December 15, 2011 Leave a comment
Tips to Make Knowledge More Accessible Across Your Organization
By John Schneble, Product Director, Technology Solutions, Expertus
Do you know the real cost of an employee or partner failing to find the information they need, when they need it?
Are they simply less productive?
Or are they less competitive, too?
And less profitable?
Now, multiply that individual’s reduced productivity and profitability by 1o or 1,000 or 10,000+ employees, contractors, sales and business partners. The problems and costs associated with poor enterprise search are probably much larger than you think!
Consider these sobering statistics from technology analyst firms:
- The typical knowledge worker spends 30% of their workday searching for information. (IDC)
- An enterprise with 1,000 knowledge workers wastes nearly $2.5M per year due to an inability to retrieve information. (IDC)
- 10% of a company’s salary costs are lost as employees search for adequate and accurate information to finish assigned tasks. (The Butler Group/Datamonitor)
Yes, the price of poor search is high. But there is something you can do about it…
Tip #1 – Identify Your Workforce’s Key Information Sources
Would you believe that many learning management system users have actually stopped searching for information in their LMS? There are 2 main reasons:
- It’s too time-consuming to gain access
- Appropriate information isn’t available within the LMS environment
One senior executive at a large pharmaceutical company says his sales team only used their LMS for required training – not product information. Instead, they relied on Wikipedia (a publicly maintained encyclopedia) to research the disease states and drug interactions of their company’s own drug products!
Are your employees taking similar risks?
Tip #2 – Leverage Collective Knowledge, Enterprise-Wide
Have you carefully evaluated how your workforce learns? The fact is, today’s employees spend a lot more time learning via informal and social methods (researching and reviewing documents and other content, sharing experiences and seeking expert advice) than formal means (attending classes and using eLearning modules). Like it or not, training departments can no longer afford to operate as if they’re the sole source or guardian of organizational knowledge.
Formal learning can be slow and expensive to develop, limited in its effectiveness, and often becomes quickly outdated. That’s why many progressive training departments are transforming themselves into knowledge-sharing facilitators and performance consultants – working to leverage collective knowledge, skills and expertise from across the enterprise.
Tip #3 – Adopt Next-Gen Search Technologies
Besides updating your learning structure, you should also consider adding new, state-of-the-art search technologies that streamline information inquiries and empower workforce performance. Consider 3 methods:
A full-text search engine literally reviews all of the words within the available resources to “match” results with the term(s) users enter. This approach ensures highly relevant search results – as specific as a link to terms in the paragraph of a document or the bullets of a presentation slide.
Thanks to advancements in web services architecture, it’s possible to integrate your learning systems and portals with all of your other enterprise systems and databases. So now, with just one click, learners can search for relevant content across your entire ecosystem of knowledge resources (forum posts, YouTube channels, CMS diagrams/docs, formal learning, and so forth). The result is seamless enterprise-wide information access that dramatically improves workforce productivity.
A major issue with search is an engine’s inability to truly understand what users mean. Semantic search constructs a scenario-based ontology that focuses on how content is used. And this capability allows individuals to search content with results that are far more relevant to their business, job role, or the business context in which they initiate a search.
By combining federated, full-text and semantic search, you can finally provide your workforce the on-demand knowledge they need for success. You’ll reduce costs, improve productivity and help maintain a competitive edge. This advanced, integrated approach is a hallmark of cloud-based enterprise learning applications, such as the ExpertusONE dynamic learning platform.
Note from John: Would you like to know how ExpertusONE can help your organization transform learning through advanced enterprise search? Contact me anytime at email@example.com.