Enterprise Social Graph - Automate Personalized Knowledge Base Creation

By John Brunswick posted 07-31-2010 13:28


Coporate knowledge bases offer significant value. Unfortunately, creating an maintaining such a knowledge store carries overhead, growing proportionally to the size of an organization. Furthermore, trying to make the knowledge base relevant to various job roles and user types adds significantly more overhead to the effort - as every job function requires a delegate to manage their respective part of the knowledge base.

As enterprises adopt some level of social graphing capability, the graph can be mined to produce an implicit pool of answers related to an employee's line of work. Just as "you may know" functionality is pervasive across commercial social platforms, "relevant answers" functionality is easily obtainable from an enterprise social graphing platform.

How many times have you heard that someone in your organization has solved an issue that is directly related to a project that you are working on, but found this out after creating your own solution or could not locate the entire body of information needed?

Experts Exchange, Yahoo, Mahalo, Stack Overflow, Google and soon Facebook all offer "ask a question" type of functionality. This functionality allows crowds to have a distinct input (problem) that will hopefully elicit a particular output (solution) that is created organically from other members of the community. Once an challenge has been solved users designate the challenge as "solved", allowing other people browsing the site to quickly understand if a solution exists and if so - specifically what it is.

Social Graphing
So how does this tie into the enterprise social graph?

1. The social graph captures collaborative activities throughout an enterprise
2. Various discussion forum platforms and similar technologies all can bubble up summaries of activities throughout the company
3. The activity that is generated by these systems is consumed by the social graph

Enterprise social graphs do not stand alone - they are inherently integrated or part of some larger platform. The most basic social platform offers
1. User profiles
2. Relations between users

The intersection of communications marked as “answers”, the availability of an enterprise social graph and the user profiling provides an excellent opportunity to automate knowledge base creation. By leveraging existing technologies that expose user relations and that understands which colleagues in an organization are involved in the same type of work, an view of answers to problems submitted related to your work by known or unknown peers is possible.

Similar to the Facebook wall - but with more concise, relevant content - users can now passively view a condensed stream of answers related to their line of work. The stream can be viewed within an intranet setting or mailed to a user as a weekly digest. This information provides a very high signal to noise ratio that enables critical tacit knowledge capture and distribution - helping workers to spend more time producing and less time researching details that are already known in their enterprise.

#enterprise2.0 #knowledgemanagement #SocialGraph