Knowledge Management Toolkit Term Paper

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Knowledge Management Toolkit

A data warehouse encompasses and provides access to all the company's information to whoever needs access to it. A warehouse literally means a storehouse, and the information within an organization may be distributed within one computer or with many computers, form one single warehouse. They may contain several databases and all types of information, and in a large variety of different formats. However, all the above information and knowledge must be accessible through a server, and the user gains a transparent means of access to the data because he can utilize extremely simple commands to retrieve and gain access to the information, and also analyze it, as he wants to. A data warehouse will also generally contain certain details about the warehouse, and where and how the information has been stored within the warehouse. (Definition of Data Warehouse on the web)

A typical data warehouse is usually housed on an enterprise mainframe server, which in other words means that all the data from various different online transactions processing, or OTP, as it is known as, is gathered and then organized into a database that is then put into the data warehouse. This information can then be used for the purpose of analytical applications, and also for any types of queries form the users of the data. Data warehousing generally stresses and lays importance on the capture of data from several different sources, and allows this information to be accessed so that it may be useful to the person who needs it. However, the fact is that data warehousing does not start from the viewpoint of the end user or to the knowledge worker who may actually need the information as a means of gaining access to specialized databases. (Database.com Definitions)

The Intranet, on the other hand, is the internal or the private Internet that is used by a company or an organization, or maybe by a college or a University, and so on. 'Intra' means 'internal' and this is exactly what the Intranet means, that it is meant for those on the inside of the organization, and not outside. 'Inter' means among or between, and this in other words means that the Internet is to be used between lots of people. Until a few years before, most companies used certain local networks for the purpose of internal communications. Expensive and proprietary software was used for this purpose, and today, the new Intranet technology makes organizations do away with the extra cost of new and highly technological software, and allows, instead, companies to use the Internet based Intranet technology, that is simple and cost effective and therefore more practical to use. Most Intranets use a TCP/IP connection, and this is something that would support web browsing, in the same way that a normal Internet connection would allow the user access to nay information that he want to peruse. However, the major difference between the Internet and the Intranet is that while the Internet is available to anybody, the intranet is generally connected through the local network, and the web pages that may be available within this network would have to be allowed by the Intranet to be available to the user of the information. (Intranet)

What is 'Groupware'? Any application that is networked and allows its users access to the data that is contained within the network, and also allows the users to share the data that they have had access to is called 'groupware'. Robert Johansen, the author of the book, 'Groupware-Computer Support for Business Teams' states that he finds that groupware can be defined as certain specialized computer aids that have been created and designed for the use of collaborative working groups within an organization. This definition effectively eliminates multi-user databases from the category called groupware, but at the same time, there can be no doubt that electronic mailing systems fall within the category of groupware and the sharing category also, and some other types of sharing software are also included in this category be the experts. (Definitions of Groupware)

In a nutshell, groupware can be explained as a technology that has been basically developed to facilitate the working together of groups, whether small or large. This technology is immensely useful and practical for any organization because of the fact that it helps the persons within the organization to communicate, to cooperate with each other, to coordinate all the activities within the organization in an effective manner, to negotiate with each other, to solve the various problems within the organization, and to also compete with each other or with the outside competitors. In truth, the age-old traditional technology offered by the telephone can be counted as a part of groupware and group technology, but the term is most often used in connection with the world of computers, and on the technology that generally relies on all the modern computer network technologies of today, including e-mails, and chatting, and newsgroups, and videophones. (Groupware, Introduction)

All groupware technologies are generally divided into two different groups, one being that of the group of people who all work together in a synchronized manner, in what is known as 'real-time', that is, when they all work together at the same time as each other. If the group of people is not working together in a synchronicity, then they are referred to as being 'asynchronous groupware'. The second category is based on whether the group of people is working together in the very same place or whether they are all in different places, when they are together they are referred to as being 'face-to-face', or as being 'collocated', and when they are not in the same place they are known to be 'non-collocated' or 'distant'. (Groupware, Introduction)

It can be said that all the various resources that have been explained above must form a part of the Knowledge management System within an organization that hopes to work efficiently and effectively using the bets principles of knowledge management that are available today so that it may be able to generate profit with relative ease, in today's global economy where knowledge is of utmost importance. What actually is Knowledge Management? Knowledge management has become extremely important in today's working context, and everywhere there are facts and statements about this totally new and emerging concept. Knowledge Management is can be explained with the help of several different sets of knowledge, which, when put together, make for a better working process. When simplified, the various components are: the development of a context, then developing a continuum for the context that has been created, then the extension of the context, with several examples on the process, after which is the concept of Knowledge Management.

The final step is that of recognizing the innate value of Knowledge Management. What does 'developing a context' mean? Today, there is more data generated in all fields than at any time in the entire history, and all this data has to be managed in a proper and practical manner so that there would be no confusion of issues or maybe some data becoming lost, and so on. In fact, the data that is generated in today's working environment is most often referred to as a virtual 'sea' of information, and management of the sea is of utmost importance if one were to hope to progress and derive some sort of benefit from such a wealth of information, since it is a well recognized fact that his data is a vital resource. When one prepares in an appropriate manner, then one would be able to tap into such a reservoir of information so that the benefits could be sorted out and assessed. (Knowledge Management-Emerging Perspectives)

New methods and channels are therefore necessary to utilize this information and change raw data into useful information that can be used for an important purpose such as the acquisition of knowledge fro the purpose of developing wisdom. One researcher and data management specialist, Neil Fleming, has this to say about information and its management: the mere exercise of the collection of data is not called information, and in the same way, the mere collection of information cannot be referred to as knowledge; the collection of knowledge cannot be termed as wisdom, and finally, the collection of mere wisdom cannot mean that it is the truth. What Neil Fleming actually means is that information and knowledge and wisdom are not all mere collection of data, they are all representative of one single entity, and the whole actually represents infinitely more than the sum of all its parts put together, and the whole has a synergy uniquely its very own.

Beginning with data, data is merely a meaningless babble of words, and a meaningless point if it is not put in reference to the time and the space where it exists, and when there is no reference point for data, it becomes something that is quite 'out of context' with the world. Therefore, data that does not have a…[continue]

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