KM defined in three easy steps

KM defined in three easy steps


At the beginning we have data, a set of ones and zeros. This data exists without regimented procedures to give it structure. To collect this data, people need technology to transform data into information. Information still consists of ones and zeros, but the data is given a structure and is imbued with meaning by the processes set up by people. The people, through the use of technology, can then manipulate and filter the data even more, to see what makes the information what it is. Identifying the rules and patterns behind the information creates knowledge. The last, and most vital, step is for the people to use this knowledge to act.


The next phase is to define the technology which underpins the process in a corporate environment.

Collection is the first step, and this is where imaging and scanning come in, under the umbrella of data capture. The data is stored on near- or off-line storage, typically tape drives or COLD jukeboxes. As the data is being transferred into digital mode, and until it is consigned to archival storage, document management is the technology which supervises and controls that data.

To find, summarise and present knowledge, an organisation turns to data mining, business intelligence software, and executive information systems. A new entry into this tier is the "knowledge server" (see break-out on page 19).


Some of the aforementioned technologies may exist at a corporation, but they are only the bones which need to be fleshed out by consultants and systems integrators. This means not only inserting software at appropriate places to fill holes in the infrastructure, but also incorporation of KM processes into everyday business logics and practices, and training employees to make use of the information produced by the system.

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