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Transforming Knowledge

Management and Collaboration


in the Intelligence Community
Social, semantic technologies
will change the game

The statement knowledge is power has never been more relevant. Knowledge is what powers the mission.
Its what helps analysts do their jobs. And its the lifeblood of the intelligence community.
However, todays intelligence agencies face high turnover, and losing people means losing knowledge. It
is often a lengthy process to fill these empty pockets. But even for those agencies not plagued by staffing
shortages, there are issues of collaboration. Knowledge often sits in disparate silos or is buried in unique
documents. These disconnects make it nearly impossible to locate information, identify a topics expert or discover
synergies. With the help of social, semantic technologies, intelligence agencies can connect people to people
and people to contentto unleash the full power of knowledge.
Identifying the knowledge gaps
and opportunities
Social semantic technologies are fueling a
new era of collaboration. For many years,
agencies have implemented enterprisewide systems to tap into, extract and
package employee intelligence. Yet many
of these efforts have failed to meet
expectations. Why?
Quite simply, knowledge management
cannot keep pace with the speed at
which the unprecedented volume of
todays information flows. This makes
it challenging for organizations to
effectively and rapidly provide new and
existing employees with the institutional
or historical knowledge to contribute to
the organizations mission effectively.
Traditional knowledge management tools
isolate information on islands with no
connections. Today, social collaboration
tools make new connections possible.

By investing in the next generation of


knowledge management and going a
step beyond connecting people to people,
agencies can connect people to knowledge
and knowledge to knowledge, allowing
agencies to collaborate more effectively.
The journey begins by liberating knowledge.
Initial steps to get there include:
Creating a knowledge hubBy gathering,
organizing, and connecting tacit and
disparate knowledge in a central and
synchronized architecture, informationsharing is not only possible, but encouraged.
Cataloguing more strategicallyBy
organizing knowledge around topics, it is
no longer captured inside of documents,
making it easier to locate and share
specific and targeted information.
Encouraging teamworkWhen knowledge
workers are free to contribute to content,
all can benefit from the more robust
knowledge stores.

While these steps are important to


connecting knowledge, challenges
remain to truly unlocking information.
Even with the growing popularity of
social networking technologies or
enterprise wikis, organizations continue
to struggle with motivating employees
to fully embrace and adopt such efforts.
Specifically:

As knowledge must be manually


gathered and entered, it is
cumbersome and difficult to get
knowledge into traditional knowledge
stores, databases or other enterprises.

After content articles or pages are


populated, users must manually
connect and create links between
such content and categorize it
appropriately to help ensure they can
easily navigate between knowledge
topics.

Using a traditional knowledge


management system or modern
enterprise is usually seen as above

and beyondor least as lower priority


thanthe normal responsibilities
of an agency employee, requiring
contribution of their tacit knowledge
outside their regular duties.

4. Text miningIncludes document


ingestion, automatic link identification,
automatic page categorization, all
crowd-sourced for maintenance
efficiency and improved accuracy.

It is difficult to get information out


of many knowledge management
systems including traditional
wikisas the content is almost
entirely unstructured, limited to
keyword searches and does not have
robust collaboration tools to truly
connect people to people across the
organization.

Crowd-sourced text mining allows


any user to teach the system to create
automatic and accurate linkages and
categories of knowledge content. This type
of automation can be game-changing
for analysts who manually ferret through
intel reports, link node analysis charts and
search engines.

A catch 22 keeps adoption typically


low for knowledge management
toolsusers need to contribute
content for it to be useful, but those
who see an empty knowledge base
will likely never return.

Applications built on social, semantic


technologies can help agencies overcome
these challenges and tap a deeper level
of intelligence.

Better tools, better intel


Today it requires a significant amount
of labor to manually maintain proper
linkage to and from associated topics.
Although the Wikipedia phenomenon
has illustrated the productivity power
of seamlessly navigating from topic to
topic, information extraction and natural
language processing systems are not
mature enough today to automate the
manual process of maintaining a wiki.
Agencies need to break through the clutter
and get to relevant information. To help
them achieve this, Accenture created a
social semantic knowledge platform to
connect people to content, connect people
to people and facilitate useful content
creation. This innovation combines four
key features:
1. WikiEnhances topic-centric
knowledge management and
collaborative content creation.
2. SocialIncludes rich user profiles,
discussion forums, personal spaces,
activity feeds and status updates.
3. SemanticIncludes faceted search
tools, visual navigation, temporal
analysis and a rules-based inference
engine.

Within Accentures offering, two


powerful elements combine to enhance
collaboration. A reference library allows
users to share knowledge so analysts can
get up to speed on new topics quickly
and contribute back to the institutional
memory of the organization.
In addition to providing users a place
to share knowledge, this innovative
knowledge platform provides structured
spaces where analysts go to do the work,
executing the organizations systematic
processes and operations by collaboratively
creating standard deliverables. No longer
is knowledge contribution a separate duty
from executing mission processes. With
process-centric collaboration and knowledge
management, they are one and the same.

Real-world relevance
Humans will always do the analysis, but
collaboration tools facilitate critical
connections. Rather than combing through
hundredsor thousandsof pages looking
for information on a suspected terrorist,
analysts can leverage the power of semantic
technologies to create connections between
the suspected individual and documents
in which they may be mentioned. Analysts
may even draw inferred relationships
suspects have with other individuals,
organizations or locations.

We have entered into a new generation


of collaboration and knowledge sharing.
The explosion and adoption of the social
web around the world has proven that
businesses and governments are harnessing
the power of social collaboration. This wave
presents ripe opportunities to use social
and semantic technologies to foster a new
generation of knowledge management in
the intelligence community.
For more information on using social,
semantic platforms to achieve high
performance in the intelligence
community, please contact:
Christopher S. Zinner
christopher.s.zinner@accenturefederal.com
+1 415 225 8104
Eric Warden
charles.e.warden@accenturefederal.com
+1 517 733 5954

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management
consulting, technology services and
outsourcing company, with more
than 246,000 people serving clients in
more than 120 countries. Combining
unparalleled experience, comprehensive
capabilities across all industries and
business functions, and extensive research
on the worlds most successful companies,
Accenture collaborates with clients to help
them become high-performance businesses
and governments. The company generated
net revenues of US$25.5 billion for the
fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2011. Its home
page is www.accenture.com.

Analysts can also make the rules. By


applying rules, these interconnections are
firing in the background during a search.
The rules will show inferred relationships
and interconnections. This accelerates the
search, allowing analysts to spend more
time doing the actual analysis, rather than
spending up to 90 percent of their time
hunting for relevant information.
Copyright 2012 Accenture
All rights reserved.