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  • Christopher Hill

Unlock Your Content’s Secrets with Harmonizer

Harmonizer is software from DCL that analyzes large volumes of content and identifies exactly-matched and closely-matched content within and across publications or content collections. This capability makes Harmonizer a valuable tool when

  • moving to a component content management system to identify re-usable content throughout an organization

  • gauging a component-based content model’s effectiveness

  • consolidating similar content submitted to your organization from disparate sources

  • identifying discrepancies against your organization’s editorial style

  • budgeting for a content reorganization project

Harmonizer provides a guide to making improvements to your content regardless of how you create it.

While this primary mission is in itself very valuable, a Harmonizer report provides many other insights into your organization’s content. Harmonizer applies natural language processing techniques to all of your content to identify closely matching content. These close matches reveal issues in your content management process that are otherwise difficult or impossible to find. You can then consider how your tools or the content management process might be improved to address these issues.

Inconsistent Formatting

A surprising number of content variation is caused by formatting issues. Some common examples of formatting issues that are revealed in Harmonizer reports include

  • inconsistent use of commas

  • spaces used instead of tabs

  • issues with bulleted or numbered lists

Sometimes this tracks back to a particular tool or automated process that can be adjusted to provide consistency. In other cases this may be a sign that better authoring guidelines are needed. Harmonizer reveals difficult or impossible-to-find formatting issues with content.

Inconsistent Terminology

Inconsistent terminology is another issue that Harmonizer routinely finds across and within publications. This often occurs with product names, company names, and technical terminology. Harmonizer highlights content that may only differ in the use of the terminology. Harmonizer can help determine if additional terminology standards are needed. In extreme cases, it may be indicative of the need for a terminology management tool. Harmonizer helps surface and address terminology variations across publications.

Inconsistent Spelling and Grammar

Inconsistent use of grammar and spelling is also revealed from a Harmonizer report. Even though your content may pass successfully through a traditional spelling and grammar tool, inconsistencies in spelling and grammar may still be present. Similar passages varying by spelling or terminology may lead you to some straightforward improvements in your content creation. Harmonizer reports often uncover these difficult-to-find variations.

Copy-Paste Instead of Reuse

Despite decades of effort, copy and paste remains a primary tool in content creation. Even when using sophisticated component content management systems with a solid reuse-oriented content model, authors may still rely on copy and paste as the fastest means to create a new piece of content. This can be difficult to identify, as few within an organization keep all of the existing content in mind when reviewing content. Harmonizer provides a straightforward way to quickly identify when a passage is duplicated across publications. Its natural language analysis also finds passages that vary only by a few words or phrases. This analysis uncovers situations where tools may not be serving the needs of the authors. For example, I might discover that the same introductory text is used in dozens of product manuals, varying only by the product name used in the passage. Harmonizer finds these passages. You can then consider how to replace all of the duplicates with a single, consistent piece of content. Harmonizer may lead you to eliminate the product name from the passage. Alternatively, it may indicate the need to use a variable to insert the name at publication time.

A Map to Better Content

There are dozens of reasons why you might have exact or closely duplicated content within and between your publications. It can be difficult or nearly impossible to find them all manually. A Harmonizer report does all that work for you. Once in hand, you can more readily find and address the underlying reasons for these duplications. Contact us to see what Harmonizer can do for you.


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