The battle to find the right piece of content at the right moment is a never ending quest for the knowledge worker.
While most companies have organized their various internal content stores and many have contracted for authoritative external content from sources such as Factiva and LexisNexis, this is only half the battle.
All of this progress notwithstanding, a knowledge worker often has to search through multiple systems to find exactly what he is looking for. Frequently, he may not end up with the best and most up-to-date content because the individual searches produced results different from those an aggregated search would have presented.
Comintelli, a Swedish company founded in 1999, addresses this challenge with its Knowledge XChanger offering. The solution aggregates content from both internal and external sources and then classifies, organizes, and presents relevant items to knowledge workers. The content is packaged and delivered to work groups in a role-based and customized format so that only the most relevant information is presented. Additionally, users select topics and enter search terms to further drill down on an area and refine the result set.
Knowledge XChanger allows knowledge workers to publish information through an easy-to-use browser-based interface or via e-mail. In addition, the system supports commenting, voting, and chat around content.
Users can personalize how they receive information by using automatic e-mail alerts and/or via a customized start page.
When the user does perform a search, he is tapping into content that has been drawn from vetted and authoritative sources, which could include internal sites or select external sources such as news sites as well as from content providers such as Factiva.
A particularly valuable feature in Knowledge XChanger is the ability to find experts on a given topic. The system uses Knowledge Points, a customizable feature that assigns points to users based on activities, to determine expertise. For instance, a user may receive points for every time he reads an article, searches on a term, or comments on content. Users can search for individuals who have expertise in a given area.
Tools such as Knowledge XChanger are key components on the road to the development of true Collaborative Business Environments. In addition, by aggregating and delivering timely and relevant role-based content to the knowledge worker, the system tackles several aspects of Information Overload relating to search and information management.
Finally, by supporting expertise location with the system’s ability to associate individuals in an organization with topics they have knowledge and interest, Comintelli has taken a big step in improving knowledge sharing and collaboration by connecting knowledge workers to each other and jump-starting the collaboration process.
Cody Burke is a senior analyst at Basex.