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Why Auto-Tagging is the Key to a Consulting Giant’s Knowledge Management System

Building up better content with taxonomies and metadata

Our customer

As a global leader in consultancy, our customer’s success with their clients goes hand-in-hand with strong knowledge management for consulting staff internally. With offices in countries worldwide, our customer has worked with more than half of the Global 500 companies, offering services in innovation, strategy, digital transformation, acquisition, etc. 

The challenge

While their reach is certainly something to celebrate, the scale can pose problems with effectively sharing knowledge across the company, and in knowing who has expertise across various topics in different locations. 

The Product Owner of Knowledge Management Systems at our customer’s company was experiencing these hardships firsthand, where she kept an Excel file to track the industries, topics, and locations where our customer had experience. The difficulty of manually managing this information led her company to find a software that could automate their work and ultimately improve its quality. 

How does a company with hundreds of client engagements maintain data in a spreadsheet? Rather painfully.

Collecting and organizing data from an Excel sheet proved to be a very challenging and frustrating process for the knowledge management team. With the large amounts of data they were amassing, the Excel databases simply could not keep up with the team’s efforts and uses for the data. Not only were these sheets being used to maintain the data, consultants were also using them as a reference for which solutions and services to bring to clients.

In essence, the Excel-based taxonomies were a headache for the knowledge team, and a hindrance for consultants and potential business.

The product owner of the taxonomy experienced first-hand how her team’s workflows were “painful.” While Excel is best used to support numerical data, the taxonomy data was not well suited to Excel.  Since it was a hierarchy, it was not easy to sort or search through while maintaining the relationship between terms. It was also intended to reflect today’s business, so when terms changed, it was difficult to track the history or impact of the changes. 

The Knowledge Management team only allowed recommendations for changes to the taxonomy annually, and relied on the IT department to run scripts to change legacy data. In previous years, though this process was painstaking, it was manageable; as the complexity of our customer’s business grew, however, they could not use their old spreadsheet-based workflows because it became increasingly difficult to manage and get the right usage out of their taxonomy. 

Consultants could not map related services to each other when creating proposals for clients simply because it was too hard to make those connections without a clean visualization of them. In addition, it was difficult for them to properly classify their own work and expertise due to the “clunky,” hard to use taxonomy. It made knowledge sharing less reliable, and made it hard to find relevant experts. Business was being directly affected in this case, because they were missing opportunities to optimize the various services they could offer to clients without these linkages.

Building up better content and knowledge management with automated tagging

Along with generating better sales through a taxonomy, our customer’s Knowledge Management team also experienced great achievements with PoolParty’s automated tagging tools. Prior to PoolParty, the team manually tagged the content themselves — that is reading all the content and adding the metadata to it by hand. As one can imagine, this was a time-consuming, tedious administrative task that the team ultimately “hated.”

On top of these methods being a workplace burden, they also proved to have their issues with data accuracy. Tagging the content manually meant that it was error prone and vulnerable to numerous inaccuracies.   

By integrating power tagging in the content management system, the knowledge team let PoolParty recommend tagging for the team to accept or edit, resulting in better quality metadata. Even in the younger stages of the automated tagging PoolParty environment, our customer is experiencing quality improvements that will only grow stronger as they continue to innovate with the tool and really adjust it to their specific needs. 

PoolParty’s usability makes for a happier team

While PoolParty has helped boost data quality and service innovations,  it has also boosted the Knowledge Management team. On a personal working level, the Product Owner’s experience with the taxonomy has improved exponentially since adopting PoolParty. For her, “as someone who has been struggling to maintain taxonomies for over 10 years, literally just to have an admin interface development free and have the ability to create multiple sandboxes — that very simple feature has been awesome for me as the taxonomy manager of the company. It’s making me super happy.”

As far as her team of knowledge specialists goes, they are able to do their work in far less time with far less headache. Particularly in terms of automated tagging, the Product Owner describes the time savings as a “one hour activity to a 10 minute activity across 200 documents a month.” 

PoolParty also reduced the amount of time that was required to onboard newcomers to the tagging workflow. The specialists could rely on PoolParty for tagging recommendations and thus deliver better content in less time.

Angela DaSilva

Angela DaSilva

PoolParty Team

By incorporating these numerous PoolParty features into the Knowledge Management system and the team’s daily work, our customer can continue to innovate their services and offer the best solutions to their clients.

Expanding the PoolParty reach in their knowledge management system 

Among the various benefits our customer has experienced so far with us, the Knowledge Management Team has also found that PoolParty has opened the space for more other departments to get involved in the taxonomy out of interest and not necessity. 

PoolParty’s user-friendly interface means that the developers and IT department don’t have to get involved in the workflow so often, and other people who have access to the taxonomy understand the power of taxonomies more. Users can see the data well and spot ways for the taxonomy to improve, often adding inputs themselves. The Product Owner notes, “it has kind of been like a gateway into having conversations with people about the taxonomy.”

Moving forward with PoolParty, our customer wants to continue leveraging the powerful automated tagging that has greatly impacted the company so far. Her team also hopes to fully utilize the ontology features supported by the taxonomy, which is something that attracted her team to PoolParty in the first place. 

The Story at a Glance

The PoolParty Semantic Suite has ready-made integrations for various CMS. Click on the link to read about our PowerTagging solution in depth!

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