- BI= a set of all technologies that gather and analyze data to improve decision making
- KM = a systematic process of finding, selecting, organizing, distilling and presenting information in a way that improves an employee's comprehension in a specific area of interest Specific knowledge management activities help focus the organization on acquiring, storing and utilizing knowledge for such things as problem solving, dynamic learning, strategic planning and decision making.
What has always amazed me about these and other fields such as Analysis of Alternatives (AOA), Data Mining and even most Decision Support Systems (DSS) is that they are all about developing and managing information to support and improve decision making, yet none of them actually support the decision making process.
The decision making process requires 1) framing the problem, 2) evaluating the alternatives, 3)fusing the evaluation and 4) deciding what to do next. All of the methods listed above help gather and organize information that is vital to good decisions, but all stop short. Decision making requires more than the availability of database information. In fact, as mentioned in the article "up to 80% of business information is not quantitative or structured in a way that can be captured in a relational database". This non-quantitative information is the basis on which many business and technical decisions are made.
Two cases support this. First, a manufacturer of rocket engines uses our Accord software because many of their key early decisions are qualitative and Accord can manage fusing the qualitative and quantitative evaluations. Second, a Fortune 100 company received 20 proposals in response to an RFP for a piece of electronic equipment. In the RFP were over 60 quantitative specifications for size, functionality, reliability, etc. When they reviewed the proposals, they sorted them into two piles, those that met the specs and those that didn't. Then they began to use the unstated, usually qualitative measures to differentiate the acceptable proposals so they could decide how to award the contract.
The point is, most best practices focus on generating and managing information so decisions can be made. They don't spend enough effort on framing, fusing and managing what to do next. Framing and evaluation fusion are the social interactions occur that develop buy-in, accountability and robust decisions. It is these areas that are the hard part, that are not covered in school and are not well supported.