Volume 1, Issue 11 - January 2008 Edition

Featured Articles

The Cognitive Dimensions of Knowledge Management
By Jerry Kurtyka

Knowledge Management (KM) is frequently described in terms associated with the IT infrastructure needed to implement solutions that facilitate KM processes such as representation, capture, assimilation, and delivery of information within an organization. This article explores the non-technical or “cognitive” dimensions of KM as understood by key scholars in the field. These are the dimensions that address the learning processes of an organization: how knowledge is represented in an organization versus in an IT system and how it is used by individuals and later integrated back into the organization’s repertoire of experience.

Avoiding Meta-Chaos Making Metadata Active … and Smart
By Ian Rowlands

Last month’s article left us with the troubling concept of “Mooers’ Law”: “An information retrieval system will tend not to be used whenever it is more painful and troublesome for a customer to have information rather than for him not to have it”. (1959) Information technology solutions are designed to provide value in spite of the limitations of the technology through which they are implemented. However, that’s not always how such solutions work. Sometimes systems that are designed to deal with complexity actually add layers of their own complexity, reducing their usefulness. Unfortunately, databases (and other information stores) often hit this wall. If we examine the causes of this situation, some clear suggestions for solutions emerge. Interestingly, both the problem and the solution start with people – the creators of information stores, and the users of the information they store!

Monthly Columnists

Over the years, we have performed dozens of datawarehousing assessments. During these assessments, clients are routinely asked how much they spend annually on data warehousing. Most cannot accurately estimate what they actually spend. In order to manage these and any other costly IT initiatives, it is critical to measure each one, but it is impossible to measure them when most companies do not understand them. This is where IT portfolio management enters the picture.

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There have been a number of data warehouse projects that any outside expert observer would have labeled as successful. Within the organization, however, the projects were considered failures. They were considered failures because management and users had much higher expectations than what was actually achieved. There is nothing more critical to the success of a data warehouse than managing the expectations of users and management.

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Recently the World Trade Organization heard testimony from the European Union that the Boeing Company “receives lavish government subsidies that give it an unfair competitive advantage over rival Airbus SAS.” It also heard testimony from the United States complaining about aid granted to Airbus. Each side has accused the other of supplying inaccurate data. The commission says the U.S. “grossly inflates the numbers” when it comes to Airbus support, while the U.S. argues that the EU unfairly counts as government grants $10.4 billion Boeing got from NASA for research services. The heated exchanges center on the understanding of what constitutes government aid to a private organization.

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Readers of EIMInsight magazine (this publication), and others I have written for can tell that I am an avid reader; one of my favorite subjects is history. Over the years, I have read many books and written reviews of some that attracted my attention for various reasons. Recently, I discovered a book series that uses historical events and key persons to illustrate concepts and initiatives that could apply to business. The series, Lessons from History, is the creation of a consultant, Mark Kozak-Holland, and the intention of the series is to examine complex business problems by applying lessons from history. He uses historical case studies to demonstrate how challenges were overcome, offering a unique view for business and technology management to apply the lessons of history to their situations.

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Most healthcare providers are active building, installing, or enhancing data capture systems. Many are focused on developing, implementing, or revising an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) that can be a composite repository of much of the data accumulated for any individual patient. At the same time, most organizations are starving for access to information that they can use to improve their business, processes, or techniques.

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Letter From The Editor

This month, EIMInsight Magazine welcomes in the New Year with a return article by Ian Rowlands, who reviews how individuals, can critically affect databases and their usefulness.

We also welcome, for the first time to EIMInsight Magazine , feature author Jerry Kurtyka, Managing Director for Whitestone Technology, who focuses on the humanistic and leadership aspects of technology.  Jerry’s article, “The Cognitive Dimensions of Knowledge Management”, explores the “non-technical” dimensions of Knowledge Management (KM), and how capture, assimilation and delivery of information are integrated back into the organization.

We hope that you find these articles, as well as those of our monthly contributors, David Marco, Anne Marie Smith, Sid Adelman, Bruce Johnson and James Funk, helpful and applicable.

I encourage you to join EIMI, it’s free and will provide you with a wealth of research now and in the future.  Articles are constantly added to the archives and resource portals, so join us now!

If you have any questions or comments about the magazine or the institute, please contact me at cklima@EIMInstitute.org.

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