Wednesday, 19th January 2011
As I discussed in my initial overview of the CI software landscape, the range of available information products continues to blur the lines distinguishing software as specifically 'CI software.' Comintelli's Knowledge XChanger(TM), reviewed in VIP Magazine Number 86, is an excellent example of the merging of CI software, knowledge management software and social features. The social and visualisation features in Knowledge XChanger make the product stand out, and give good reason to apply the software in areas not strictly related to competitive intelligence. As one example of the visualisation features, the Matrix Analyzer allows users to quickly create 'heat maps' of information to more easily identify 'hot spots', not just for tracking competitors, but potentially for any topic of importance to the company. But the killer feature of Knowledge XChanger is its utilisation of 'Knowledge Points'. It's somewhat rare that I get a little thrill by a software feature, but this one thrilled me. Users are awarded points based on their activity level in Knowledge XChanger -- how often they add items, tag items, comment, vote and read. In other words, users literally build their social capital in the system via Knowledge Points. This feature provides a way to track 'buzz' in the system, enabling a human, real-time element to track trends and weak signals within the company and among users. Users also have the ability to comment on content items and flag items as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities or threats. Additionally, the Knowledge Points system helps automatically identify experts in the company in a 'social' way that may not have otherwise emerged. Experts can self-identify by tagging themselves, but they are also awarded points as they participate in certain topics. For example, if a user reads, publishes or comments on, for example, cloud computing, that user gets awarded more points in the system, raising their profile as an expert in that topic. In this way, the system not only acts as a knowledge management tool, but also as a potentially powerful expertise system. While the benefits of Knowledge XChanger to a CI function are obvious, it's also obvious that the features available in the product could be very useful across an organisation. I love to see enterprise software doing creative things with social features. See if you don't like it, too.
Purchase your copy of VIP Report: Product Review of Comintelli's Knowledge XChanger from the FreePint Shop. Or save money by purchasing VIP No. 86, which also includes the VIP Report: Product Review of DNBi - UK Edition.
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