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Staggering Amounts of Data Demand Knowledge Management

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August 22, 2012

Staggering Amounts of Data Demand Knowledge Management

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The amount of data an enterprise manager must navigate on a daily basis is staggering. In fact, the overload has even been measured by scientists. David Derbyshire suggests that the amount of data sent to the typical person over one year is equal to the same person reading 174 newspapers per day. The sheer volume alone suggests there is a need for knowledge management

According to a recent Forbes article, this data overload is helping to drive the demand for knowledge management solutions. Making implementation a priority could be key for a number of organizations as such solutions can build learning organizations by making the process routine; facilitate decision-making capabilities; and stimulate a culture of change and innovation.

The integration of a robust knowledge management solution can make learning routing within the organization. The U.S. Army found this to be the case when a knowledge management system was put in place. The result was the creation of a culture where continuous self-assessment is the norm. Participants also pay attention to the unit and the organization, identifying areas for improvement.

A wealth of information is often present in the data managed on a daily basis, but the processing of overwhelming amounts can hinder the practice of making decisions that are of quality and benefit the business. For GE, such an approach was unacceptable and the company set out to put a knowledge management solution in place that allowed executives to minimize the noise, collaborate on information and improve their overall decision-making processes

Implemented by the Corporate Executive Council (CEC), GE’s group is comprised of the heads of 14 major businesses. The Council meets for two-day sessions that allow for discussing successes, sharing information, evaluating best practices and examining failures and experiences. Knowledge management plays a part by eliminating the overload and ensuring the information needed for informed decision-making is easily accessible.    

The free flow of ideas enabled through knowledge management also helps to create an environment of cultural change and innovation. The implementation within GE extended to its Change Acceleration Process (CAP) where management can benefit from business-focused development, leadership enablement and focused workshops, all based on quality information and business intelligence.One other staggering statistic was shared by Babcock in 2004 – the failure to share knowledge can cost a Fortune 500 company roughly $31.5 billion a year. 

Now, eight years later, that number is sure to be much bigger, especially in the current turbulent economy. When knowledge management is active within the organization and made a priority by executive decision-makers, core competencies get the focus they need to drive revenue and business processes, allowing knowledge and information to deliver the benefit for which they were intended.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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