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Enterprise Search White Paper: Increase Your Competitiveness - Make a Knowledge Management System out of Your Intranet Portal
 

Enterprise Search White Paper: Increase Your Competitiveness - Make a Knowledge Management System out of Your Intranet Portal

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With data volumes growing by 200 percent a year, knowledge workers are spending around 30 percent of their time trying to extract useful information. Furthermore a recent U.S. study asserted that ...

With data volumes growing by 200 percent a year, knowledge workers are spending around 30 percent of their time trying to extract useful information. Furthermore a recent U.S. study asserted that knowledge workers spend more than twice as much time re-creating already created content as they spend creating new content. In addition to this time spent on maintaining structures for storing incoming unstructured information (e.g. mail, documents etc) is increasing rapidly.

Enabling search solutions makes information easy to find, however the key is to transform this information into knowledge. This is normally not done by simple intranet search functionality, however the intranet portal can act as a portal to a knowledge management system based on advanced search functionality withadded collaborative functions. This transforms your organization into a “knowledge finding organization”, creating an even more competitive organization.

Knowledge Management systems based on an Enterprise Search Platform (ESP) can, if implemented properly, significantly improve the efficiency of an organization. IDC Research suggests in their latest report (April 2006) “Hidden cost of information Work” that the cost for wasted time on the part of professional searching, but not finding relevant information, amounts to $5.3 million annually for an enterprise with 1000 knowledge workers.

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    Enterprise Search White Paper: Increase Your Competitiveness - Make a Knowledge Management System out of Your Intranet Portal Enterprise Search White Paper: Increase Your Competitiveness - Make a Knowledge Management System out of Your Intranet Portal Document Transcript

