Data centralization: a short reminder
The availability and accuracy of information facilitates the achievement of goals and cooperation between client and creative teams. That’s why centralizing data has become essential for optimal efficiency.
This means that all data (in the wider sense of the term: data, media, messages) must be gathered on a central server and made available to everyone, at any time and anywhere in the world.
This centralization of data conditions all structuring decisions and the success of a video project.
Here is the fundamental approach of a project management, which allows to make the centralization of data complete, efficient and profitable for all: the 5 ALWAYS
Always know where to act
One of the major issues for client teams is knowing where and how to act. By nature, a client is not an audiovisual professional and does not always know the exact production stages or workflow of a video project. This is especially true at the beginning, when defining the methods and the associated schedule. But it is crucial to take it into account throughout the production process and in a dynamic way.
The client’s team does not know the mechanics of a video production, however, it has an important part in the success of the film: it knows better than anyone the objectives of the project, owns and controls the content, and sets the tone and identity of the video.
This is why it is essential to facilitate each of her interventions, throughout the production. These interventions are multiple, but they can be classified into 3 types:
- The stages of sharing content and information
- Feedback stages
- Validation stages.
These are structuring and key steps. Their clearness avoids a large number of endless exchanges, forgetting, reminders and tension. And more than that, a clear vision of the process brings confidence and willingness!
So how does data centralization help you know where to act?
When we think of data centralization, we often think of data and files. Basically, we think of centralization as a synchronized Drive from which we can pick and choose. Centralization is much more than that, because you can also centralize processes and methods.
In the case of a video project, it is about sharing a global vision of the production through an online schedule. The schedule then becomes the control center for the entire production. It provides the client team with all the key information for the full time project.
Here are some examples of concrete situations. The schedule can be used to indicate when it will be necessary to :
- Share the graphic charter elements at the beginning of production
- Review a selection of shooting locations
- Make corrections to V1
- Validate before moving on to the next step
The centralization of each step of the schedule allows you to guide the clients, but also all the participants, so that they always know where and how to act. You avoid the repeated questions from lost collaborators, the production is proactive and smooth.
Always keep track
We’ll be quicker on this one, it’s simple: historization softens relationships.
Of course, everyone (or almost everyone) starts a video project in a positive and willing state of mind. However, all professionals also know, and have sometimes experienced, that smooth project management is always dependent on mutual understanding and excellent communication. We are human beings and we receive information through the prism of our differences. Sometimes this generates conflicting interpretations.
It is therefore essential that communication be both precise in content and time.
- To be precise in content, it must be written, because we are never more precise than when we know that our marks commit us.
- To be precise in time, it must be dated and part of a history.
So how does centralization help to keep track?
All centralization solutions and collaborative platforms use time-stamped systems that record the dynamics of exchanges and collaboration. This makes it easy to find out who said what and when.
The centralization of data increases the benefits of this shared communication in the eyes of all. It not only avoids certain abuses but also allows for discussion, if necessary, on the indisputable basis of a neutral arbitrator: the platform.
Always find the information
It is on this topic that centralization is most often valued.
Easy to understand!
If data is saved and secured in an accessible and known place, then finding the information you are looking for when you need it becomes quick and painless. And this pain speaks to everyone. Who hasn’t felt like screaming after endless searches without results, in emails or sms, cursing the world for being so unorganized…
In a video project management system, data centralization allows to gather and visually organize different types of information:
- Client requests and briefings
- Production contacts
- The material required to create the film (pictures, images, logos, graphic elements, video…)
- Standard production documents (script, storyboard…)
- Client information contained in messages (choices, changes, directions to be followed)
- Client feedback on media (graphics, music, voice over, editing…)
- Media shared or delivered
The centralization of data brings, on this point, a unique comfort throughout the production process.
Always stay in the loop
A daily challenge in video project management is to ensure that all participants have received the information in a timely manner. At the same time, it is important to know when the participants have executed the action that was expected of them. First of all, it is reassuring, but it also saves time because, being centralized, the data is updated in real time. The information is immediately available when it is needed, without delay and in a systematic way. No more forgetting or delaying to send information.
So how does centralizing data help you stay in the loop?
In addition to the fact that with a simple connection, any participant in the project can actively go and get the information, most digital centralization solutions work with an automated email notification system. These notifications concern :
- Uploads and downloads of files
- Messages and discussions
- Annotations and comments on media (video, image, audio, text…)
The centralization also concerns the alerts and the automatic information systems. This is quite relaxing and allows the creative team to focus their attention on their core business and high value added tasks.
Always find media files
This side of centralization concerns deliverables more directly. Everyone involved in a project knows the unpleasant feeling of having to resend media that has already been uploaded, lost or inaccessible behind an outdated link.
Media centralization allows you to provide a link to an identified space that is always accessible until the end of the project. This concerns all the media delivered by a video project:
- Scripts, moodboards, storyboards…
- Graphic proposals
- Different versions of the edits
- Video animations
- Voice over recordings
The 5 ALWAYS allow us to realize how much data centralization simplifies, speeds up and improves video production flows.
But to be complete and effective, data centralization must be cross-functional, dynamic and forward-looking.
To do this, it must be integrated from the start of the video project, considering the need for communication between the creative teams and the client teams for each stage of the production.