Storing zettabytes of data is becoming more convenient as the years go by. Improvements in computing power and hardware have made this possible.
How can teams and organisations better manage an ever-growing digital database? Below are some best knowledge management practices to apply.
Organise and categorise the data
Workers often find themselves sifting through hundreds of digital files just to look for a tiny piece of information. Whether it’s a dollar amount, percentage or demographic profile, it can be frustrating to go through and check irrelevant documents.
This is very much a real problem for several organisations. How can you mitigate or prevent this from entirely happening?
As simple as it sounds, not many leaders practice proper data organisation. It’s crucial to segment your data into easy-to-understand categories or labels. Depending on your specific field or the nature of your business, there are several ways to go about this.
You can create project-specific folders in your drive to enable field staff to quickly find what they need. If you have a knowledge management platform and there are database indexing glitches, performance tuning of Microsoft SQL servers can remedy the issue.
Use benchmarks and adjust metrics as needed
Several organisations fall into the trap of adopting technology but forgetting to track progress. While tech platforms are crucial in any knowledge management effort, they won’t make things better right away.
This is where setting benchmarks become useful. Any person or team spearheading a knowledge management initiative must develop relevant metrics to identify:
- Gaps where the organisation needs to improve
- Successes in implementation
Organisations can then choose specific industry benchmarks to compare performance. Depending on each organisation’s context, metrics and benchmarks need to be reviewed monthly or weekly.
If most of the metrics are being met, what are the factors that led to these successes? On the other hand, if performance is way below set benchmarks, which areas do you need to improve? Are there any variables that weren’t accounted for in the planning stage?
These are some key questions that can arise as a result of benchmarking. The answers to these queries will help inform any need for metric or goal adjustment.
Design systems based on existing social elements
While technology is one of the major pillars of knowledge management, the people in an organisation are at the core of it. It’s possible to create the most advanced database yet still fall short of addressing the needs and preferences of users.
When crafting a knowledge management strategy, the starting point should always be with people’s roles and objectives. Some critical questions that can guide you include:
- Who are the people in the organisation and which departments do they belong to?
- What kind of information are they looking for?
- How do they share information and data within and across teams?
- If sharing is not taking place, what is preventing them from doing so?
Without taking into account the needs of a particular team or the entire staff, knowledge management systems won’t be utilised frequently enough. As a result, you could end up wasting significant time and resources.