    • Increase your competitive advantage Create a KM system from your Intranet portal Findwise Göteborg 2009-02-25 Helge Legernes helge.legernes@findwise.sewww.findwise .se | info@findwise.se | +46 31 288 400 | Drottningg. 5 | 411 14 Göteborg
    • AbstractWith data volumes growing by 200 percent a year, knowledge workers are spending around 30 percent of theirtime trying to extract useful information. Furthermore a recent U.S. study asserted that knowledge workersspend more than twice as much time re-creating already created content as they spend creating new content.In addition to this time spent on maintaining structures for storing incoming unstructured information (e.g.mail, documents etc) is increasing rapidly.Enabling search solutions makes information easy to find, however the key is to transform this information intoknowledge. This is normally not done by simple intranet search functionality, however the intranet portal canact as a portal to a knowledge management system based on advanced search functionality withaddedcollaborative functions. This transforms your organization into a “knowledge finding organization”, creating aneven more competitive organization.Knowledge Management systems based on an Enterprise Search Platform (ESP) can, if implemented properly,significantly improve the efficiency of an organization. IDC Research suggests in their latest report (April 2006)“Hidden cost of information Work” that the cost for wasted time on the part of professional searching, but notfinding relevant information, amounts to $5.3 million annually for an enterprise with 1000 knowledge workers.© 2009 Findwise AB 1
    • Table of ContentsTraditional search ..........................................................................................................3Search behaviour...........................................................................................................3Enterprise search technology .........................................................................................3Requirements for a KM solution .....................................................................................4Knowledge discovery through Enterprise Search..............................................................4Turn your intranet portal into a KM system .....................................................................6Horizontal communication & corporate boundaries .........................................................8Finding people with knowledge ......................................................................................8Information as a corporate asset ....................................................................................9© 2009 Findwise AB 2
    • TraditionalsearchThe handling of corporate knowledge through effective knowledge management will become one the mostcritical competitive advantages in the future. The more people work as “knowledge workers”, the more time isspent on searching for the right information. The common factor to all information in a typical enterprise isunstructured content which is hard to find with traditional techniques. U.S. and European analysts agree thatabout 80 percent of information within an enterprise is unstructured.Traditional search functionality is included in many IT-solutions, as a tool for finding stored data. Normally thefunctionality gives access to data stored in the current application e.g. search functionality in a mail client or ina CRM application. However these search tools normally are isolated functions and do not contribute tosharing knowledge across the organization.SearchbehaviourLooking at people’s behaviour when using search, they seldom find the right information. According to usersurveys 50% of online search is not successful and 22% of all searches have no result. People also find it difficultto use search engines; 44% of users are not sure what to type into a search engine and 39% of users misspellqueries, which potentially provides poor result set.Enterprise search technologyToday’s enterprise search technologies provide a common extraction and access layer for both structured andunstructured information. The technology focuses on performance and scalability for rapid and efficientretrieval of all informationin a common way. Structured information is content residing in mainframes,databases, enterprise applications and other forms of storage with a static data model. Unstructuredinformation is all kind of documents (Word, Excel, PDF, etc) stored on fileservers, Web content, rich media,mail etc. Figure 1 – Enterprise Search Platform (ESP)© 2009 Findwise AB 3
    • Requirementsfor a KMsolutionToday’s Knowledge Management (KM) system must serve all groups of people in an organization, with fast andcorrect information about how to act towards customers, create values and improve performance. The basicfeatures are a search portal on the intranet with navigators, collaboration possibilities and clusteringtechniques to create dynamic structures for grouping information “on-the-fly.But a good KM solution must also understand the content deeply, organize it automatically and deliver itintuitively to all users, whenever needed. To have the possibility to provide this, the solution need to access allinformation across the traditional data sources, locations, user devices, languages and geographies.Furthermore the demand of finding and processing the most recent information in the never-endinginformation flow for each organization must be handled.An organization that plans to build a KM system based upon a searchplatform must use a platform whichmeets the demand of high customisation possibilities e.g. support for relevancy tuning, high tunability incontent processing, support for profiles (handles organizational platforms differences). Otherwise one mightfall into challenging implementation issues after the initial phase.Knowledge discoverythrough Enterprise SearchBy using experts that have experience in strengthening the knowledge-sharing within organizations by meansof enterprise search technology combined with a customized intranet portal, a company will be well preparedto meet the ever growing demand for efficient working. Using search as a foundation for retrieving and makingthe company’s KNOWLEDGE visible by finding information and knowledge from earlier experiences andprevious projects is a low cost strategy for managing the corporate knowledge.Since search technology is able to form a layer above all content within an organization, building knowledgesystems upon this serves as the ultimate base, i.e. the content from all information silos is gathered together inone common index. This enables the organization to refine and utilize the corporate wisdom from one singleaccess point.This will give people easy access to knowledge they know about, but not where to find. But it will also open apath to information and knowledge they didn’t know existed. This is normally the majority of information andgives all employees the opportunity to increase their knowledge with information from new areas and combinethis with already known knowledge. Figure 2 - Three types of information© 2009 Findwise AB 4
