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Product Manager - Taxonomy & Ontology

Sainsbury’s Argos Digital Product Development team is on a mission!

To create the industry’s best customer and colleague - centric experiences by constantly exploring new and innovative combinations of ideas and technologies; by listening to each other, our customers and our partners; and by never compromising on the quality of the customer experience even if it means we fail before we succeed.

The Product Management team at Argos owns the digital vision, with the goal of constantly delivering value for customers. We define and deliver new initiatives, address new customer experience issues and find creative ways to apply ourselves to these challenges daily.

We’re currently seeking a skilled and motivated Taxonomist, who, like us, strive to be not just the best in the business but to change the business.

In this role, you’ll work closely with User Experience, Digital Operations, Commercial and marketing teams, Engineering and Analytics to define and deliver powerful customer and colleague experiences within an agile environment.

You’ll have significant exposure to senior and executive stakeholders across the business and the opportunity to shape critical aspects of Argos’ platform working cross functionally to deliver critical experiences, all whilst using the latest technology.

About you:

You will have experience working in an agile environment, including the definition, development, implementation and review of great new digital customer experiences

You will have experience explaining a taxonomy, ontologies and semantic tagging and their commercial and customer benefits to non-technical teams and executives, helping them understand your vision and engaging them in your roadmap
You’re capable of challenging, and being challenged, on a numerate basis to ensure decisions are well founded and tested
You have an eye for detail and uncompromising focus on the best possible standards and customer experience
You apply insight, data, research and well-honed judgment to ensure you’re focused on making the biggest difference to customers
You’ve worked with agile product management tools like Jira and Confluence, and with product information and taxonomy tools (e.g. Synaptica) and can support your team to define technical solutions - be it updating or creating new customer experiences, creating new colleague tools or new services
You have a willingness and humility to take a setback, dust yourself off and come back ready to learn in an ever-changing environment
You will have some experience in a relevant digital industry

About this specific role:

The specific role is for a Taxonomist. You’ll work alongside our Senior Taxonomist, playing a key role in the Sainsbury’s Argos Content Management, Shopping and Catalogue strategies. This role will have responsibility building a first-class vocabulary management framework to optimize asset discovery, content relationships (e.g., items to items, categories to categories, brands, services, etc.), meta-data for tagging, tagging services and more. The metadata framework being developed will form the foundation of innovation in content development, knowledge mapping, adaptive filtering, and outcomes-based analytics for multiple Sainsbury’s Argos business units.

This role requires a strong commitment to teamwork and communication, and must be approachable, passionate, and proactive, with skills/aptitude to take the unknown and turn it into the understood and actionable. The Senior Taxonomist will help plan overall strategy, roadmaps, and communication materials. This role requires a broad knowledge of Open Web Standards, database technology and metadata best practices. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected, along with a passion for learning and measurably improving customer outcomes.


Engage BU stakeholders as key partner, internal consultant, and metadata expert to develop metadata requirements and governance/testing processes to ensure metadata quality and integrity
Develop and manage taxonomies, ontologies and metadata specifications including nodal relationships to drive content discovery, retrieval, and analysis through semantic modelling and semantic relations.
Define best practices/workflows for creating, vetting, publishing and mapping metadata to content
Coordinate cross-functional projects with a broad range of product owners, subject matter experts, system architects/engineers, etc.
Conduct ongoing analysis of data models, taxonomies, business processes and technology. Monitor relevant open standards and engage in both internal and external standards development where appropriate
Evangelize the role of Taxonomy and Ontology across Sainsbury’s Argos
Own business requirements related to vocabulary management tools, metrics and processes

Education & Experience

Degree in Library or Information Science (Masters level preferred) or equivalent professional experience
Experience leading metadata/taxonomy/vocabulary management initiatives
Experience developing, managing, integrating and mapping taxonomies/ontologies and metadata schemas for organizing/enriching content assets.
Working knowledge of semantic data modelling and design standards, tools, technologies such as relational databases, RDF/triple stores, XML, etc.
Experience implementing/complying with industry metadata standards

Skills & Abilities

Strong organisational skills and experience leading complex programs of work or new process initiatives related to metadata solutions
Ability to collaborate and effectively communicate with both technical and non-technical stakeholders
Strong analytical skills to capture user needs/epics and transform them into business solutions
Fluency in Vocabulary Management tools/systems, e.g., Synaptica, a plus
Experience with Content and Digital Asset Management: Magnolia, Amplience, and their underlying principles, uses, and associated technologies a plus
Experience in omni-channel e-commerce environments
Strong networking skills
Ability to research current trends and technology and apply information to ongoing or proposed initiatives
Ability to assess technology impact on process efficiency and implement on internal workflows
Passion for driving innovation and change management
Great team player

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