Biographical Information

Marydee Ojala

Marydee Ojala, Conference Program Director, Information Today, Inc

Marydee Ojala is Conference Program Director for Information Today, Inc. She works on conferences such as Enterprise Search & Discovery, which is co-located with KMWorld, and WebSearch University, among others. She is a frequent speaker at U.S. and international information professional events. In addition, she moderates the popular KMWorld webinar series.

Marydee is based in Indianapolis, Indiana and can be reached at marydee@infotoday.com.

Articles by Marydee Ojala

Take a Bow for the Next Generation KM

There may be several generations that a KM system appeals to in different ways, but there are no generational differences when it comes to expecting high quality customer service and knowledgeable agents.

Artificial Intelligence Done Right

Artificial intelligence (AI) has captured the imagination of a wide variety of businesses. I have this image of CEOs in boardrooms around the globe declaring, "We must have AI! Our competitors use AI! We can't be left behind!" There might be some table-pounding associated with this scenario. There will certainly be corporate minions scurrying around to fulfill the AI dreams of their CEO.

Everything Old Is New Again

I'm entranced by old technologies being rediscovered, repurposed, and reinvented. Just think, the term artificial intelligence (AI) entered the language in 1956 and you can trace natural language processing (NLP) back to Alan Turing's work starting in 1950. Text analytics has its antecedents in data mining. Data mining itself has a long history, all the way back to Thomas Bayes, who died in 1761, and his eponymous theorem that still informs algorithms regarding inference, probability, and predictions.

Governance to Keep Private Information Private

"There's an ongoing paradox when it comes to privacy. On the one hand, privacy matters, and individuals want their personal information to be private. On the other hand, social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter, encourage us to share information that we might otherwise keep private."

Flying Into Intelligent Search

An apocryphal story about a pilot trying to land at the Seattle Tacoma Airport (SeaTac) in heavy fog holds some lessons for intelligent search. The pilot of a small plane has no visibility due to the fog. Depending on who's telling this story, an electrical malfunction disabled the instruments, the instruments simply don't work, or the pilot is only rated for visual flight. Thus, the pilot can't figure out how to get the plane to SeaTac.

Sorting Through Content Management

"Transforming physical documents into digital ones is hardly a revolutionary step. In and of itself, digitization cannot bring dead data to life. What is needed is a process that will put smarter practices and processes into place that will change existing data into intelligent, living metrics."

Cleaning Up on the Customer Experience

In a world where customers "crave self-service," having the technology in place to allow them to do this—and do it swiftly, efficiently, and correctly—is critical to satisfying customers.

The Junk Drawers and Bank Vaults of Enterprise Content Management

"Digital transformation can only bring value if it supports what the business is trying to achieve. Viewing information as a single entity, connected through technology, is crucial to positioning modern organizations to cope with the challenges they face is a rapidly changing business environment."

Sharing Knowledge, Intelligence, and Food

"For each category, KM system activities can be matched with analytics that relate to actual outcomes. Metrics for customer service could include the number of searches or views of content that happened before the correct information was located. Quality of work can be judged via feedback and ratings."

Pairing Artificial Intelligence With Knowledge Management

"Not only does AI knowledge improve accuracy, it also speeds up the process, lowers employee turnover, lessens the number of hostile customer interactions, and results in a vastly better experience for both customers and agents."

Killer Apps, Sweet Spots, and Silver Bullets for KM

As customers increasingly crave self-service via their mobile devices, lengthy, convoluted answers are unhelpful. Instead, concentrate on focused content that is clear and short. You want information that can be quickly found and easily read on a mobile device.

Driving Toward Cognitive Computing Breakthroughs

Making good decisions is central to successful businesses. For customer service, this means moving away from rigid scripting and rule-based systems into a more intelligent understanding of the problems customers face.

An Overabundance of Knowledge, Information, and Data

We are surrounded by knowledge, bombarded by information, and inundated with data. Scarcity of knowledge, information, and data is not our problem. We have an abundance. Sifting through it all to find the useful, valuable, and actionable bits is the problem. It reminds me of the Ancient Mariner's complaint of "Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink."

Searching for Intelligent Search

Intelligent search can help by finding patterns and relationships among siloed data sources; indentifying experts within the organization that employees can consult; presenting a holistic, unified view of relevant information from a variety of sources; and discovering new insights from existing enterprise data.

