One of the key issues around Knowledge Management and Business Intelligence is the point at which information is recognised for its knowledge worth. By this we mean at what stage in the process of converting information to intelligence and knowledge does the analyst or manager of that knowledge perceive its value to the organisation? While we may not be able to actually pinpoint the exact stage in the conversion process, what is evident however, is the need for the analyst or knowledge manager to command an in-depth understanding of the strategic objectives or direction of the organisation. This principle of Knowledge Management and Business Intelligence reinforces the need to understand the relationship between producers and consumers of intelligence and knowledge. It emphasises the significance of the producer-consumer relationship and the necessity for an appropriate business mechanism to manage and sustain the linkage and communication between them.
The key to the success of both intelligence and knowledge within the business environment and in terms of deriving value therefrom is dependent upon the following criteria:
To date one of Knowledge Management’s biggest challenges is to identify a process or methodology whereby the owners of information are able to apply associations of value to that information and convert information to knowledge and ultimately intellectual capital. One approach is to introduce a process within the organisation’s Project Management discipline whereby project managers, using a template, capture key learnings at the end of all completed projects. A sort of After Action Review (AAR) process. This knowledge then contributes towards the capture and use of ‘best practices’ and replication – a process that can help organisations shorten learning curves and reduce costs through leveraging previously invested resources, time and money. Without the above criteria, the whole exercise becomes nothing more than organising information. The Holy Grail of Knowledge Management therefore is to apply knowledge towards gaining a competitive advantage. In todays highly competitive environment it is the time to market that an organisation takes between innovation and product or service maturity that will enable it to gain an advantage.