Metadata for Confluence by Communardo

If you’ve ever explored an uncharted star system, you know what it can be like navigating an internal network full of information silos. Everywhere you look, there can be all kinds of great information, on every topic under the sun. But finding the specific content you need can feel a lot like searching for a needle in a haystack …on the Darkside of a dwarf moon... during an eclipse.

You get the point. Finding information in Confluence especially at large enterprises – can be difficult. “Wait,” you ask, “but what about metadata?”

Well, metadata is great, if everyone uses it the same way. The problem is that with free-text metadata fields employees end up using different terms and spellings, which means your metadata ends up “all over the place.” And so do your employees.

This is the problem that the German Aerospace Center(DLR) encountered. For years, DLR had relied on email and other traditional document management systems.

Under the leadership of André Pliewischkies, Knowledge Manager at DLR, the company introduced Confluence to reduce information silos and bring more transparency to the internal network using Confluence as a signpost to relevant information that can be enriched with additional remarks and expert advice.

With Confluence as its collaboration platform, DLR can take knowledge sha[1]ring out of closed channels like email and personal networks – and instead bring it out into the open, where everyone is able to contribute.

Confluence facilitates social collaboration. Employees are encouraged to document their knowledge in the wiki and invite others to add to and edit it. Making transparent who works on which topics fosters dialogues and makes knowledge accessible. Since Confluence provides clear visibility into page contributors, both experts and expertise can be identified much more easily.

However, finding this information was difficult with unstructured metadata, especially for new employees who were not familiar with terms and processes commonly used. Any metadata within standard Confluence such as page properties cannot be used for filtering by a certain value – except labels, which are unfortunately unstructured. DLR needed a solution to bring consistency to metadata, structure to its wiki and greater efficiency to knowledge management. Thus, DLR installed the Metadata for Confluence Cloud app to achieve these objectives. The app simplifies wiki management by allowing space administrators to define which metadata must be filled in at page creation. Predefined metadata fields, Content Categories and connected to those templates avoid all the problems with error-prone, manual entries – helping you keep your wiki clean and organized. All these predefinable metadata fields will help you to create a powerful context-oriented filter which allows embedding relevant content from multiple pages within your content. You can also use the Metadata for Confluence Cloud for the various use cases like creating Quality Management process documentation or IT documentation etc.…

Plus, Metadata for Confluence includes macros that let you quickly generate overviews of wiki content, build knowledge bases, create personalized dashboards and more. This gives you deeper insight into the data that lies at the heart of your instance. It also makes it much easier for new colleagues to navigate the wiki, or for anyone working in Confluence to find the information they’re looking for. With „Display Metadata” macro, you can choose to display all the metadata you’ve assigned to the page or select and display only the metadata you need. The “Metadata Report” macro displays a table of pages belonging to a selected Content Category. The filters will help you to display the pages based on the specific metadata fields values.

“It offers an incredibly high potential for processing and sorting information,” commented André Pliewischkies. “What I like about it is the bandwidth of content lists that I can create with the actual Metadata Overview macro, because it also includes existing page metadata like excerpts of the pages.“