Knowledge Management

Written by Jacey Harmon
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Knowledge management is a process used by organizations to turn data assets into useable information. Knowledge management allows an organization to create a free flow of information to generate a usable base of creative ideas. Deciding what type of data assets to use will depend on the intended purpose of the information. Businesses stand to benefit immensely from a well implemented knowledge management system.

Not all information is valuable and a company must decide what information to utilize. There are basically two types of data assets an organization will have: explicit and tacit. Explicit data assets are those that can be gathered, documented and archived. Sales information, customer lists, and prices paid for supplies are all examples of explicit data. Tacit data assets are much more difficult to get a hold of as it is typically knowledge kept in individual's heads. Employees will often have tacit information from their individual experiences in the field.

Businesses can benefit from knowledge management in many ways. A system that streamlines the flow of ideas from top to bottom will increase efficiency of implementing new plans. Employee morale may also increase if they see their suggestions being taken seriously and turned into action. Revenues can increase by getting the right products on the market faster.

Challenges with Knowledge Management

There are some challenges a business will encounter when implementing a knowledge management system. Not every employee will be receptive to the free flow of ideas and information and may not want to participate. An organization without any clear goals for using the information will not be able to reap the full benefits of the plan. Information overload may occur since a company can create mountains of data. The challenges with a knowledge management system are minor when compared to the benefits.

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