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Utilizing Business Intelligence for Organizational Knowledge Management

1 November 2014
Sagit Salmon
A robot hand touching a blue brain

I often wonder about the connection between BI and knowledge management. Admittedly, BI is primarily associated with data and its presentation in reports or graphically, but with more profound use, it can also assist in understanding the world of information - whether for marketing and performance improvement or organizational learning, improving work processes, and even improving service.

Are you using business data for knowledge management?

Here are some practical ideas:

Improving the Organizational Website

We have product sales data showing more or less popular products. A cross-analysis of the information on the website about these products can teach us about - the connection between the locations of product information on the website and their sales level, the connection between the ways of presenting the information and their sales level, the connection between the visual presentation of the information and successful sales. All of these can derive recommendations for how to design and implement the website and, as a result, also increase sales and profits.

Improving the Knowledge Base

A knowledge base is the repository of information available to service desk personnel when answering customer and user inquiries. Let's say there are many inquiries on a particular topic. This data can be cross-referenced with additional data: Are there repeat inquiries on this topic? In other words, are the same customers contacting the service desk again with the same question? Are the service providers using the information pages in the knowledge base? Here, too, it is worth examining how the knowledge is made accessible and how it is written, as well as improving the tool available to the service provider. This improvement can assist both in terms of employee professionalism and in terms of embedding the knowledge base. And while we're at it, this data can also indicate a need for change on the external website. If there are many inquiries, is the knowledge on the external website not accessible or transparent enough? It's even possible that the information doesn't exist and should be made available to the user.

Building and Improving Work Processes

Work processes can be linked to data received from BI systems. This can be reflected both in the initial construction of the process and periodically examining it, as well as in integrating BI into the process. Let's say the BI system presents leads. First, the process related to handling leads can be defined or examined (who receives the data, who handles the data, length of handling, method of handling, and how the process ends); second, it is recommended to periodically examine the process itself (whether it is being followed, where the difficulties lie) and adapt it; third, it is recommended to define where the BI system is integrated into the process.

Learning and Deriving Lessons

Lessons can be learned from data received from BI systems, both for decision-making and retroactively. For example, we could formulate a business proposal based on customer preference metrics. It is recommended to revisit those metrics after a while and understand whether the proposal we formulated proved itself and which metrics it was correct to rely on; this can also teach us about customer behavior and better tailor future offers.

In conclusion, if there is already a BI [infrastructure in the organization and we want to utilize it to the fullest, your role is crucial. It is recommended to treat it not only as a data provider but also as a tool for learning, professional improvement, and service improvement.

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