Regular maintenance is an important part of keeping your digital asset management (DAM) system operating efficiently and driving user satisfaction. Unfortunately, most DAM admins need to manage these duties on top of other roles and responsibilities — which makes finding time for regular maintenance a challenge. But with a little planning and guidance from our experts, you can keep your DAM system in top shape.
If you’ve thought to yourself, “how often should I update …?” then keep reading.
How often should I update my dashboard?
The dashboard is the first thing users see when they log in to your DAM site. This first experience is critical to helping users find what they need. If a user sees out-of-date information or imagery, why would they expect the rest of the DAM system to be any different?
Schedule regular updates quarterly. Even if you only make small updates, like the dashboard message(s), they will serve as a reminder that the system is constantly being maintained. Dashboard messages might change with the seasons or with campaigns, but they’ll definitely signal to your users that your site is fresh and current.
Other triggers for updating the dashboard:
- Updates to your brand. The dashboard should strongly reflect your brand. Any updates to the visual or written style of your brand should also be applied to your dashboard.
- Changes in your popular search terms. Spotlight searches and spotlight collections provide a quick and easy way for users to initiate their search. Consult Insights to monitor the most common search terms and use them to inform your spotlight searches and collections, which will help users get to the assets they want, faster.
- To solve user challenges. Common user issues. If you've noticed that many of your users have the same question or issue — through feedback via email, phone calls, or even a user survey — consider putting links to helpful resources like training materials, filenaming conventions, brand guidelines, or your email address, front and center on your dashboard.
- New portals. Portals are a fantastic way for users to quickly access a curated set of assets for things such as campaigns, product launches, global collateral, and more. Adding links to new portals will give them added visibility.
What tasks are associated with updating the dashboard?
- Update visual elements
- Refresh messaging
- Add new spotlight searches
- Update spotlight collections
- Revisit the language/terminology used
See examples of customer dashboards here.
How often should I review the user list?
Monitoring the list of users is an important part of making your DAM site a secure system. If your login process does not include single sign-on (SSO), this is even more necessary.
Review the user list once a month. Set a recurring calendar task for the end of each month as a reminder. Reviewing users frequently will keep this task manageable — especially if you have a large user base.
We recommend exporting or sorting your user list to see if there are any users who have been inactive for six months or more. Email the list of inactive users to let them know you’ll be removing their account in a week due to low usage. This gives them time to let you know if they still need their account. Also, take into consideration any automatic reply emails you receive. If a person is on a long-term leave, such as parental or medical leave, you’ll want to consider handling these situations differently.
Other triggers for updating the user list:
- An organizational change in your company (layoff, merger, restructure).
- Emails to users that result in undeliverable return messages.
- A change in agency, vendor, or partner relationships.
What tasks are associated with updating the user list?
- Delete anyone who has not logged in or accessed the system in over six months — this is especially important if you have limited user seats.
- Expire users with infrequent logins (ten or less) and find other ways to ensure they have access to the content they need. Or, if they haven’t logged in recently because they aren’t comfortable using the system, offer additional training.
- Require external users to list an internal reference on their profile to contact if there are any questions about a user.
How often should I archive assets?
It’s important to archive outdated assets that still have importance but will not be used often. Moving assets to the archive lowers the overall storage fees and cleans up search results.
Plan to archive assets quarterly or even monthly. A regularly scheduled cleanup will prevent the buildup of old assets, which will help users find what they need quickly. In addition, if you decide to conduct a site audit in the future, this maintenance will help you hit the ground running.A regularly scheduled cleanup will prevent buildup of old assets.
Other triggers for archiving assets:
- Users are downloading outdated assets, resulting in brand inconsistencies or rights management issues.
- Users are complaining about search results (too many assets, not relevant, too old).
- There has been a change to the organization’s branding, products, or structure — including an acquisition or merger.
What tasks are associated with archiving?
- Identify criteria for when an asset should be deleted and when an asset should be archived. Don’t use archiving as a way to avoid deleting! Remove assets with no value, archive assets of significance.
- Be sure assets are categorized and tagged correctly before archiving them so they will be easy to find again if needed.
- Plan for an in-depth content audit at the end of the year to determine if assets should be archived. It’s typically a slower period for most organizations and when users come back from the holidays they have a clean system for the new year.
- Adhere to your organization’s policy of asset age. For example, if the system is designed to house assets no older than three years, search all assets by date and move any older than three years.
Read more about the Archive Assets feature or reach out to your Widen representative to enable this feature.
The responsibilities of a DAM admin
With a living platform like a DAM system, an admin’s job is never truly done. But the opportunities for job satisfaction are endless. Your actions help ensure that workflows run smoothly, efforts are coordinated between teams, and company collateral is safely accessible.
We watch our amazing admins do phenomenal work all year long. And we’re fortunate that some of them are even willing to give us a look into their accomplishments — check out this one from Laura Mercier. And the admin at McCormick and Company shared her admin schedule with us if you're looking for additional inspiration.
Note: This article was originally published in February 2017 and has been updated to remain current.