List Categories | List All Articles | List Articles By Title
Intranet Portals - Search and Taxonomies
Knowledge Management for beginners
Knowledge Management (KM) can be defined simply as the process through which organizations generate value from their intellectual and knowledge-based assets. Knowledge assets are often grouped into two categories:
(1) Explicit Knowledge
(2) Tacit Knowledge
Most often, generating value from such assets involves sharing them among employees, departments and even with other companies in an effort to reach - or go beyond - best practice. For explicit knowledge, the focus can usefully be described as "connecting people to things", whilst for tacit knowledge, the focus is "connecting people to people".
Search technologies made simple
There are essentially two types of search technology: structured search and unstructured search:
1) Structured Search:
In Yahoo, the root is "Directory" and there are 14 main nodes, including Society & Culture, Social Science and Reference. If I were searching for best man's speech tips (which I was not so long ago), I could try (on Yahoo) clicking down the branch of the tree: Directory > Society and Culture > Weddings > Speeches and Toasts. Alternatively, I could try Directory > Social Science > Communications > Public Speaking.
There are obvious pros and cons to structured search. The main con is that I might head down several blind alleys on the tree before finding the most useful branch. The main pro is that - once I have found that branch - I am likely to find a whole collection of relevant material gathered together in one place.
For the librarian (maintaining the taxonomy), there is another key con. As our wedding example illustrates so well, there are often two or more places one could put any given information. Oh the agonies of choice!
2) Unstructured Search:
The main pro of an unstructured search are that I do not have to second-guess where the right branch is on the taxonomy tree, but rather leap in at the leaf I am looking for. The cons are rather less obvious and the main one is that some materials I might actually find very useful may not come up in the search. This can be due to my poor selection of search terms, deficiency in indexing / search algorithms or poor metadata in the content itself.
Should I implement search functionality and, if so, how?
Search invariably scores well on any prioritisation of intranet functionality and is generally "out-of-the-box" with your portal solution, so I would definitely recommend you include it in the scope of your project.
It may not surprise you to hear that the most effective search implementations allow the user to chose between structured and unstructured search options and to easily navigate between the two. For example, my unstructured Yahoo search on "best mans speeches" takes me straight to a relevant document, but also tells me where it sits in the directory. By clicking on the directory category, I can bring up all the other materials in that area (where I ultimately find the best resource for my need).
To implement the structured search part of your solution, you will need to develop a taxonomy structure for your organisation and the information resources your people need to do their jobs. This can be quite a challenge! For example, should an HR grievance policy be found under ABC Co > Human Resources > Employee Services Unit > Policy or under an ABC Co > My Employment > My Rights > Grievance branch?
My advice is to keep it simple and give it room to evolve and change. An ideal taxonomy should be flat and broad (having no more than three levels) and should suit the provider or creator of information rather than the user of it (as they are the people who will populate your library and you need it to be easy for them to do so).
To ensure the unstructured component of your solution is effective, you need to ensure firstly that people avoid jargon in the body of their documents (using instead keywords that users will recognise) and secondly that a high percentage of documents contain decent metadata. Metadata can be simply defined as "data about data". For example, the grievance document metadata might include author: Tessa Jones, job title: Employee Relations Officer, department: Employee Services, function: HR, subject: Employment, title: Grievance policy.
Can search help with tacit knowledge sharing?
Absolutely! Many organisations fail to recognise this. Connecting people to people (for that 10 minute telephone conversations that could save a week's work) is often much more valuable than storing documents.
You should create a well developed yellow pages database, where people have entered augmented their white pages details (job title, email address, telephone number) with information about their skills, experience and interests. Then - when someone searches for grievance - in addition to (a) the word document policy, the results also include (b) a link to Tessa Jones' Yellow Pages entry and (c) a link to the Employee Relations teamspace, where Tessa - and her line colleagues across ABC Co - collaborate on policy development and employee relations management.
Some final thoughts
The humble search function can be the most powerful agent for improved knowledge management your organisation has ever invested in. By extension, therefore, it can become the definitive "killer application" on your intranet portal. However, it is vital that the search capability can acccess all the information and people in your organisation and that result relevancy is high. This is not as easy as it sounds and requires proper planning and detailed work.
About the author:
David Viney (email@example.com) is the author of the Intranet Portal Guide; 31 pages of advice, tools and downloads covering the period before, during and after an Intranet Portal implementation.
