10 Core DAM Characteristics

10 Core DAM Characteristics accreditation is an industry standard, developed in 2014 by IQ Equity alongside a group of DAM professionals and thought leaders.

It assesses the core functionality necessary to carry out Digital Asset Management.

To date 40 companies have been accredited, including industry leaders and smaller, less well known companies.

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Digital Asset Management (DAM) is more than just a storage solution; it is unique among other platforms in its ability to manage and utilise both content and metadata, manage individuals and teams and serve as the basis for workflow, collaboration and integration.

Unfortunately we have long seen the term Digital Asset Management used to describe systems which are not fully capable but rather deliver a limited subset of DAM functionality. This is a confusing state of affairs for those researching DAM or purchasing a DAM system. It can also have negative impacts on software vendors wrongly described as DAM.

10 Core DAM Characteristics accreditation was conceived to evaluate DAM systems on Core functionality. It is an evaluation process which looks at 10 key areas, covering 22 dimensions in total. Any software which passes the 10 Core can be deemed a fit for purpose DAM system. The 10 Core also measures proficiency in the 22 dimensions so two fit for purpose vendors will be more or less proficient at carrying out certain functions. IQ Equity only works with 10 Core Accredited vendors and uses the 10 Core scores as a base metric in the Codified DAM Consultant™ and our work as consultants, analysts and strategists. If you want us to assess core functionality in an unaccredited vendor, we can carry out 10 Core evaluation of vendors as a service, with a full report on our findings provided to you following the demo.


The Accreditation process consists of a one hour product demo where we ask the vendor to complete a number of activities to demonstrate core functionality.

A package of assets and associated metadata is provided to the vendors shortly beforehand in order that we are able to witness functionality such as ingestion in real time.

A failure in any of the 22 dimensions of the 10 Core means that we cannot accredit the system.

We provide a full breakdown of our scoring to the vendor after the demo to ensure that our scoring is accurate.

Products can be put through the accreditation multiple times, in fact we encourage that vendors take the time to improve the products functionality and be reassessed.

A driving force behind 10 core was to define and improve standards and practices across the industry.

A Digital Asset Management system must be able to do the following:

    Metadata and assets including images, documents and audiovisual files.

    Assets and metadata to ensure that they’re not misused or published prematurely.

    assets and metadata of different types.

    Assets from one format to another.

    Via the use of audited data.
    Versions, derivative and similar assets.

    In the management, creation, and review of assets with workflow tools.

  • FIND
    Through metadata, collections, workflows, and access control tools.

    Different file types on the DAM without downloading them.

    Internally and externally utilising integrations and/or proprietary tools to partner websites / companies.