Tags, tags, tags.  We hear a lot about tags these days with the pro­lif­er­a­tion of new tag man­age­ment plat­forms.  Here at Adobe we have a new tag man­age­ment plat­form, Adobe Tag­Man­ager, that we launched just last fall and cus­tomers are begin­ning to dip their toes into this new world.  Tags are a topic of con­ver­sa­tion with cus­tomers who are con­cerned about whether a page or site or site sec­tion is tagged or if the tag­ging is cor­rect or even if the tag­ging is work­ing.  Some feel that tag­ging should be like flip­ping a light switch.  To them, the work­flow looks some­thing like this:

At first glance it looks like tags are an after­thought, and some­times that is the case. How­ever, in the vast major­ity of cases, tags are rel­e­gated to the world of the tac­ti­cal.  Some­where between font size, back­ground hexa­dec­i­mal, and the mis-sized left nav­i­ga­tion, tags seem to come up.  This is not an after­thought as much as it is a mis­un­der­stand­ing of what tags rep­re­sent to the company.

Tags are like tires on your car.  You need to make sure they have air, get rotated and replaced when they are worn, but when you can’t get to an impor­tant meet­ing because you have a flat tire, tags become cru­cial to you.  When this hap­pens tires are about trans­porta­tion.  Tags are the same way.  Tags are tac­ti­cal, but a tag man­age­ment plat­form isn’t about tags it’s about data.  It’s about get­ting the data you need and hav­ing con­fi­dence that it’s accu­rate.  Tags are like tires when you are sit­ting in that meet­ing with senior man­agers who are incred­u­lous about the data you are show­ing them.  They can’t believe there is a drop in con­ver­sion last month, or that vis­its to the new site sec­tion are really that low.  It is dur­ing those times where you want to know that your strat­egy for man­ag­ing data col­lec­tion is bul­let proof, scal­able, and is giv­ing you accu­rate results.

The rea­son that tags don’t eas­ily fit into the dia­gram above is that data is fun­da­men­tal.  It is strate­gic.  Data man­age­ment belongs with ques­tions about the plat­form you are deploy­ing on or the server stack you are using.  How are you going to make data col­lec­tion some­thing that is exten­si­ble with tools and fea­tures that your site may have in the future?  How are you going to cre­ate a strat­egy that is agile with the needs of the busi­ness?  These are the ques­tions that tag man­age­ment can help answer.  These are data man­age­ment questions.