FBI creates knowledge wiki

The FBI is testing a new collaborative internal Web site, or wiki, called Bureaupedia that officials say will enable users to create an encyclopedia of lessons learned, best practices and subject-matter expertise.  
Officials see Bureaupedia as a knowledge management tool that will let agents and analysts share their experiences to ensure that their accumulated insight remains after they retire. The project is a collaborative effort between FBI’s chief knowledge officer and chief technology officer.

“An agent that retires after 30 years leaves with all of that — what we call a tacit knowledge — everything leaves with him,” said Zalmai Azmi, FBI’s chief information officer, who will be retiring in October. That includes “best practices, things that he did differently, things that he wishes he had done differently.”

The FBI’s new wiki uses the same open-source software as Wikipedia, and after the test period is complete, the agency will launch it on the FBI’s secure intranet, FBINet.

Azmi said Bureaupedia gives the FBI a platform for capturing knowledge and information that otherwise might not be available. The information will be useful for the next administration and available through Bureaupedia, he said. 

An FBI spokesman said Bureaupedia will also let users link to articles in Intellipedia, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s wiki for the intelligence community.

“The bureau has a lot of information,” Azmi said. “We have petabytes of data. Bringing all of that [onto] what we call an information grid so we can easily search is our goal for the future.”

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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