Around 2.5 quintillion(18 zeroes) bytes of data is created every day. According to IDC, organizations globally are expected to generate over 73,000 exabytes of unstructured data  annually and over 70% of the data is unused. 

And all the untapped data, has huge potential. The customer data can reveal new insights about the customers to upsell or cross sell, the marketing documents prepared by a hard-working competitive researcher can contain insights for sales people to tackle a tough question but most of the time (70% of times), it’s lost in layers, folders and sub folders. 

Knowledge management can come to rescue. 

What is knowledge management?

Knowledge management is any process that involves efficient storing and retrieval of information in an organization. It involves planning, organization, operations and more, to ensure that any knowledge is available to any information seeker at a moment’s notice. 

Knowledge management is ‘any process or practice of creating, acquiring, capturing, sharing

and using knowledge, wherever it resides, to enhance learning and performance in organizations’ (Scarborough et al, 1999). Another research paper defined acknowledgement management as ‘the attempt by management to actively create, communicate and exploit knowledge as a resource for the organization’. 

In the case of an organization, a successful knowledge management is placing information into a companywide accessible knowledge base or wiki, which reduces the burden on employees to search for information. Some organizations choose to use conversational AI assistants like Alltius for knowledge management which can convert knowledge base into an interactive chat application for users.  

Types of knowledge for knowledge management 

There are 7 different types of knowledge that can be managed. Here’s a list and a concise explanation:

Read more about the different types of knowledge here. 

Evolution of Knowledge management 

Knowledge management (KM) has undergone significant transformation since the start. Initially, KM or knowledge management was focused on the explicit capture and storage of knowledge. The early best practices for knowledge management relied on centralizing and codifying the entire database for easy search. 

With advancements in information technology, the potential for knowledge sharing and collaboration expanded beyond geographical and organizational boundaries. This period saw the emergence of knowledge networks and communities of practice, emphasizing the social and tacit aspects of knowledge that are more difficult to capture and store.

The recent wave of artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics, and cloud computing, has introduced novel ways of generating, accessing, and leveraging knowledge. This includes converting the entire knowledge base into a chatbot for easy information retrieval. 

Knowledge Management process 

Knowledge management process has three major steps mainly:

  • Knowledge Creation:  By actively gathering information about competitors' products, emerging technologies, and industry trends, businesses can identify valuable insights that fuel innovation. Research conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute suggests that knowledge-intensive firms outperform their peers by 3-5% in productivity and enjoy higher profit margins. However, the quality of data is paramount. As the adage goes, "garbage in, garbage out." Implementing robust data-gathering strategies and employing rigorous fact-checking procedures are essential for ensuring the accuracy and reliability of acquired knowledge, ultimately leading to sound business decisions. 
  • Knowledge Storage: Knowledge, valuable as it may be, can easily drown in a sea of unorganized information. Businesses often grapple with vast amounts of unstructured data, both new and existing, rendering it difficult to access. Implementing a centralized knowledge repository, such as a well-structured database or a secure knowledge management platform, is crucial for effective storage. This ensures easy retrieval of critical information when needed, preventing the loss of valuable "organizational memory."
  • Knowledge Distribution: Knowledge locked away in silos holds limited value. Sharing knowledge across the organization fosters collaboration, empowers employees, and prevents the loss of valuable expertise. Implementing knowledge-sharing platforms, encouraging cross-functional teams, and creating a culture of open communication are key strategies for facilitating knowledge distribution. A study published in the Harvard Business Review found that companies with strong knowledge-sharing practices see a 35% increase in innovation and a 20% boost in employee engagement.
  • Knowledge Use  : Encouraging employees to apply acquired knowledge to daily tasks, problem-solving, and decision-making unlocks its true potential. This continuous application fuels further knowledge creation, forming a virtuous cycle of learning and growth.
Different steps in knowledge management process

Yale University points out the exact steps involved in the entire process through this illustration. The steps involved are:

  • Identify Knowledge Needs: Recognize when specific information needs documenting.
  • Author/Update Knowledge: Create or update content to meet user needs, adjusting tone and details for the audience.
  • Review and Update: Collaborate with experts for content accuracy and undergo review before approval.
  • Publish Knowledge: Once approved, make the content accessible to the target audience.
  • Use and Feedback: Users engage with the content, offering insights for future updates.
  • Identify Outdated Knowledge: Recognize and flag information that's no longer relevant.
  • Remove Knowledge: Officially retire outdated content from the database.