Stepping Out With Office 365

In a perfect world, not only would we all be able to understand each other regardless of the languages we speak, but all software would be completely secure. We don't live in that perfect world. When it comes to tools for knowledge management, one company name that resonates is Microsoft. Regardless of country or language, when someone says or writes Microsoft, you know exactly what that company is. You don't need to translate Microsoft into Czech, Japanese, or Swahili. Microsoft is Microsoft. The same holds true for Office 365. It's called Office 365 in countries around the world.

The Information-Driven Organization

Being called information-driven strikes me as one of the most complimentary things I could be called. I may actually be in love with that phrase. I've been infatuated with information since I was young. Looking back, I must have been a real pest, always asking my parents "why." Perhaps that's the reason they bought a set of encyclopedias—yes, those heavy print volumes, not the Wikipedia of today. At the time, I thought that all information was contained between the covers of those heavy books, supplemented by more recent information gleaned from newspapers and television news.

Customer Experience Takes Flight

Time flies when you're having fun. I'm pretty sure we've all heard this and can agree that it's true. Then there's the obverse. If you're not having fun, time seems to stand still. A few minutes on hold with customer service appears, subjectively, to take hours.

Succeeding with Content Management

Nomenclature can be tricky, particularly when considered in the context of enterprise content management (ECM). You're probably familiar with homonyms, words that are spelled the same but have different meanings. Examples are bark (think dogs and trees), icing (think hockey rules and cake frostings), or book (think reading and making travel arrangements). Most taxonomies take homonyms into account to make ECM work well within that setting (yes, setting is another homonym).

The A-List for Case Management and Business Process Management

I'll be the first to admit I'm not a celebrity. I'm on no one's A-List. I've never been in a Hollywood movie. Never even been in a non-Hollywood movie. I'm not a regular on reality TV shows. I've never been asked to participate in I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here. For which, actually, I'm very thankful. Olympic medalist? Nope, not me. Compete against one of the Williams sisters in tennis? Not on any court I know of…

KM is Easy as ABC

I hear the phrase "It's as easy as ABC" frequently and I'll bet you do too. It shows up in song lyrics from multiple artists and I learned recently that it's also the title of a Rudyard Kipling story published in 1912 and set in the year 2065, where the world is ruled by the Aerial Board of Control (ABC, get it?). We teach the ABCs to children very early on in their lives, pleased beyond measure when they can recite the entire alphabet for us…

Everywhere You Go: The Mobile Workforce

Everywhere you go, there they are. People on their mobile devices, seemingly oblivious to the world around them. I find a certain irony in our obsession with mobiles, at least when it comes to the mobile workforce. We're tied to our devices, liberated from our offices, able to choose our own schedule, enjoy flexibility in how and where we work, and always connected. Yet we work more hours than ever. Flexibility also means we can hold down a day job and still participate in the gig economy…

Cognitive Computing: Film at Eleven

On a recent, very long plane trip, I watched a fellow passenger scroll through a number of movies on her mobile device. She would watch a few minutes of a film, then switch to another one. After she repeated this pattern for several films, she sighed and shook her head. It turns out her brother had recommended movies for her "watching pleasure" while flying over the Atlantic Ocean…

Information Governance Gets Respect

Ever get a song stuck in your head? Talking about information governance with experts in the field, I suddenly found myself reminded of Aretha Franklin's classic Respect. In the back of my mind, she was spelling out R E S P E C T in that incredibly strong voice of hers as background music to my thoughts about how attitudes toward information governance have changed…

Bringing Intelligence to Search

I've been hearing a lot lately about cognitive search, the next generation of enterprise search. It revolves around artificial intelligence (AI) applications, making search more intelligent and packing more power than a simple list of search results. Cognitive search learns from previous search queries…

Promise of Clouds in the Enterprise

I was browsing the children's section of a local bookstore recently (yes, brick and mortar bookstores do still exist!) and noticed how many of the covers featured clouds. Why clouds? I'm not entirely sure, but I suspect it's meant to convey a certain amount of lightheartedness, of childlike delight in the natural world. All those nice, puffy clouds should make you feel happy and carefree…

Great Expectations for Text Analytics

Language is tricky. We expect people to understand our verbal and written communications. Even when you say something you think is perfectly clear, it may not be clear to the person with whom you're talking. Take a business lunch you've scheduled for 1 o'clock in the afternoon with a colleague. You decide to add a third person to the restaurant reservation and instruct your assistant, who may be digital or a human being, to change the reservation to three. Suddenly you find that the restaurant is expecting two of you at 3 o'clock…

Questioning Traditional Compliance Methods

The other day I saw an old and faded bumper sticker on the car ahead of me at a stop light. It said, "Question Authority."

