This is the ninth article in the series ‘The Art and Science of Taxonomy Development for Market and Competitive Intelligence’. Click here to view other articles.

The core benefit of a taxonomy is that it lends a common language to all stakeholders, whether internal to your organisation or external customers. This is essential not only for the better alignment within the organisation, but also with the external marketplace and customers.

Internal alignment

A taxonomy will ensure that both internal-facing (operations, HR, etc.) and external-facing (marketing, sales, etc.) teams consistently make use of the same terms to describe and share the same information. This will bring operational efficiencies to your organisation with uniform, comprehensive, and discoverable corporate information. This is fundamental to making communication efficient, reducing errors and better alignment.

External customers

A taxonomy will enable you to deliver a delightful user experience by providing an information experience to your customers in a manner that is consistent across all touchpoints — whether interacting with your product or reading and interpreting your marketing communication or speaking with your sales representative or customer service team — your customers will not have to guess or assume the meaning of any terms.

Additionally, a properly designed and well-maintained organisation-wide taxonomy lends several other indirect benefits such as, 

 1. Data-governance: A taxonomy can enforce centralised data security by managing the access to information. You can establish rules and restrictions, based on the taxonomy for information access and its usage. This is fundamental for data governance and compliance with legal requirements.

2. Remote-working: Taxonomies can usher an information culture within your organisation to allow employees to adopt efficient working models, including the flexibility of working remotely. 

3. Information reusability: A taxonomy improves information discoverability and, thus, increases its value by allowing for reuse rather than a recreation of information every time we need it.

4. Information analysis: Insights can be extracted by analysing the structured information to draw insightful comparisons and correlations.

5. Enable AI-enabled digital transformation: Taxonomies are critical in providing a structure to the unstructured information, and this is a pre-requisite for any AI-enabled digital transformation initiative. The cleaner and more structured that your information is, the easier it is to leverage AI technology. You can also build advanced features such as semantic search and personalise information access to your users.

Conclusion and the Next Steps…