Data Mining

Data mining, a relatively young and interdisciplinary field of computer science is the process of discovering new patterns from large data sets involving methods at the intersection of artificial intelligence, machine learning, statistics and database systems. The overall goal of the data mining process is to extract knowledge from a data set into a human-understandable structure.

Business Value

Data mining's value comes from the ability to easily obtain timely and accurate information for decision-making purposes. Accessing information from these reporting environments often range from ad hoc queries to multidimensional analysis. While these forms of data analysis are excellent at answering the question or questions posed by the user, they do not provide any other insight. Individuals and organizations are recognizing that additional value may lie within the vast amounts of data that they are storing. By applying data mining techniques, which are elements of statistics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, they are able to identify trends within the data that they did not know existed. These techniques can be used for fraud detection, human resources, inventory logistics, defect analysis, business, and competitor and supplier intelligence.

Iknow has deep expertise in all aspects of data mining projects from initial requirements gathering, to database and data management aspects, to model and inference considerations, to post-processing of found structure, to creation of reporting dashboards, visualization and online updating, to system customization and deployment. We have experience managing data mining projects of many different sizes, from a small company trying to understand its own processes, to a large enterprise collecting and analyzing data over an entire competitive ecosystem.

Data Integration and Management

Data integration and management is a particularly broad subject, covering up to ten different areas: data governance; data architecture, analysis, and design; database management; data security management; data quality management; reference and master data management; data warehousing and business intelligence management; document record and content management; meta data management; contact data management. While a number of these areas are specific technologies disciplines, these deal with how data is stored, accessed, utilized, and analyzed.

Business Value

Data management and integration derives value from creating a central repository of information that can be searched and utilized by multiple people at once. Data is only useful when the data has been properly cleaned and normalized, the process of data integration must be combined with best practices in data quality management and database architecture. Data integration and management also takes value from the systems that are built on top of it. The larger the scope of data, the better information a system such as business intelligence has to work with, allowing for a greater breadth of analyses to be completed.

Iknow has deep expertise in all aspects of data integration and management from initial requirements gathering to design of database architecture, to data cleansing, to design of mediated schema, to system customization and deployment. Iknow has experience to integrate databases into other products such as business intelligence, customer intelligence, expert systems, and data mining. We have experience managing data management and integration projects of many different sizes, from creating and designing small databases, to integrating hundreds of databases with a web query that can search all databases at once.

Customer, Competitor, and Supplier Intelligence

Competitive intelligence is the action of defining, gathering, analyzing, and distributing intelligence about products, customers, competitors and related factors, to support executives and managers in making strategic decision. CI is typically the organizational function responsible for the early identification of risks and opportunities in the market before they become obvious.

Business Value

Business value for customer, competitor, and supplier intelligence comes from the knowledge of how changes may affect the market, how the market may affect your company, and what other competitors are planning. Consumer intelligence can be used to make decisions on where to apply innovation resources or training resources for service companies. Supplier intelligence can be used to find inefficiencies in the supply chain.

Iknow has deep expertise in all aspects of customer, competitor, and supplier intelligence from initial requirements gathering, to integrating intelligence into business decision, to process design and customization. Competitive intelligence does not exist often as a stand-alone software product, but Iknow has the technology experience to gather and integrate intelligence using text analysis, web spiders, and document analysis. Iknow can handle intelligence projects of any size from analyzing current market state to the potential effects of new products industries.

Data Visualization

Data visualization is the use of computer-based interactive visual representations of large, abstract data sets to help interpret and draw useful insights from the information. Data visualization goes well beyond producing simple charts and graphs; commercial visualization software constructs interactive graphical representations and provides a variety of analysis tools. The main goal of data visualization is to communicate information clearly and effectively through graphical means.

Business Value

Business value from visualization is achieved from more rapid interpretation of large data sets. The best implementations of visualization stimulate viewer engagement and attention. There are a number of different types of visualizations, including thematic cartography and statistical graphing. Thematic cartography was used at first for only mapmaking but continues to be used when location can be a determining factor in information, and can be used in heat mapping to see where the most important information is found. Statistical graphics include plots, pie charts, and are constantly innovated; the value comes from the testing of assumptions, model selection and regression model validation, estimator selection, relationship identification, factor effect determination, and outlier detection.

