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Specialty entities

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  • Jonathan Fuller
    Hi all, I work with a group that manages a ~3900 term product taxonomy. We have about 100 Specialty areas that we use to classify products that do not neatly
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 9, 2012
      Hi all,

      I work with a group that manages a ~3900 term product taxonomy. We
      have about 100 'Specialty' areas that we use to classify products that
      do not neatly fit in any other product area. These Specialty areas are
      used for internal classification but are not published to our
      user-facing website. Our problem is that we want products in the
      Specialty areas to appear on our site, but we cannot publish products
      which are not classified to a published term. Likewise, we don't want
      to publish the Specialty areas because their "bucket-like" nature
      would negatively affect our existing taxonomy areas.

      Can anyone give some insights on how to handle these "not otherwise
      classifiable" entities?

      Thanks,

      Jonathan Fuller
      Taxonomist
      IHS has acquired GlobalSpec
    • Heather Hedden
      Hi Jonathan, Good question. There are different possible solutions. Here is my initial suggestion. Even if a term does not have a broader term in the
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 9, 2012
        Hi Jonathan,

        Good question. There are different possible solutions. Here is my initial suggestion.

        Even if a term does not have a broader term in the taxonomy/thesaurus, it should have a related term.

        So, first conduct some research to find the closest related category for each not otherwise classified product category, whether by user testing through card-soting, competitor research, etc. If the products have been available to customers, find out what these products have usually been purchased in combination with, or get website click-trail reports to see how users got to these products.
        Then, based on your research, create associative (related-term) relationship to bring these non-hierarchically classified product categories into the main displayed taxonomy. It's fine, and perhaps a good idea, for a category to have more than one such related-term relationship. Then, you need to design the user interface so that users can navigate to so-called related products. It doesn't have to be at a high level in the taxonomy.
        If your taxonomy management system and/or user interface system does not allow related terms, only hierarchical, you can still have the system manage them as hierarchical, with some kind of term note or flag that these categories should be presented in the user interface differently. Depending on your system capabilities, there may or may not be more manual work to display the category relationship as related instead of hierarchical. The point is that it should appear to be related, not hierarchical, to the end-user, lest the user questions the accuracy of your hierarchical taxonomy.

        Heather

        ___________________________

        Heather Hedden
        Hedden Information Management
        Carlisle, MA
        978-467-5195
        heather@...

        www.hedden-information.com
        www.accidental-taxonomist.com


        On 9/9/2012 7:10 AM, Jonathan Fuller wrote:
        Hi all,
        
        I work with a group that manages a ~3900 term product taxonomy. We
        have about 100 'Specialty' areas that we use to classify products that
        do not neatly fit in any other product area. These Specialty areas are
        used for internal classification but are not published to our
        user-facing website. Our problem is that we want products in the
        Specialty areas to appear on our site, but we cannot publish products
        which are not classified to a published term. Likewise, we don't want
        to publish the Specialty areas because their "bucket-like" nature
        would negatively affect our existing taxonomy areas.
        
        Can anyone give some insights on how to handle these "not otherwise
        classifiable" entities?
        
        Thanks,
        
        Jonathan Fuller
        Taxonomist
        IHS has acquired GlobalSpec
        
        
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