Ed Shepherdson
SVP, Enterprise Solutions


Stewardship of KnowledgeWe live in an era where organizations are collecting more information than ever before, making it difficult to harvest its value. To cut through the clutter and find that value, companies should consider the following questions: Does this information have a life cycle, and if so, in relation to what?  Is all the information valuable? How do I quantify how much knowledge I have?

Given the nature of information – spread across multiple systems and silos in a variety of formats – many organizations skip an important first step: to look at the stewardship of content creation and usage. Advanced indexing technology allows organization’s employees to see across all of this information in a single, consolidated view that is relevant to the user’s context. By giving your entire organization this access, it will become evident which information is useful and what is not.

So what are the benefits of monitoring your organization’s content creation and usage?

  • Removal of obsolete content and reducing content size – if your “bad data” has been removed, then more good data will be served up
  • Faster, more accurate decision-making and problem-solving – obtaining higher levels of relevance
  • Elevating the knowledge level of your organization – it is beneficial if everyone at your organization is using relevant data
  • Time to contribution – if new employees are being served up relevant and useful content, training time will decrease

Now that we’ve discussed the value of this practice, here are some types of organizations that can really benefit from this collective knowledge accessibility:

  • Organizations focused on increasing customer experience – ensuring the customer is being told the same information from all contacts within the company
  • Customer Service organizations – self-service customers have no need to look elsewhere and service agents have an enhanced ability to handle inflow support questions without blockages when searching for information
  • Engineering organizations – with the ability to leverage the collective design and innovation of your organization, engineers can stop re-inventing work that has already been done
  • Consulting organizations – benefiting from easily accessible shared experiences and methodologies that work across the collective population remotely

When your organization can identify and take action on content in the way that it is most valuable, then you are allowing your content to become a differentiating asset versus simply being a repository of data – in turn, obtaining a great return on knowledge (ROK).

Has your organization determined which content is most valuable?  How are you measuring a return on that knowledge?

About Ed Shepherdson

As the Senior Vice President of Enterprise Solutions, Ed Shepherdson oversees Coveo’s Knowledge 360 Solutions, with a strong focus on the company’s Knowledge 360 Solutions for Customer Service. Mr. Shepherdson brings 30 years of experience in the technology industry to his role with Coveo. Prior to joining Coveo, he spent 18 years at Cognos, now an IBM company, where he most recently served as Vice President of Global Customer Support. While at Cognos, Mr. Shepherdson also held a variety of senior positions in the company’s Research and Development and Applications Development teams. Mr. Shepherdson has also served as an Advisory Board member in several industry associations, including the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) and Service Strategies Corporation, which sets the standards for the Technology Services and Support Industry. Mr. Shepherdson holds a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership and completed the Ivey Executive Program at the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University. Outside of work, he is an avid golfer, enjoys watching Jr. hockey and spending time with his wife, son and daughter.

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  • Mary Ann Maikish

    I am more concerned with the access of information—-who is allowed–for what purpose and where and how the information will be used

  • Antoine Fournier

    Beyond suitable content accuracy and relevance, I believe ROK cannot be expected out of knowledge management, but sharing.
    People are the only true knowledge repositories, and the human brain is the only tool that can effectively manage knowledge and leverage ideas to create new ideas and innovative thoughts.
    You may like to read my post here :

  • Ed Shepherdson

    Mary Ann, you are very correct that accessibility and access controls are very important to every organization. One of the values the Coveo Unified Index allows for is the complete auditing of who is using what content and who is trying to access content they don’t have the rights to see whether by individual or by role.
    Therefore combining the awareness of usage and the capability to improve content quality profoundly improves the collective effectiveness of your organization.

  • Antoine, I am fully aligned with your blog post. Today everyone leaves a bread crumb trail of their associated knowledge, via social conversations, email, documents (internal / external ) etc… The challenge for most organization is that this valuable bread crumb of recorded knowledge is not accessible, therefore when looking for insight on a topic people miss the opportunity to connect with other people with related knowledge creating a discontinuous cycle of innovation (re-inventing the wheel). On the other hand if contextually relevant content from the bread crumbs can connect people then continuous innovation would excel. The consolidation of all channels of communication is critical to enhancing the collective knowledge network of an organization which includes content and people.