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Glossary of terms used in competitive intelligence and knowledge management  

By Vernon Prior

NB: Entries marked with an * are new or modified entries with effect from 12 July 2009

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P / Q - R - S - T - U - V - W / X / Y/ Z


Key intelligence topics (KITs) are those topics identified as being of greatest significance to an organisation's senior executives, and which provide purpose and direction for Competitive intelligence operations.  Key intelligence topics are invariably derived from a series of interviews.  They are then grouped into appropriate categories and allocated a priority, usually by the same, or a representative, group of people.  The basic categories are:

         strategic decisions and actions (including the development of strategic plans and strategies);

         early-warning topics (for example, competitor initiatives, new technology developments, and government actions);

         descriptions of key players (including competitors, suppliers, regulators, and potential partners).

See also: Competitor, Intelligence audit, Strategic planning

Key success factors, see Critical success factors

Keyword is a substantive word in the title of a Document or a record in a Database that can be used to Classify or index content.  A keyword provides access to the item when it is used as a search term.  See also: Classification scheme, Controlled vocabulary, Indexing, Metadata. 

Know-how consists of accumulated practical skills or professional experience that allow tasks to be performed effectively but that is difficult to codify, express, or articulate.  See also: Implicit knowledge, Tacit knowledge.  

*Knowledge is a blend of experience, values, Information in context, and Insight that forms a basis on which to build new experiences and information, or to achieve specific goals.  It refers to the process of comprehending, comparing, judging, remembering, and reasoning.   

Knowledge is Data that has been organised (by classification and rational presentation), synthesised (by selection, Analysis, interpretation, adaptation, or compression), and made useful (by presenting arguments, matching needs and problems, assessing advantages and disadvantages, and so on).  

Knowledge is the uniquely human capability of interpreting and extracting meaning from Information.  It may be thought of as a structured (inter-related) set of concepts in the mind.  See also: Classify, Cognitive science, Concept, Content management, Educational technology, Embodied knowledge, Explicit knowledge, Implicit knowledge, Intellectual capital, Intellectual property, Intelligence, Know-how, Knowledge-based industries, Knowledge engineering, Knowledge-intensive industries, Knowledge management, Knowledge map, Meme, Tacit knowledge.  

Knowledge administrator is someone who collects, stores, maintains, and retrieves the Knowledge that others produce. 

Knowledge analyst is a person who defines the needs of an individual or group, clarifies search terms, and advises on the most appropriate sources. 

Knowledge annealing is a technique in collaborative writing in which participants make small, incremental changes to a Document in an effort to reach a consensual expression of group aims.  See also: Refactoring

Knowledge archaeology is the process of rediscovering an organisationís historical Knowledge that may have otherwise become difficult to trace.   

Knowledge assets are bodies of Knowledge of value to an organization.  They may take the form of documents, databases, individuals, or groups of people, and include records of projects or activities, knowledge maps, links to networks or communities of practice, reports, standard operating procedures, patent specifications, licenses, copyright material, taxonomies, glossaries of terms, and so on.  Knowledge assets are sometimes referred to as Corporate intellectual assets, or Corporate memory.  See also: Community of practice, Copyright, Corporate security, Counterintelligence, Database, Document, Intellectual property, Knowledge management, Knowledge map, Network, Patent, Patent specification, Report, Taxonomy

Knowledge base, in its traditional sense, refers to the Data and set of rules forming the basis of an Expert system.  More recently it applies to the complete details of all expertise, experience, and Knowledge within an organisation (that is, its Intellectual capital and Knowledge assets).  See also: Human capital

Knowledge-based industries is a term used to describe a broad spectrum of enterprises that are involved with Advanced technologies and are concerned with the application of recent developments in many fields, including: advanced materials, biochemistry, biotechnology, Burotics, genetics, Information technology, instrumentation, Mechatronics, medicine, microelectronics, microprocessors, Nanotechnology, and optics.  See also: Intellectual property

Knowledge broker is an intermediary who connects individuals to Knowledge providers.  The position is also known colloquially as an infomediary

Knowledge centre, see War room

Knowledge continuity management, also known more simply as Continuity management, employs Knowledge management tools and techniques in order to transfer knowledge from departing employees to the organisation in a usable form.  Techniques include mentoring, Briefing, organising communities of practice, interviewing, introducing retainer agreements, recording best practices, compiling training materials, and by ensuring that departees are suitably rewarded.  See also: Communication, Community of practice, Knowledge creation, Learning organisation. 

