Tom Kelly
Tom Kelly

Member Article

The rise of "big knowledge"

Tom Kelly, President and CEO of Moxie Software, looks at the decline of “big data“ and the rise of “big knowledge.“

Technology users are always anxious to know what the “next big thing” is going to be. That’s especially true in the world of enterprise software; due to its critical nature inside a corporation, a company can succeed or fail depending on how well it navigates technology transactions. As president of an enterprise software company, I have a good idea about what’s next, and I see something earth-shaking on the horizon.

It’s the decline of “Big Data;” accompanied by the rise of “Big Knowledge” to take its place.

Most people are familiar by now with the Big Data story and how the enormous mountains of information are being generated by technology. Take a mobile device, for example, that is perpetually sending out torrents of information about where we are, what web sites we are looking at and more.

There is an even more valuable set of data that every company can, and must tap into—the collective wisdom of employee’s knowledge, built up over years, just waiting to be unlocked and used by others to solve existing business problems. Every time an employee figures out how to close a big customer or how to solve a difficult supply chain problem, or how to solve a sticky customer issue, that knowledge should be recorded and shared, so that others may benefit.

Collecting mouse clicks certainly has its role in the world of data. Collecting human data, the type that tends to be shared around the water cooler, is the much harder business problem.

That is exactly what Big Knowledge is about. Think of it as the inevitable next step in the computing revolution. If you put people in a room together to collaborate, they will generate a lot of interesting and useful data. If you put those same experts in a room to collaborate and work to answer five, 10 or 20 specific questions, they will generate the answers you need. The point is that collaboration around a purpose generates valuable results.

The difference between Big Data and Big Knowledge is that Big Data focuses on technology and Big Knowledge focuses on people.

The idea behind Big Knowledge is to smash the tendency of companies to silo what they know and turn a company into an “answer machine” by connecting customer questions to answers often hidden within the organization. In a nutshell, it involves transforming data into action.

Why is this so important? Because organizations are in the business of providing the right information to their customers. More specifically, when a customer calls a bank regarding a transaction, the customer expects detailed information on how the problem will be fixed. The same is true in many other scenarios, like when a customer contacts an insurance provider with questions about a health plan coverage or gets in touch with a manufacturer with queries about the warranty of a kitchen appliance. Harnessing the answers from your organization not only gets the customer the right answer, but it also gets them the right answer the first time they ask.

Special purpose collaboration tools designed around Big Knowledge principles turn general purpose social media tools into a crowdsourcing platform to generate answers and captures them for immediate and future use. It provides a company the right tool to collect disparate knowledge quickly, in a single place. By using special purpose collaboration technology, companies can be confident they will be able to take the knowledge that exists with their employees and customers, and make it instantly available to whoever needs it.

Big Knowledge can be considered the “holy grail” of Big Data, where data in conjunction with real-time communication will provide customers the exact information they need. Big Knowledge is what Big Data will be when it grows up.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Kelly .

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