Adding intelligence to knowledge

Consolidation, collaboration and re-use of information are the key objectives in knowledge management operations, and business intelligence tools can help government organizations achieve those objectives, according to Cognos Inc.

Knowledge management involves circulating information among those who need it. Gabrielle Boko, senior director of global market operations at Cognos, a business intelligence software provider, cited Web portals as having improved collaboration among employees, constituents and business partners as well as succeeding in creating a knowledge culture.

Business intelligence can further help by serving as an operating platform as well as a measurement tool for a knowledge management program's success, Boko said Wednesday at the E-Gov Knowledge Management Conference in Washington, D.C.

The three main challenges that government and private-sector organizations face when implementing knowledge management systems are:

Establishing a knowledge infrastructure, such as intranets or Web portals. Creating a knowledge-driven culture. Measuring knowledge management's impact. Most organizations fail to do the measurement aspect, but creating the proper culture for collaboration and information-sharing is definitely the most difficult obstacle to overcome, Boko said. "Creating a knowledge culture...needs to be encouraged, not mandated."

Business intelligence tools can help alleviate the lack of measurement by tracking usage, such as Web hits and postings; operations, including savings and revenue; and innovations, through partnerships or new technologies developed as a result of the information sharing.

"Tangible measurement is always good," whether it shows success or failure, Boko said.

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