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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Knowledge Management Is Essential in the World of AI

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being applied throughout enterprises, including in contact centers, where the uses and benefits are growing with each passing day. A little-known secret is that for an AI solution to be effective, it needs access to massive amounts of enterprise data from which to learn. This is where knowledge management (KM) comes in. Companies that want to succeed in the world of AI need to create a centralized repository of enterprise data and answers to customer and employee questions, and KM is the perfect fit. This is what it was designed to do.

What is KM?

DMG defines knowledge management as: 

a structured methodology and technology framework used to capture and curate the collective information of an organization, industry, clients and employees, transform the data into knowledge assets, and systemically distribute the knowledge assets for the achievement of organizational objectives. 

As an application, process and a discipline, knowledge management plays a strategic role in breaking down departmental silos and transforming an organization into a collaborative, knowledge-driven culture. Knowledge management is also an essential component of a digital transformation, as it provides the enterprise with the repository of data needed to support this essential enterprise-wide initiative.

Digital Transformation and AI are Game Changers

Due to the digital transformation and AI revolution, companies are finding it necessary to create a single source of information and answers to support internal users from many departments, as well as their customers and partners. The challenge is that companies need to be able to collect enterprise data, structure it and set it up so that it can be rendered properly to each of its constituents. Existing systems, and even SharePoint, can collect the information, but it takes a KM solution to properly tag and intelligently organize content so that the right snippet of information can be delivered appropriately to each audience.

How KM Works

KM solutions are structured applications that require information to be formatted and tagged as it is entered into the system. A KM solution keeps track of which information is used and has a process for keeping the information up to date. These solutions also have built-in mechanisms for asking users to rate the quality, timeliness and effectiveness of the answers they provide. All of these tools are designed to ensure the KM solution delivers the right information in response to inquiries. Accomplishing all of this will require a new generation of KM systems that organize and make all required data accessible as needed.

As recently as three years ago, the primary users of KM solutions were technical support, customer service, and field service and dispatch. These solutions are now used enterprise-wide, including in marketing, product development and manufacturing. This greatly improves the accuracy and completeness of the information in the knowledge base, because the KM solution is being seeded and maintained by many more departments that are now onboard and have a vested interest in keeping it up to date, as they are also users and beneficiaries of the solution.

The digital transformation is driving companies in all industries to rethink many of their foundational activities, and there is now a strong appreciation of the need to share information openly with internal and external constituents. As so many companies have built functional silos with their own systems, KM solutions are a highly effective way to bridge the information gap, a goal that is essential in the era of AI.

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