APEX TECH: Smart” Metadata in the spotlight


APEX TECH 2023: Day Three – Lufthansa SystemsChief Consultant, Content and Media Strategy, Michael Childers moderated the first of multiple metadata panels on the third and final day of the APEX TECH. 

Entitled, “Smart” Metadata: New Uses for Metadata, the lineup included panelists: Rob Delf, CEO, Fabric; André Valera, VP of Business Development, Touch, ABOVE; Andy Beer, VP Technology, Spafax and Omar Ramadan, Founder and CEO, Blockcast and more. Like the morning’s sessions on advertising, the workshop-style discussion was designed to be informal and wholly collaborative. 

Taking the stage, Childers began by breaking down a list of technical terms on a slide presentation across the room. 

“Oliver de Courson talked a bit about localization the other day and everything that we’re talking about on this panel relates in one way or another to localization,” announced Childers before reading from a list of deep-dive terms and acronyms titled: New Uses for “Smart” metadata in the content delivery supply chain.

Covering everything’s from data analytics and data driven IFE to content provenance metadata and metadata as proxy for GDPR-protected data, Childers finished by noting that “all of these represent opportunities for new uses of metadata in the content delivery supply chain. They also represent suitable topics for analysis this afternoon.”

Encouraging the audience to jump into the conversation at any time to share their insights, Childers then turned it over to the panel, where Andy Beer from Spafax took the lead by offering up a refreshing take of the topic of metadata.

“Before we talk about new applications, I’ve been here for three days hearing about the wish list of, you know, make things slicker, make things quicker, make them have less friction, and they’re all the kind of glossy subjects which everybody has a wish list for,” explained Beer. 

“But unfortunately the secret sauce that will make all that work is not very exciting and is what we’re all lined up here to talk about. So, if you want faster media loading, if you want late loading, if you want data analytics, you need good metadata, because you’ve got to remember that we’re not handing between one human team and another human team anymore. We’re handing between one system and another, and the language those systems speak is all about metadata.”

And in order to get any of the things that everyone keeps asking for to work, joked Beer. “Somebody’s got to do the donkey work and get this metadata to work. It’s not pretty but it is very important.”

Clearly tapping into the mood of the deeply-engaged crowd, Beer and his fellow panelist then launched into a lively discussion on everything from the migration from manual to automated metadata and its delivery to the GUI to alternative delivery methods, sourcing, personalization and the ongoing need to foster a more collaborative approach moving forward. 

Judging from the mood in the room, however, that last part shouldn’t be too hard.