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Knowledge is one of your organization’s most important strategic assets. Not only does it help your teams make better decisions, but it’s a critical component of customer success and satisfaction. The problem is, companies aren’t getting nearly as much value from their knowledge and data as they should.

“Having created knowledge bases for customers on our services side, we could see a trend that enterprises are struggling to put content in the hands of the end user,” said Alok Ramsisaria, CEO of Grazitti Interactive, SearchUnify’s parent company. “A cognitive search solution can help organizations get the most from their knowledge by helping people find the right content when they need it.”

The more data an organization collects, the harder it is for employees to find what they need to do their jobs effectively — especially if that information is scattered across different sources in the organization. According to an IDC Report, 70 percent of workers can’t find the information they need. And it’s costing organizations in a big way. The report found that an enterprise of 1,000 knowledge workers wastes $5.7 million each year searching for information, but not finding it.

Although businesses have implemented knowledge management strategies and solutions designed to address these issues, there’s still something missing — the ability to sift through and find the right information fast.

Employees need access to an enterprise search engine that can help them quickly find what they need, just as they would with an internet search. By using AI technologies like natural language understanding (NLU) and machine learning, cognitive search can give employees access to knowledge from any data source, provide analytics to help fill content gaps, and deliver personalized results to every user. The result is actionable knowledge, higher productivity and immediate ROI.

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The Pitfalls of Disparate Data

When knowledge sits in silos, and there’s no unified search strategy in place, organizations face a long list of challenges including missing documentation, inaccurate information, duplication, reduced collaboration and security issues. According to IDC, 30 percent of workers struggle with inaccurate or missing content and manual processes.

“When new employees are onboarded, they’re often confused about where to find answers to their questions,” said Vishal Sharma, CTO, SearchUnify. “Because intranets lack the personalization that customer-facing channels are equipped with, employees have to spend more time searching for the most relevant information, resulting in inefficiencies and lost productivity.”

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How Cognitive Search Creates Better Knowledge Management

AI-powered search can help resolve these challenges so you can get the most value from the knowledge in your organization. Here’s how.

1. Unite Your Knowledge

Cognitive search can help you integrate multiple enterprise knowledge sources, allowing employees to search in one place for information stored in your CMS, file storage platform, project management solution, documentation center or business intelligence platform. This can be done through connectors and APIs that unite your content repositories. With less duplication and fewer inaccuracies across the enterprise, your teams will spend less time searching and more time getting things done.

2. Make Search Easier

Keep productivity high by making it as easy as possible for people to find what they’re looking for, anywhere in the organization. Using natural language understanding, cognitive search allows users to ask questions and get real-time suggestions, including “Did you mean” or synonym suggestions, despite grammatical or spelling errors entered by the user. Employees can further refine their searches using smart filters to quickly drill down to the most appropriate content.

3. Deliver Personalized Results

Every employee has different information needs. So it doesn’t make sense to show everyone the same results, even if they’re searching for the same topic. Using machine learning, an intelligent search solution can help you display the most contextually relevant results, personalized for each user based on their search behavior, role, access permissions, preferred data sources and even type of device.

4. Refine Your Archiving Strategy

Cognitive search can ensure your most relevant content appears at the top of the list. With insights from real-time search analytics, you can find out how your content is performing so you can boost better-performing content, and archive less useful information — either automatically to streamline workflows, or manually for more control over a certain piece of content.

5. Find the Best Subject Matter Experts

Increase productivity and make decisions faster by facilitating collaboration in your organization. With the power of AI, a cognitive search engine can identify and automatically recommend subject matter experts (SME) across the enterprise for any topic by analyzing their digital blueprints, including their record and publications. This can come in handy when you need to find a sales person with particular industry expertise, or a product manager who knows the ins and outs of a specific solution.

6. Maintain Data Security

While you want to give employees the freedom to discover enterprise knowledge, you need to be sure they’re staying compliant and not risking data integrity and security. With cognitive search, you can define access permissions based on roles, restrict and whitelist IP addresses, and keep compliant with international certifications.

7. Fill Content Gaps

Guided by search analytics, you can eliminate the dreaded “No results found” message that employees encounter when there are no answers in the knowledge base for their questions. Find out what people are searching for and gain valuable insights into user behavior so you can better understand content performance and conduct a thorough content gap analysis. For example, you might want to find out which search queries yield minimal search results, or which content drives the most conversions. Armed with these insights, you can improve your content on a regular basis and bridge content gaps.

The Right Knowledge for the Right Users

Enterprise search is only as good as the knowledge you hold in your organization. Lay the foundation by creating a culture in which teams build, manage and share their knowledge. Then layer on cognitive search to give everyone in the organization access to the exact knowledge they need to do their jobs more effectively. With these critical pieces in place, you can better achieve your business objectives and keep your competitive edge growing.