Tags vs metadata

I’m redesigning a pre-DT3 investment database that is now part of DT3Pro. I have a top level group, “tickers”, that contains subgroups representing a collection of tickers (e.g. IBM, Intel, etc.). Each ticker subgroup contains files of profiles, reviews, ratings, etc. I also have other top level groups that contain PDF files, graphics, and other info related to industries, general analyses, etc. that discuss collections of companies or overviews of general market conditions, etc.

For each ticker group and for other files related to one or more tickers, I’ve used tags e.g. “t-ibm” and “s-tech” (ticker and sector) to identify the companies and categories associated with each company.

The examples above are just a small part of the tag system I’ve used.

What advantage would I have by defining, for example, two metadata “ticker” and “sector” and assigning proper symbols (e.g. “ibm” as the ticker and “tech” for the sector) instead of using tags. For searches, smart groups, scripts - is there an advantage of using metadata over tags?

I would say there’s an advantage in…

  • Sortability in the item list: Tags are listed alphabetically as a group. So sorting is really only tagged or not tagged, i.e., you can sort based on a specific tag.

  • Data types: Custom metadata has a data type. Tags are merely strings, nothing more. A custom metadata with a decimal number data type can be sorted on. This would be useful in AppleScripts too, though it is easy enough to coerce values as needed. Custom metadata can also be searched for with mathematical operators. For example…

(Though @cgrunenberg would have to comment on whether that edit field in the predicate editor (Advanced section) can be made wider.)

Just a few quick thoughts. :slight_smile:

Thanks. I do have plans for a “price” and other number type metadata. You’ve given me two very good advantages!

You’re welcome :slight_smile:

You could also do a Set, like…

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