Iknow has deep expertise in all aspects of data visualization projects from initial requirements gathering, to designing outputs, to training on use of software, to system deployment and customization. Iknow has used data visualization in a number of different fields, including agile software development and marketing research. Iknow has experience in all sizes of data visualization projects, from dealing with the problems of big data, to designing maps of expertise networks.

Taxonomy, Classification, and Metadata Management

The creation of taxonomies, and the organization of metadata involve some of the most important and challenging aspects of knowledge management. Both of these deal with one of the major problems at the heart of information sciences, classification. Classification is the logical arranging of information for the purpose of finding it quickly when it is needed. The structure of this arrangement is usually represented as a taxonomy and the information associated with the items are metadata.

Business Value

Business value from classification projects is achieved from providing access to and allowing the reuse of existing knowledge assets. The ability to find, share, and reuse these knowledge assets quickly adds value by shortening critical process cycle times and reducing costs. These enhancements can yield faster, better and more cost effective business decision making. On consumer facing projects, taxonomies and metadata can enhance virtual storefronts by improving search functionality. For internet databases, a strong taxonomy and metadata platform is necessary to allow users to easily find the information that they want, thus creating a reason for a user to return.

Iknow has deep expertise managing all parts of a taxonomy and metadata project, from the initial requirements gathering, to collecting information for the controlled vocabulary, to adhering to metadata standards such as Dublin Core. Classification is important in almost any knowledge management project, but is central to projects that include enterprise search, enterprise content management, business intelligence, and digital asset management. Iknow has completed a number of projects in taxonomy of different size and scale, including developing a taxonomy and metadata system for a government website to enhance search functionality.

Product Landscape

The taxonomy, classification, and metadata management product landscape is complex and includes the following products. Iknow can help you evaluate and select the right software product to help you achieve your business objectives.

Project and Program Management

Project management covers the activities involved with organizing, planning, staffing, directing and controlling projects to bring about the successful completion of specific project-related goals and objectives. Program management and portfolio management is the activity of organizing and planning across a set or group of projects and includes activities such as project evaluation, resource allocation, and portfolio optimization. The primary challenge of project management is to achieve the project goals and objectives while working within constraints, such as scope, timeline, and budget.

Business Value

Companies have only limited resources for each goal, and need to reach their goals within cost and schedule constraints. With program and project management, companies gain much greater visibility on the status of projects allowing them to identify problems earlier. When problems are identified earlier, decisions can be made that change the process, end the project, or account for the problem. The identification can create more accurate and robust forecasts, and manage and optimize resources across the project portfolio.

Iknow has deep expertise in all aspects of project and program management, from initial requirements gathering, to understanding institutional decision making, to customizing software to allow for cost-cutting measures, to system deployment. Iknow’s experience in case and business process management helps with project and program management because each can be combined depending upon the needs of the project. Iknow has experience in analyzing and designing project management system of all sizes, from creating a system that can be customized for each project, to designing a process for each project to follow.

Modeling and Simulation

Modeling and simulation is the development of data by creating a representation of a process, activity, or engineering problem that can be executed by a computer. The abstraction representation is modeling, and the execution upon the computer is simulation. Modeling is the formal specification of a conceptualization and underlying assumptions and constraints. This process involves creating a working hypothesis and ensuring that the question one is asking of the model can be answered by a simulation. Simulation is a tool for probing how changes in various inputs would change the outputs.

Business Value

Modeling and simulation can add a great deal of value in any industry. At any time, there is a level of fluidity in the competitive environment, and the business that has the best understanding of what may happen is the one which will have a competitive edge. In internal environments, modeling and simulation can help to convince people of the necessity of change to improve processes and cut down on the time taken completing tasks. Modeling and simulation is an integral part of any risk management system and should be used to ensure that as many contingencies are considered as possible.

Iknow has deep expertise in all aspects of modeling and simulations from initial requirements gathering, to data gathering, to creating hypotheses, to conceptualizing the problem or activity, to selection and deployment of a modeling and simulation technology. This software can be implemented with business intelligence, business process management, and data visualization. Typical modeling and simulation projects include understanding changes in the competitive environment and in the internal environment.