Knowledge conversion, see Innovation

Knowledge creation is the conversion of Data into meaningful Information that allows the world to be understood in new ways.  At the individual level this is known as Learning.  See also: Communication, Knowledge continuity management, Knowledge management, Knowledge management system, Learning organisation, Mind maps

Knowledge discovery, see Data mining

Knowledge economy is based on the production, distribution, and use of Knowledge as the main driver of growth, wealth creation, and employment across all industries.  It does not rely solely on a few advanced-technology industries but is applicable to traditional industries, such as mining and agriculture.  See also: Advanced technologies, Research and development

Knowledge editor, see Knowledge reporter. 

Knowledge engineering involves the planning, design, development, construction, and management of expert systems.  See also: Expert system

Knowledge integrator is an individual who possesses sufficient expertise in a specific domain to be able to determine what Knowledge is most valuable and to be able to synthesise it. 

Knowledge-intensive industries are those industries calling for high intellectual input; they include Information technology, pharmaceuticals, medical and scientific instruments, machine tools, automotive, shipbuilding, finance, and education. 

*Knowledge management is an integrated, systematic process for identifying, collecting, storing, retrieving, and transforming Information and Knowledge assets (including previously unarticulated expertise and experience held by individuals) into Knowledge that is readily accessible in order to improve the performance of the organisation.  The basic tenets of knowledge management are to build relationships, establish trust, share information, and improve learning; and to create new ideas, and transform those ideas into innovative products and services.  The means for doing so might include apprenticeship schemes and mentoring programmes, briefings and debriefings, bulletin boards, databases, documents, educational and training programmes, knowledge maps, meetings, networks, and visits.  Performance improvements may be effected through enhanced learning, problem solving, Strategic planning, and decision-making.  See also: After action reviews, Briefing, Business intelligence, Classify, Community of practice, Competitive intelligence, Content management, Corporate culture, Corporate security, Customer relationship management, Database, Debriefing, Diffusion, Document, Enterprise resource planning, Index, Information literacy, Information management, Information scientist, Innovation, Intelligence, Know-how, Knowledge, Knowledge continuity management, Knowledge creation, Knowledge management system, Knowledge map, Learning organisation, Network, Networking, Patent, Patent specification, Social network analysis, Taxonomy, Thesaurus

Knowledge-management system is a process and procedure for enabling Knowledge management.  It usually incorporates a Search engine, Data-mining facilities, and - since Knowledge is primarily embodied in people - an expertise directory or location service (known as a Knowledge map).  Content may include profiles of key people, industry trends, Market surveys, descriptions of current and proposed projects or activities, solutions to past problems, and discussion group facilities.  The term also implies the creation of a culture and Information structure that promotes information sharing and Innovation, and places considerable emphasis on learning and personal development.  See also: Content management, Know-how, Knowledge creation, Knowledge management

*Knowledge map may be either, or a combination of aspects of both, of the following:          a graphical display (either hierarchical, or in the form of a Semantic network) of the core Knowledge, together with the relationships between various aspects, of a subject or discipline;

         a Directory (incorporating identity, location, and subject expertise) of people possessing, or having access to, specific knowledge or experience.  

In the latter sense, it is a guide to, not a repository of, knowledge or expertise.  A critical element is that those people whose details are incorporated must be traceable through keywords describing their area of expertise or subject knowledge.  Sometimes referred to as an Expertise database or Expertise location service, it is often compiled with the aid of Expertise locator software.  When properly compiled and maintained, it may be by far the most valuable of all Knowledge management tools.  It is often referred to by its more popular term, Yellow pages.  See also: Contact management system, Content management, Expertise profiling, Keyword, Mind maps, Ontology, Selective dissemination of information, Social network, Social network analysis, Taxonomy, Thesaurus, Visualisation. 

Knowledge mining, see Data mining. 

Knowledge practitioner, see Knowledge reporter. 

*Knowledge reporter is an individual who is capable of identifying and extracting Knowledge from those who possess it, re-arranging it into a usable form, and updating and editing it as necessary.  Also known as a Knowledge editor, Knowledge practitioner or Knowledge transfer expert.  See also: Content management, Knowledge management. 

Knowledge transfer expert, see Knowledge reporter.



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