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cmx Consulting

Collaborative Knowledge Management – smart information storage and recovery

knowledge-management

The challenge

Knowledge management plays an important role in many companies. Information must be transparent in order for it to be accessible to all employees. We've developed an intranet application for our customers which allows them to intelligently store unstructured information, then recover those documents intuitively.

What we did

  • Knowledge management intranet application
  • Storing unstructured information (documents)
  • Intuitive search: full text search and structured metadata search

Knowledge management - a requirement in the information economy

Data, information, and knowledge play a key role in almost all sectors and companies today. Nevertheless, knowledge management, primarily meaning its efficient storage and targeted recovery, is still mostly an unresolved problem.

Our customer, a consulting company in the Münster area, also faced these challenges. Together, we developed an intranet solution which all employees could access securely (BSI-certified) and remotely:

  • an easy-to-use, intuitive interface
  • easy and secure document storage
  • Document metadata annotation and keyword tagging
  • Establishing relations between documents
  • Commenting on documents
  • Online document viewing
  • Full text search and meta-information search
knowledge management

Document storage

Our client's information included different types of documents:

  • Text documents (Word, PDF, etc.)
  • Presentations (PowerPoint, Keynote)
  • Spreadsheets (e.g. Excel)
  • Photos and images
  • Videos

These documents were generally stored locally, on individual employees' computers; in the best case scenario, they were also stored on the network drive.
The newly created online knowledge management system allows every employee to access the company's knowledge and information in one place. Anytime, anywhere, and with any device.

Easily upload documents

A simple and quick means of uploading documents is critical to success. After being uploaded, the documents are converted to allow online viewing.

Very secure document storage and protection from unauthorized access are also key requirements.

document upload

Structured data, ratings, and comments

In order to make it easy to find and organize documents, additional metadata can be collected. Some of this data can be automatically extracted from the document when it is uploaded.

Efficient document keywording is ensured through tagging. To this end, centralized tag management is especially important.

Employees can also rate individual documents and leave comments.

These features already allow for knowledge to be externalized from the stored information.

Document search

Without a reliable and efficient search system, no knowledge management system is worthwhile. The stored data can be retrieved in different ways:

  • Full-text search in the document itself
  • Structured metadata search
  • Tag search
  • User generated content search (ratings, comments)

Intuitive search function

To make the search function intuitive and efficient, we developed a search mask that allows for easy and quick interactions without compromising on features. An auto-complete function helps the user input information.

Search results

Search results are sorted by relevance. The locations of search terms within the documents, as well as important metadata, are shown directly in the search results, allowing the user to evaluate the relevance of each result.

Technologies Used

In the back-end, the application is based on a Ruby on Rails framework. In order to ensure high usability, we created the front-end using the AngularJS Javascript framework. The data repository uses a file system and a PostgreSQL database. The search is implemented using Elasticsearch.

Document search
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