not addressed adequately, can compromise otherwise successful projects.

Technology-neutral first-hand experiences of defining concepts, modelling domains, and establishing metadata capture processes will be offered, giving senior executives, project managers, and information professionals an overview of the content-related tasks involved in establishing and deploying semantic systems. The presentation will help senior technical and product managers, data architects, and analysts improve the ways in which they engage and communicate with the business, increase understanding and management of conceptual and editorial requirements, and gain greater awareness of the informational and editorial challenges within semantic projects.

Key takeaways include:

  • Methods to help identify key concepts and data structures
  • Key questions to consider when deciding on metadata capture methods and systems
  • Tips on mediating conceptual and editorial differences when modelling ontologies
  • Techniques for managing conceptual and editorial ambiguities in order to maximize consistency of output
  • Ideas and suggestions to help explain semantic metadata capture to non-technical staff in order to gain buy-in and manage process changes

Fran Alexander, MA (Oxon), MRes (UCL), joined BCA Research in 2013 as Information Architect, responsible for Edge - the new semantic publishing platform. A regular speaker at conferences, judge for the 2012 and 2013 Createasphere DAMMY Awards, guest lecturer at UCL, and author of several journal articles on semantics, she was previously Taxonomy Manager of the BBC Archive, one of the world's largest multimedia repositories. She oversaw the migration of the BBC Archive's legacy taxonomies to a new system and devised taxonomy mapping and ontology curation strategies. She began her career in the 1990s as an editor of reference books, including the Collins English Dictionary, specializing in taking print products online. From 2001-09 she was Editorial Operations Director for political reference publisher Keesing's Worldwide, where she managed the creation of a fully digitized online news archive, with a new indexing and tagging system.

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