Case Study

Challenge

Originally formed as a research institution to do basic cancer research, The Jackson Laboratory has grown to be a leader in research, education and support for scientists and the public.  As the Lab has grown, its content has grown exponentially.  The amount and types of information the Lab uses and supplies to others has expanded from reports to access to dozens of scientific databases and millions of digital assets (images) plus links into a broad range of information and educational events.

Jackson understood the critical need for a taxonomy as integral to their strategic plan for enterprise content management.  Because of their growth and research expertise, they had lots of information all over the place and described in different ways.

As a non-profit organization, The Jackson Laboratory website was also important as a portal to government and state agencies and donors to learn about the lab and offer support.

Solution

The Earley Information Science team brought people from various parts of the organization together for a taxonomy strategy workshop.  During the workshop it became clear that there were people that who didn’t know what other people were doing.  By the end, everyone had a clear understanding of taxonomy was crucial to their information sharing goals.

The workshop was followed by in-depth interviews to understand individuals’ specific needs and how their information was stored.  The EIS used a variety of tools to analyze Jackson’s various data stores, content and needs.  The EIS team delivered a road map and structure for moving forward which was presented to the executive team and approved.

Impact

With a 5 year plan for enterprise taxonomy Jackson would be able to realize substantial benefits standardization, time and cost through efficiency internally and on their website.  On the website visitors would more easily find what they need whether it is information, mice or research.