    • In the everyday increasing information cannonade; the ability to find the right information at the right time willbe a future success factor. This will create dynamic knowledge “on demand”, suitable for the moment. Figure 3 – Knowledge on demandIf it is easy to find and retrieve the “right” information when needed, then “dynamic knowledge” can be buildup for each separate task or mission. The ability to dynamically find, extract, structure and understandinformation is a measure of “dynamic knowledge”.The resultant quality of the system is not only dependent on the features of the enterprise search engine, butalso on the content. The basis for building functionality is highly dependenton the quality of content. Thereforea process for relevance tuning is required. Figure 4 – Relevancy tuning process© 2009 Findwise AB 5
    • It is vital for the organization to work with the content internally by taking advantage of content owners’knowledge and making sure that important content aspects aren’t overlooked. This process is necessary, sincesearch brings out content issues into the real light when bringing together earlier separated sources of content.Turn your intranet portal into a KM systemBy turning the intranet into a portal to corporate knowledge through advanced search functionality, youchange people’s view of the intranet, from a mixture of information of unknown quality, to a reliable source ofmission-critical content and expertise. Knowledge workers need simple and effective access to corporateinformation across silos and organizational boundaries, bridging the structured and unstructured world of data.The ability to meaningfully aggregate any information from anywhere and deliver it anywhere will supporteffective collaboration around the organization. This will ensure information, knowledge and expertise sharingacross the organization, transforming individual knowledge (human capital) to a common corporate assetavailable for all employees. This is a way to improve the corporate knowledge structure and the social capitalas a corporate asset for the organization. Figure 5 – Transform human capital into corporate assetsThe fundamental components found in an enterprise search engine are typically: security, tailored relevancymodels, semantic indexing, contextual mining of data and advanced processing tools. These are all put to goodto use in a knowledge management system. One should also be able to provide search across all types ofcontent, from standard documents to multi-media files such as images and video.© 2009 Findwise AB 6
    • Figure 6 – Knowledge Management system complexityThe following functionality can be implemented in a KM system based on an enterprise search platform: Organizational platform specific personalization of search (role-based) Management point to information through search (promote certain content) Connect between search result and human knowledge Collaboration functionality through social networks Reuse knowledge from existing/previous projectsIf the content of a KM portal is irrelevant, the users leave it. This makes it necessary to provide differentcategories of people with different information, i.e. role-based search.To have a personalized home page for each user based on their topics of interest. Selected information ispresented based on the users’ past behaviour.Another part of a KM system is to facilitate collaboration among people, through assisting the users in sharingtheir knowledge with a wider audience. This gives the organization a way to take full advantage of all theexpertise within the company. The search solution is used as a gateway for both experts and knowledgeseekers to meet.© 2009 Findwise AB 7
    • Horizontal communication & corporate boundariesLarge organizations are divided into different organizational units and use different processes to simplifyadministration, allowing true focus on the core-business and to achieve specific goals. The work-tasksperformed by people in these organizational units are tailor-made to best support the organizational commongoal: earning money for the company’s stockholders. The people in these units need information andknowledge in order to perform their work-tasks efficiently.The awareness of information and knowledge resources is not shared in a corporate context, but resides in theminds of the different individuals. These individuals, through their work-tasks, interact mainly with otherpeople in their own organizational unit or process – these people are their main resource for getting awarenessof other information and knowledge resources (corporate intranets etc excluded).Today, enterprise search engines are providing these individuals access to both structured and unstructuredinformation and are becoming the main resource or gatekeeper to the information – but these engines do notbring people together, therefore the tacit knowledge isneither captured nor shared across the organizationalboundaries, i.e.: interaction across process or unit belonging is not supported.To fully utilize an enterprise search engine one could capture the search patterns of individuals, finding outwhat they are looking for, what they have looked at. These patterns can deduce an insight of what thesepeople are working with. People who are working with similar things are also in the need of similar informationand knowledge – but most of all, they all have different tacit knowledge and their own expertise. So, byconnecting these individuals we could support tacit knowledge transfer across organizational boundaries.By applying unsupervised clustering techniques to mine query-logs and click-stream data we can identifygroups of people with similar information needs across organizational boundaries and connect these peopleutilizing Instant Messaging technique. We can also provide KM and HR people with deep insight on what theentire organization is about!Finding people with knowledgeExpert capture and location could be implemented in an enterprise search solution, and the experts could beconnected to the content when searching. There are a number of ways to determine who is an expert on what.The easiest way is to let people promote themselves as experts in a given domain, or to keep this informationin a separate system. Often there is some problem keeping the information updated.Another way is to let the search platform collect information about the creator of the content. This methodneeds to take into account the weighting and confidence of different information sources, and drawassociations between people mentioned within content and the possible expertise context itself.When a user interacts with the search system in a corporate environment they implicitly convey their areas ofinterest and their expertise. The search user interface could track searches, viewed results and stored searchesto define and measure the expertise level.© 2009 Findwise AB 8
    • Information as a corporate assetModern enterprise organizations need to increase the value of the information, turning the information intothe most valuable corporate asset. The value, of course, depends on the actual “status” of the informationasset. The “status” could be measured upon if the information is easy to find, available, relevant in the actualcontent and easy accessible for people when needed.If the information fulfills this requirements it will turn into corporate knowledge and the enterprise will notonly be more efficient, but also improves relationships with customer, partners and suppliers. The informationturns into a corporate asset, the most valuable assets in the future information based economy. Figure 7 – Corporate assets© 2009 Findwise AB 9