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Advanced Indexing Technology

The following is an excerpt from the Coveo eBook, "Measuring Return on Knowledge in a Big Data World."  Visit www.coveo.com for your free copy.

Big data. Unstructured data. Semi-structured data. Data is all over the technology news, and for good reason. It is overwhelming organizations, requiring them to find new ways to operate, stay competitive, better serve their customers and bring new products to market faster.

Companies are finding themselves with piles of information within multiple channels, locked away in silos—different systems, different departments, different geographies and different data types, making it impossible to connect the dots and make sense of critical business information.

Hidden inside streams of structured and unstructured data across cloud, social and on-premise systems are information relationships that answer questions employees haven't even thought to ask, but need to be asking.

The speed at which business moves today, combined with the sheer volume of data created by the digitized world, requires new approaches to deriving value from data and knowledge.

In this big data world, knowledge is your company's greatest asset and best differentiator.  So how do you get a return on knowledge?  

Leveraging Knowledge

How is collective knowledge being leveraged today?  In a word: poorly.

Over the past decade, research firm IDC has regularly conducted research on what NOT finding information might cost an organization. In IDC's most recent survey of more than 700 knowledge workers, the firm found that most companies are losing more than $50,000 per employee per year in lost productivity.

What's more, according to a 2000 study by University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business, just over 10% of people reported having access to "lessons learned" in other parts of their organization. A recent Coveo survey of 120 executives shows only 13% said employees can effectively tap into the collective knowledge of their organizations.

There are three main reasons why:

Information overload. Knowledge workers, says IDC, spend 15% to 35% of their time searching for information. And, most people don't know where to look, or how to as for what they are seeking. This challenge is heightened by the explosion of big data.

Inability to find information. With information scattered across an organization's repositories, directories and intranets, employees cannot easily locate information they need in order to make critical business decisions. The result? Wasted search efforts and decisions made in the absence of information.

Recreating knowledge that already exists. Knowledge workers spend more time recreating existing information than they do turning out information that does not already exist. IDC suggests that 90% of the time knowledge workers spend in creating new reports or other products is spent in recreating information that already exists.

Knowledge workers spend a lot of time looking for and processing information, at a high cost. If we can make it easier for employees to find the information they need, and gain new insights from it, organizations will get a higher return on their greatest intangible—knowledge. Employee productivity will rise and profits will soar.

The Path to Return on Knowledge

Return on knowledge is linked to your people's ability to access collective knowledge efficiently.

Think of a world in which every piece of information all employees need, from any and all systems, is instantly organized, indexed and combined in ways consumers find commonplace on the Internet, and yet companies have been unable to achieve.

Unified indexing technology makes this a reality. It is the least disruptive and most effective path to on-demand access to relevant knowledge. The technology democratizes knowledge access by providing contextually relevant content to every user and ensuring that companies build on past knowledge rather than recreating the wheel 90% of the time.

Advanced indexing technology ties together the vast variety of systems, both on-premise and in the cloud—email, databases, CRM, ERP, social media, file shares, etc.—to unify, normalize and enrich the information to uncover hidden relationships for new insights.

Here's an example: A customer service team with on-demand, actionable insight can troubleshoot and solve customer problems quickly and consistently—helping customers to get more value from your products and services, and retaining their loyalty.

There is fierce international competition for every dollar of profit in today's global economy. Organizations must treat knowledge and knowledge workers as strategic assets in order to compete and meet the challenges of the future. Very few organizations are far along the maturity curve in dealing with big data, but the incentive is there.

Increasingly, companies will differentiate themselves on the basis of what they know—by tapping into their return on collective knowledge, and by unlocking the value inherent in every company's disparate sources of data. Gaining real-time, relevant insight and knowledge is the best way to empower employees and help them perform their jobs exceedingly well.

Coveo's advanced, Unified Indexing and Insight platform redefines how people access and share fragmented knowledge around the social enterprise. Coveo brings together the collective and yet fragmented information from cloud-based, social and on-premise systems, and injects it into the context of every user, every time. More than 2 million people globally and more than 500 companies use Coveo to achieve their business goals. Among Coveo customers are CA Technologies, L'Oreal Switzerland, Lockheed Martin, YUM! Brands, GEICO and SunGard.

For more information, visit www.coveo.com, follow us on Twitter @coveo or like us on Facebook.

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