I remember as a kid, our school used to discuss the different ages and periods in history; from stone age, iron age, industrial age, etc. It was mentioned that we are currently in the Information age and that we will stay in this age for a very long time. I’ve been googling around and found a few sites saying that we are now in the Big Data age with massive amounts of information to process. So much that our technology needs to keep up to it.
Although companies such as banks tend to have a mainframe and super computers to process large amounts of data (transactions), how do you manage your own data or what we sometimes call assets?
In the Post Production and Broadcast industry, we handle a large number of assets. Not just kilobytes of it, but soooo big that you need big shared storage to accommodate these assets. We also worry about versioning and how to access these assets on faster storage or archive them for future use. We worry about workflows that are too manual and that take too long to complete or we rely on a person to do it.
Enter Digital Asset Management. There are a couple of DAM solutions out there that vary depending on the type of digital assets you are working on and how big your data sets are. I won’t be discussing particular products (although you are welcome to ask Digistor about these products), but I will be discussing the concept of Digital Asset Management.
As an expert in Digital Asset Management, I’ve seen customers big and small struggle in their everyday production. Here are some common issues:
- Running out of shared storage disk space
- Duplicate files or assets
- Messy folder structure
- No process for Archive
- Manual workflows to transcode and deliver the media
- Inability to search shared storage
The issues listed have potential “performance impacts”. Running out of space can result in disk fragmentation, duplicate files can waste your time, messy folders are so hard to deal with, no Archiving process means I’m going to run out of space later on, manual workflow and transcode means I can do more if it was automated and can’t search makes you scream "I just can’t deal with this anymore!".
Digital Asset Management simplifies thse issues. How does it work? First off, a DAM solution is a solution that is based on your particular workflow. No workflow is totally the same, and hence a DAM oftentimes requires a lot of customisation.
DAM usually listens to events and triggers. Let say a person drops an asset on a particular location, your DAM can execute a script or action to automatically manage the move, transcode and delivery. The majority of DAMs integrate with Archive software, so it’s easy to move assets offline for storage. And lastly having a DAM will avoid your operators going through the folder structure to find an asset. DAM solutions come with an interface (Web or App) that allows you to search efficiently through metadata and key words. How does it do it? It indexes your storage so that any changes on the storage are sync back in the interface.
The list of advantages goes on an on. If you find yourself in a Digital Asset Horror, then maybe it’s time to discuss options on how to manage it and keep it under control.
Digistor has been in the Post Production and Broadcast industry and has rolled out different DAM solutions for different requirements. We’d love to hear from you and discuss possible ways to improve your workflow and profitability.
(Images courtesy of Avid Technology. Avid Interplay.)