Why A 360-Degree View of Company Information Is So Valuable
Today, the world is as detail-oriented as ever. With information everywhere and data existing on every little thing, your business must be taking steps to manage it properly and truly understand what it means.
Combining enterprise-wide data gives individuals, departments and upper management the ability to see trends and patterns about their business in ways they have never seen before.
However, it is not always as easy as it sounds. Essential knowledge is often hidden in data silos, typically controlled by a department and impossible for other information seekers to find. Proper connection and extraction to pull data from silos are necessary to achieve a 360-degree view of your company.
So, what makes this 360-degree view so valuable? Here is a look at three value propositions from businesses obtaining a complete picture of their data from top to bottom.
1. Creating ease for your workforce with timely information
Being equipped with fast-acting tools to get your workforce the information they need is sometimes a luxury, but most of the time it’s a necessity. This undisputed value holds in numerous business areas and perhaps every industry. One predominant example where quick access to information is imperative is in manufacturing. Best manufacturing practices, like many, require labor efficiency. The quality and time of production directly impact a company’s bottom line. However, a manufacturer will always have to get through hurdles that put quality and speed at risk — a broken machine, human error or even onboarding a worker going through the learning curve.
For the sake of example, let’s look at a broken machine on the plant floor. Connecting data across the company allows the maintenance worker to search on topics related to the malfunction and receive access to all relevant documents that hold information on fixing it. Terms such as the machine name, part of the machine or even serial number can lead employees to the information they seek in a matter of seconds.
With that said, maybe a list of 10-20 related documents isn’t the most effective way. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) methods can process these documents to give employees the knowledge in a more digestible and understandable format, which leads us directly into value proposition No. 2.
2. Receiving knowledge in a digestible and understandable format
Over the past few years, you have seen some changes in journalism regarding how people prefer to intake their news. These changes have shifted toward the side of shorter reads that summarize the main talking points without the additional fluff — still giving readers the complete story and highlighting the critical pieces. There is a similarity with how AI works to provide users with the most relevant details to the subject they are searching for. Staying with the maintenance example, if a worker needs to fix a small part on a machine, they don’t necessarily need a 50-page manual. They likely only need a section of that manual or perhaps some diagrams.
AI can tune and evaluate which information will be valuable to the specific worker and feed it back to them in the best format, leading to quicker resolutions and more efficient employees.
3. Allowing leaders to make informed business decisions
Since AI is working around the clock to connect every data source, structured and unstructured, leadership can have all the data imaginable to make informed decisions to better their business. Although a single department may only need such a solution for a specific use case, management can use the same solution to get a 360-degree view of everything happening in their business. The collection of business communication and documents provides leadership with an abundance of advanced analytics, leading to powerful insights to drive decision making.
As alluded to, a prerequisite to achieving the discussed 360-degree view of your company is to ensure proper data sources are connected and intertwined into a single system. It is nearly impossible to execute this level of data connection without the help of machine learning technology. Decision-makers often have a few concerns with implementing machine learning: pricing, trust in the system, lack of training within their enterprise on these systems, security — all of these are valid and should be researched before getting started.
It is crucial to think of this type of investment as a long-term play that will ultimately enhance your workforce for decades. Solutions on the market are only getting more innovative and worthier of consideration. Any solution implemented should have the most up-to-date security certificates to feel safe with the hands their data is in. From a training standpoint, most solutions offer a trial period and consulting services to allow your team to become familiar and comfortable with the product. Luckily, many products require low-code or no-code skills, and optimizing the use is more manageable than many CTOs anticipate.
Overall, a 360-degree view of company information has undeniable value for the worker, the manager and the company as a whole. The advances companies around the globe have made in AI are extremely exciting, but just because of the excitement and potential value doesn’t mean you should be throwing dollars at a solution right away. Taking a deep dive into your company’s data and addressing your overall business objectives is critical before exploring the knowledge management solutions on the market.