About This Webinar

Aired Live on: September 26, 2019 @ 11:30 am EDT


As information governance, semantics and knowledge graphs become increasingly mainstream topics, terms like ontologies and taxonomies are also becoming more mainstream. With this, we often hear questions such as: What are ontologies, How do they differ from taxonomies? How do you use them together? What value does each provide? What role do they play in a knowledge graph architecture?



Understanding the distinctions between ontologies and taxonomies is important in making decisions about metadata management which, ultimately, affects everyone who deals with enterprise data.

Ontologies describe classes of things such as materials, products, organizations or people by explicitly defining the kind of properties they may have. For example:

  • Both, people and organizations may have addresses while materials would not.
  • Materials could have ingredients and qualities such as density.
  • People have genders and organizations do not.
  • Organization may have subdivisions and senior executives who are people.
  • A senior executive of an organization would have some authority and responsibility over its subdivisions.

These properties describe objects in the world, what data we may or must collect about them and what the data should look like.

Taxonomies, on the other hand, organize data values using hierarchical relationships. For example, website topics may be organized hierarchically to support search and navigation. Specific materials could be organized into hierarchies using different organizational principles ranging from the ingredients that make up the materials to physical or mechanical properties of the materials, where the materials are found or how they are used.

Who Should Attend:

  • Anyone who wants to know what taxonomies and ontologies are,  what they each are good for, and how they differ
  • Anyone considering a controlled vocabulary or a model management solution
  • Anyone considering a knowledge graph approach to information management

Illustration of Working with a Geography Taxonomy





Example of a Geography Ontology



In this webinar we will:

  • Demonstrate ontologies and taxonomies
  • Describe their value propositions
  • Show how they work together to deliver value
  • Identify best practices for their development and use

About the Presenters:

Irene Polikoff

Irene Polikoff has more than two decades of experience in software development, management, consulting and strategic planning. Since co-founding TopQuadrant in 2001 Irene has been involved in more than a dozen projects in government and commercial sectors. She has written strategy papers, trained customers on the use of the Semantic Web standards, developed ontology models, designed solution architectures and defined deployment processes and guidance.

Jesse Lambert

Jesse Lambert is a Semantic Solutions Architect at TopQuadrant and has over a decade of experience in applying Semantic Web technologies. He is currently supporting a large, public financial institution with their integration of TopBraid EDG into a semantic search pipeline that enables business users and eliminates data stovepipes.