The Census and the E-Commerce Wave
Understanding business and product sales can sometimes put me in a whirlwind. My job tends to get me involved with loads of different opportunities dealing with all sorts of product lines.
Retirement Signature Frames - The Perfect Retirement Gift!
When most people think of a retirement gift, they think of a watch. It's the tried and true gift that companies give employees to say thanks for all the years of hard work.
Distinguishing Features of E-Commerce
E-commerce offers customers the chance to eliminate many stages in the sales/distribution chain. The mark-ups that occur between manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers and consumers can add the cost of goods purchased by consumers.
Keep Your Customers Happy by Organizing Your Payment Options
Anyone using a slow, or an awkward payment processor had better wake up!There are some very slick ways to transfer money around the globe, in todays, lightning fast world, both your customers and your suppliers demand payment in the click of a mouse.The processing companies have been fiercely competing with each other for years now, every so often, they revamp and recalibrate.
Effective Management Of Your Customer Services
With a third party merchant account you will have a dedicated 24/7 support team to handle your credit card payment on your behalf as part of your package. You will also need to provide your own support for issues relating directly to your product.
Projecting Your Image
Whether you sell a product or merely sell time to your employer in your labor, your main product is you. You sell yourself with every move you make, every word you speak or write, every attitude you display.
Starting An E-Commerce Business
The development and expansion of the Internet has made business opportunities, once only available to the wealthy, available to nearly everyone. In the past, opening a business was a huge commitment in terms of finances and risk.
10 Tips To Build, Manage And Profit From An E-Commerce Website
Just because you've built your e-commerce website doesn't mean the customers will begin to come. You need to bring in the visitors, showcase your products, convince them to buy, and bring them back yet again to make any significant gains.
The Five Most Commonly Encountered, Off-putting E-commerce Errors
While getting less public handwringing than during holiday season, the "abandoned shopping cart problem" continues to wreak havoc on online sales. Recently I judged a raftload of sites for the Webby Awards (my second time) and for the Inc.
Expand Your Local Business Through the Internet
To obtain more local customers for your business, consider expanding your local business through the Internet. Here are some ways of doing so.
Writing Web Pages: Get To The Meat Faster
Much of my consulting work comprises writing 'Outside Opinion' reports on the sites of large companies and organizations. Sometimes I review just a few pages, sometimes fifty or more.
Web Users Crave Familiarity
The sad truth is, general Web users would love it if all our sites looked like Amazon.com.
7 Must Have Scripts to Look for When Shopping for E-commerce Hosting
When shopping for e-commerce hosting there are a lot of things you need to keep and mind. When you know what to look for it is a lot easier to ensure you get exactly what you need and not leave any important information out.
Home Sweet Home Page
"Your home page is the world's introduction to you and your company. Make it COUNT!" - Heidi RichardsThink of your home page as the cover of your brochure.
Free Competition Analysis for E-Commerce Startup
For anyone who has completed research regarding e-commerce, there are some common catch phrases that we all come across. 'Competition Analysis' is one of those catch phrases.
Guide To Safe Online Shopping
Online shopping can be a little frightening to people who are new to the internet,but as long as you follow a few easy rules you should have no problem shopping online.What are the rules ?First before buying from an online store find out what that online stores return policy is.
Drop-Shipping - A Great Way of Making Money Online
Using the Internet to sell products and services to ever increasing number of net users is a good way to start your own business. If you are not taking advantage of this great opportunity you are just missing the boat! Consider this: e-commerce, contrary to popular believe, is thriving and increasing at a double digit growth rate.
Does Your Shopping Cart Have a Squeaky Wheel?
Have you ever gone grocery shopping just before a holiday? The aisles are packed with people pushing carts, shelves need restocked, all the checkout lanes have long lines..
Alternative E-Commerce Solutions
Over the past several years, the Internet has emerged as a breakthrough technology that has and will continue to transform the way we live and communicate, and especially the way we do business.No matter if you are selling a product or a service, the Internet is a means of reaching markets that had otherwise been unreachable in the past.
How to Gain Your Visitors Trust
If you are serious about selling on the world wide web and being successful, your number one priority must be gaining your visitor's trust. Without trust you won't sale much and that's really being optimistic.
home | site map
All articles are copyright to their owners.
Note: this website lists articles, We do not Write Articles !