Knowledge management process by Yale

Knowledge management metrics 

In order to understand whether your knowledge management system is working, you need to track certain metrics like the following knowledge management metrics. 

Knowledge management metrics by Yale

Benefits of Knowledge Management

Knowledge management (KM) stands out as a crucial strategy for organizational success. It's more than just a system; it's a way to capture, store, and share the wealth of knowledge within an organization, turning it into a competitive edge. Here's how KM benefits your business:

  • Preserves Vital Knowledge: KM keeps your company's invaluable insights and trade secrets safe, ready to be leveraged for growth and innovation.
  • Speeds Up Decision-Making: With immediate access to relevant information, KM supports swift and informed decisions based on real experiences and lessons learned.
  • Boosts Productivity: Easy access to organized knowledge means employees spend less time searching for information and more time performing effectively.
  • Ensures Consistency: Standardizing practices across the board eliminates confusion and streamlines operations, making your business run smoother.
  • Fuels Innovation: By fostering an environment of collaboration and knowledge sharing, KM paves the way for new ideas and business growth.
  • Understanding and implementing KM effectively can transform knowledge into a tangible asset, enhancing learning, innovation, and competency development. While challenging to quantify in terms of ROI, the long-term benefits of a well-executed KM strategy are invaluable, making it a worthy investment for any forward-thinking organization.

Challenges for Knowledge Management 

If you’re looking to implement knowledge management at your organization, be wary of the following challenges of knowledge management. The challenges in KM span various dimensions, including organizational culture's impact on knowledge sharing and creation, the processes of knowledge dissemination within the firm, and the strategic advantages that effective KM can bring. The success of KM initiatives also depends on the maturity of a firm's knowledge systems, the organizational structure for KM, and the supporting role of technology. However, the essence of KM transcends technology, emphasizing the need for a shift in organizational culture, new management practices, and strong leadership commitment to cultivate an environment where knowledge sharing and innovation flourish. Creating a knowledge-friendly culture involves recognizing and rewarding the contributions of knowledge creators and brokers, and meticulously mapping out knowledge to ensure its accessibility and application across the organization.

Alltius for knowledge management

Alltius is a Generative AI (GenAI) platform designed to empower your enterprise with skillful, secure, and accurate AI assistants that transform the way you interact with your customers and employees. It goes beyond traditional chatbots and improves how your organization uses knowledge base efficiently. 

Imagine:

  • Sales teams closing more deals with personalized, data-driven conversations that guide leads through the buying journey by actually using sales enablement documents. 
  • Support agents resolving customer issues faster with AI assistants drafting answers from the company documentation, handling routine inquiries and deflecting tickets, freeing them to focus on complex cases.
  • Customers finding the information they need instantly through intuitive self-service AI assistants. 
Alltius for Knowledge Management

Alltius can be useful in many other scenarios. Alltius stands out with its unique capabilities:

  • Unmatched Versatility: Integrate with any data source and empower your AI assistants to handle diverse tasks, from answering complex questions to generating personalized reports.
  • Unwavering Accuracy: Enjoy hallucination-free interactions with our advanced AI technology, ensuring reliable and trustworthy information delivery.
  • Rapid Deployment and ROI: Create and deploy your AI assistants in minutes, not months, and start seeing measurable results within weeks.
  • Enterprise-Grade Security: Leverage military-grade security with SOC2 Type 2 and ISO certifications for complete peace of mind.
  • Expert Guidance: Our team of AI and NLP experts from Carnegie Mellon, Amazon, Google, and Meta is here to support you every step of the way.

If you’re looking for any assistant for implementing knowledge management at your organization, feel free to book a call with our experts or do it yourself using our free trial. 

Additional Readings: 

If you’re interested in reading more about knowledge management, we’d refer you to following academic articles:

Knowledge Management Systems : A Comprehensive Guide
March 30, 2024
Understanding Knowledge based agents in AI
February 22, 2024
What is knowledge management?
February 22, 2024
7 types of knowledge 
February 22, 2024

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