Archive for March 2012
Business Intelligence: Not Just for Bosses Anymore
Business intelligence (BI) refers to the use of technology to collect and effectively use information to improve business effectiveness. Different information systems may be successful at helping users accomplish specific tasks, but they’re typically not well suited at providing information to end users. With business intelligence, users will be able to turn this information into knowledge, and knowledge into profit.
BI enables an organization to track, understand, and manage its business in order to maximize enterprise performance. With BI, organizations are able to improve operational efficiency, build profitable customer relationships, and develop differentiated product offerings.
The widespread use of information technology can generate tremendous amounts of data within an organization. This data contains information that is invaluable to the organization’s decision makers.
The issue for most organizations is that the data is inaccessible to all but the IT department. While IT can run queries and produce reports at the request of business users, a self-service approach to information provides the greatest benefits. With direct, easy access to information, users can find answers to all the questions that are raised by their activities. Armed with precise, up-to-the-minute information, users can develop effective responses that help their organization attain its goals. BI is the key to leveraging this wealth of data that accumulates in an enterprise.
With BI, non-technical users can pinpoint what drives their business activity. BI can help reduce costs, increase revenues, and improve customer satisfaction. While many of these benefits are clearly quantifiable, some of the more intangible ones, such as improved communication throughout the enterprise, improved job satisfaction of empowered users, or sharing of intellectual capital, can give your business the greatest edge over its competitors.
Case: Knowledge Management at Katzenbach Partners
Katzenbach Partners LLC is a management consulting firm. The firm’s competitive advantage is its people, their knowledge and experience. The firm’s growth presented Katzenbach with both organizational and technical challenges to their knowledge management approach.
In order to tackle those challenges, Katzenbach came up with a knowledge management solution using Enterprise 2.0 technologies integrated into their, The HUB, intranet site. A hybrid approach of formal and informal document classification was used. The formal approach involved classifying documents in a predefined way. The informal approach involved using tags where anyone in the firm could tag a document in a way that was most useful to them. All tags were public to the firm so one document could be tagged by multiple users allowing for a much more complete picture of the document’s contents than if its tags were only generated by the author.
Community of Practice
Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly either in formal or informal way. In order to get a successful community of practice, there are factors needed to be concerned. Since Members of communities of practice are thought to be more efficient and effective conduits of information and experiences, Individuals in communities of practice play an essential role in sharing information. Communicating with others in a community of practice involves creating social presence – It is believed that social presence affects how likely an individual is of participating in a community of practice (especially in online environments). Motivation to share knowledge is critical to success in communities of practice. Also, motivation to share knowledge and collaboration are critical to success in communities of practice.