Expertise Profiling/Expertise Networks

Expertise profiling is the collection and storage of the backgrounds, experiences and expertise of individuals with relevant knowledge. Expert directories typically list an individual’s name, title, and contact information as well as a comprehensive profile or professional biography. Expert directories allow project teams, work groups, departments, communities, and employees across the enterprise to find the expertise resident in their organizations. Often, expert directories include experts from external sources.

Business Value

Business value from expertise profiling is achieved from having immediate and direct access to available expertise. When employees are confronted with a new or difficult assignment, they spend much time hunting for information by sending numerous e-mails, making phone calls, searching their intranet, and using their own personal network to find a suitable expert. Even after all this effort, the employee often fails to find someone with the necessary expertise or solution. Without being able to leverage this expertise, the employee will then start from scratch, leading to longer cycle times for completing tasks and activities and duplicate and redundant work. Expertise profiles improve the quality and speed of execution by increasing cross-silo communication, reducing re-work, and shortening employee ramp-up. Access to internal and external experts through a searchable directory improves a company's performance through faster cycle times, increased efficiency, and better decision making.

Iknow has deep expertise in managing all aspects of expertise profiling systems from initial requirements gathering, to finding experts in an organization, to understanding the use of experts in an organization, to system customization and deployment. Iknow’s experience in enterprise search and community management allows us to find the hidden experts in an organization, and to help you to find them once we do. We have completed expertise profiling projects of all sizes, including designing systems that combine expertise profiling with document management to attach documents to their creators.

Expert Systems, Qualitative Reasoning, and Artificial Intelligence

Expert systems and qualitative reasoning are both branches of artificial intelligence dealing with problem solving and decision making. Expert systems emulate the decision making of humans by using a fixed inference engine, a computer program that produces reasoning based on rules and logic, to draw upon a knowledge base that can be made up of either structured or unstructured data. Qualitative reasoning automates decision making by using qualitative rather than quantitative information to improve planning and problem solving.

Business Value

Expert systems and qualitative reasoning require a strong understanding of usage requirements to produce value. Much of the disadvantages people consider part of these systems deal with poor development methodology. Iknow corrects this problem by creating thorough design documentation, developing an expert-level knowledge base, and gathering all requirements necessary to build internal rules and logic. When these pieces are combined, the technology becomes much more reliable, responsive and useful. These processes improve speed and accuracy in decision making by increasing the breadth of knowledge available to managers and executives.

Iknow has deep expertise in all aspects of expert systems and qualitative reasoning projects, from initial requirements gathering, to development of logic rules, to gathering data from experts in the field, to software customization and deployment. For both of these systems, they function best when integrated into an environment where standardization is one of the most important aspects, such as mortgages. They also can be used in more advanced manners to build and design prototypes of software.

Enterprise Search

Enterprise search is the practice of making content from one or more enterprise-type sources, such as databases and intranets, searchable from within the organization. Enterprise search systems index data and documents from a variety of sources, such as content management systems, electronic file systems, and document management systems. Enterprise search systems can integrate structured and unstructured content in their collections, and display it with a taxonomy and other metadata to filter the search.

Business Value

Iknow helps organizations to realize the value of their content, with deep expertise in all aspects of enterprise search systems. These include initial requirements gathering, design of standards for metadata, creation of facets and taxonomies, clustering and summarizing, the addition of text analysis for entity extraction and the handling of unstructured data, system deployment and customization. Iknow has experience with all sizes of enterprise search projects, from designing portals for large companies to the understanding of small companies’ need for security and speed.

Enterprise search provides rapid access to information. Investments in enterprise search increase employee productivity, by reducing the time they spend looking for information, and increase the quality and speed of business decision making. Iknow understands how best to integrate the system with other enterprise software such as business intelligence programs, to gather and distribute data, and taxonomy and metadata management systems, to filter content. Well-built enterprise search systems improve the speed and accuracy for finding the right data and content.

Product Landscape

The enterprise search product landscape is complex and includes the following products. Iknow can help you evaluate and select the right software product to help you achieve your business objectives.