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Do You Know What You Are Doing? – REx and Content Intelligence Will Tell You.

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We are happy to have our first guest contribution by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ziegler on the SCHEMA Blog.Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ziegler has been active in the field of technical communication since 1997. His core area is the conception and introduction of XML-based information systems. Since 2003 he has held a chair at the Hochschule Karlsruhe (University of Applied Sciences) where he is in charge of the masters degree program “Kommunikation und Medienmanagement (KMM)” (Communication and Media Management). In addition he is head of the Institute for Information and Content Management (I4ICM) of the Steinbeis Transferzentren GmbH at the University for Applied Sciences Karlsruhe.

In general you know what you are doing. In particular, however, it would be nice to know a bit more exactly what you have been doing and achieving up to now. This particularity of course also concerns your work with a content management system. Among other things this has motivated us at the University of Applied Sciences Karlsruhe to create a means for you to get a closer insight into your own manner of working with documents, modules and media.

Basically it is easy: A content management system is intended for the reuse of content. As often as possible and with ensured process reliability. But which information is used more often and which more rarely should ideally be reported to you by some kind of indicator system. For this we defined a simple data format as XML file that is able to describe the basic data of a content management system. It is the so-called REx (Report Exchange) format. The content management system should then be able to output the basic data as an (R)Export file.

Logic for exporting CMS data in the REx format (level 1) and analysis (level 2) with visualization in REx report

Logic for exporting CMS data in the REx format (level 1) and analysis (level 2) with visualization in REx report

A RExport of this kind from your content management system basically contains information on the projects resp. documents of a project and on the modules, fragments and media objects used therein. The analysis counts, averages and visualizes. It all results in a report which provides a variety of data: mean values of reuse rate of documents (often 80-90%), of reuse numbers of modules, the module size (e.g. number of words), as well as version history of objects etc.

Here an interesting overview is the number of words created in comparison to the produced content: E.g. having written 100,000 words but having reused 3 million words in the delivered documents is worth showing and makes sense…

Correlation of module size W (horizontal) and usage number N of modules in documents (vertical); the larger the circles the more modules have the same size and usage number.

Correlation of module size W (horizontal) and usage number N of modules in documents (vertical); the larger the circles the more modules have the same size and usage number.

In addition many distributions and indicators can be illustrated as detailed diagrams and outliers can be traced back to the system. So – regarding reuse – modules or documents with “conspicuous behavior” can be optimized if necessary or the complexity of their creation can be explained. This analysis is for now carried out externally, while the results are of course anonymized and like the RExport do not contain personal data. The reason for the current external analysis lies in the fact that the results are to be used in scientific studies on the mode of operation of content management systems. The aim is to make ‘best practice’ and benchmarks possible – also across systems. You profit directly from an analysis tool for your modular content and your creation process, in short a tool for “Content Intelligence“.

Annotation from the SCHEMA Blog technical writers:
In case of maintenance SCHEMA provides its customers on request with a corresponding REx export module for the ST4 DocuManager Standard (version 2012 SP2 or higher).

Contact for parties interested in the REx method and analysis

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ziegler

Hochschule Karlsruhe
wolfgang.ziegler@hs-karlsruhe.de

Institut für Informations- und Content-Management (I4ICM)
Steinbeis Transferzentrum GmbH an der Hochschule Karlsruhe
wolfgang.ziegler@i4icm.de

One thought on “Do You Know What You Are Doing? – REx and Content Intelligence Will Tell You.

  1. Pingback: That’s Where SCHEMA Users Meet | SCHEMA Blog (EN)

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