Findability and Innovation #IKNS

Columbia University Crown Jeff Carr is  senior productivity technology specialist for Microsoft Canada. He works with clients to help them understand how to use the Microsoft productivity tools. His background is in information architecture and information management. His experience is 50% as a consultant, 40% working in an organization, and 10% working for a vendor. Jeff is joined in this session by (1) Ralph Poole, a consultant with Iknow LLC (Iknow focuses on how to use metadata and text analysis to help with findability); and (2) Susan Baktis (Social Learning Strategy & Advisory at Accenture), who began in consulting and now focuses on knowledge management. She has experience with taxonomy and knowledge strategy.

[These are my notes from Columbia University’s 2013 summer residency program for its Masters of Science in Information and Knowledge Strategy. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]


  • Knowledge-Enabled Innovation. The great benefit of findability is that it enables innovation. Examples of knowledge-enabled innovation are prevalent. Google Glass allows you to have the world’s information displayed right in front of you at the moment of need. Initial uses were information retrieval, but now other uses are emerging. For example, Dr. Rafael Grossmann is a surgeon who used Google Glass while he was doing surgery. He streamed the surgery to people watching the surgery via a Google Hangout on an iPad. This facilitated knowledge transfer with people who otherwise could not have watched the surgery as closely if they had attended in person. MedRefGlass is an application that does facial recognition and helps the doctor identify a patient and then dictate her patient notes.
  • Embedding Knowledge. Stipple allows you to embed your content into images you publish to the web. Each image contains “dots.” When you click on a dot, it can display other content such as a website or a twitter stream. These dots are persistent tags that travel with the image regardless of the distribution channel (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc.). Now you can use these dots to link to shopping sites so that you can purchase something you see outside a shopping site by activating the dot in the image. Better still, Stipple uses an automatic metadata tagging capability so no one has to manually tag an image.
  • Findability Depends on the Organization of Data.  You cannot embed knowledge until you have gathered and organized the requisite knowledge. Further you need good information governance protocols to make sure the knowledge gathered is accurate, current and fit for distribution.
  • Further Reading.

*Disclosure: This link is through my Amazon affiliate account and may generate income to me.

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