I haven't seen one of those in, well, I can't remember how many years. It seems to me it was a popular bumper sticker "back in the day." Not being sure how many years ago my "back in the day" was..

Enhancing Customer Experience in a Diverse World

Can I share a pet peeve with you? It's this phrase, something I both read and hear way too often: "If you're like me, you'll…

"Wait, I'll what? I'll think that Joe Blow is the best musician ever? That everybody hates snow? That I want a hoverboard? That Brand X is better than Brand Y? That blue in the popular color this year so I should invest in blue clothing? That Celebrity Z is overrated—or underestimated?…

Exploring the Forests of E-Discovery

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to record it on their cell phone, did it really topple to the ground? Is the fall discoverable? What if it's an electronic tree? What does our notion of reality, or the physics of falling trees, have to do with the legal issue of discovery? How do newer technologies for digitization and discovery affect the legal industry?

Obviously, I'm being facetious about the tree. However, the impact of technology on discovery is significant, both in terms of workflow and of cost. Discovery is a time-honored element of our legal system. It's been a component of legal actions, it seems, from the beginning of time. E-discovery is the newer variant on an old legal practice…

On It, Boss!

If the phrase "On it, boss" doesn't resonate with you, it's probably because you don't watch the television show NCIS, which is now in its 14th season. The team at the Naval Criminal Investigation Service investigates crimes, frequently murders, but they've also confronted thefts, espionage, and terrorism. When challenged by their boss, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon), to uncover evidence or find information about a case, both Anthony "Tony" DiNozzo (played by Michael Weatherly) and Timothy McGee (played by Sean Murray) frequently answer, "On it, boss," even when they haven't actually started doing anything…

Cognitive Computing Is Not Science Fiction

When I first heard the term "cognitive computing" several years ago, I mistakenly thought it was a science fiction sub-genre, perhaps like steam punk, but less historical and more about a world run by robots. Or maybe it was a sub-sub-genre of cyberpunk, replete with thinking robots. I hoped it was not as apocalyptic as those dark books by Philip K. Dick, but more in line with the benign robots Isaac Asimov envisioned...

Information Governance Grabs Center Stage

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase information governance? Arbitrary rules and regulations? Barriers to you doing your job well? Impediments to productivity? Obstructionist thinking that stymies progress? Or that most negative of sentiments: What's wrong with the way we've always handled our information? It worked just fine for umpteen years...

Intelligent Search Goes Beyond the Web

Search is a crucial component of the modern workplace. The ability to find information quickly and efficiently contributes not only to business success but also to worker satisfaction. It's frustrating to waste time looking for a piece of information, or a data point, when you could be completing a task…

The Clout of Clouds

Blue skies and fluffy white clouds stimulate the imagination of both children and adults. Looking up, we see cloud formations and identify them, not by their scientific names of cirrus, cumulus, and nimbus, but more fancifully as horses, spaceships, unicorns, maps of various locations, castles, puppies, palm trees, or something equally ingenious…

Share and Share Alike: Enhancing Collaboration

"Share your toy with your little friend," said the mom who was watching her child playing at the local park. The child scowled and reluctantly handed the toy to the other child—until the mother's back was turned, at which point the first child reached out and grabbed the toy back from the second child. Howls and tears ensued…

Are You Being Self-Served?

We live in an increasingly self-service world. From pumping our own gas to making our own travel arrangements, our expectations of service have changed. We increasingly accept the concept of customer service without an intermediary. We choose our own products without anyone standing between us and what we want to buy. We don't need a sales clerk to take a product from a shelf and show it to us. We expect to be able to touch the merchandise. We can do it ourselves. We want to do it ourselves…

Financial Services Moves From “Bankers’ Hours” to Customer Satisfaction

The financial services industry has seen many changes since I worked for a large multinational bank years ago. The regulatory environment, structural change resulting from mergers and acquisitions, and technological advances are largely responsible. The industry has become vastly more competitive than it was in the past…

Cleaning Out Your Closets with Enterprise Content Management

Enterprises are up to their eyeballs in content. Some of it is important, some is out of date, but there are those pieces of content that are vital if the enterprise is to survive and thrive. Enter content management. Managing content is somewhat analogous to all the stuff that piles up in your house. The longer you live in one place, the more things you accumulate…