By David Iscove, Creative Operations Specialist at globaledit The ability to locate precise images exactly when you need them is critical for creative production. No wonder why \u2018Search\u2019 is the most accessed feature in globaledit\u2019s creative production platform. As with any asset management platform, metadata plays a crucial role in unlocking the ability to search with success. If a critical mass of information (descriptive, administrative, and technical) associated with the photo can be captured, displayed, and searched against, the more likely you\u2019ll find your needle in the haystack. \u2018Critical mass\u2019 is important here because we want to provide curators with a wide range of criteria against which they may uniquely search, while not overwhelming them (or the file for that matter) with too much data. This acknowledges that not everyone uses the same query types in their searches. An art director may be looking for pictures from a specific location, an eComm manager may want specific product shots, or a creative director may want photos from a specific project. All three searches may return the same results, while each person\u2019s query is unique. Having robust and complete metadata increases the value of a visual asset because it makes the image discoverable, and therefore quickly usable downstream, but it\u2019s important to note that metadata enrichment doesn\u2019t have to be a \u2018one-time\u2019 thing or at a given point in the production process. Image identification and metadata enrichment can be leveraged at each stage of the asset lifecycle. Tracking assets across platforms Technology platforms, like Workhorse, ShotFlowOne, and globaledit aggregate and optimize metadata at various stage of the production process that can be extremely valuable to creatives, retailers, marketers, merchandisers and eComm professionals. Project and Sample management platforms like Workhorse and ShotFlow One ingest product data from your PIM (Product Information Management System) and organize your pre-production and capture processes. And by integrating globaledit, you can ingest, append and embed that metadata into the image itself - providing searchability over images from the moment of capture, through your post-phase and on to final approval. In this way, your entire production process can be linked through trackable and automated metadata. Without this, countless hours and resources are often wasted manually organizing or re-applying that information retroactively. The demand for visual assets continues to increase and that increased demand has also shrunk production timelines, so creatives are running at max capacity. You don\u2019t have the luxury of time, so rapid search is more important than ever. And as we\u2019ve discussed, the effectiveness of search is directly connected to your quality of metadata. Now is the time to prioritize investments in technology. Identify the tools and platforms that will empower you to accelerate through efficiencies. Don\u2019t force a one size fits all approach, but rather, research the right tools to solve the right problems at each stage of your creative production process. And never underestimate the value of metadata whether upstream or downstream throughout the complete lifecycle of your visual assets.