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PAIA Section 51 Manual

 

     

 
     The language of competitive business intelligence  
 

 

 

  

Competitive Intelligence Glossary

   - the Language of Intelligence 

 

 

This Glossary is published as a tribute to a dear friend, Vernon Prior who died on 15 September 2011 after a very long fight.
The Glossary was initially published on this website
with full participation and express written permission of Vernon Prior - see side bar acknowledging SCIP - www.scip.org (as the original publisher).

 

UPDATED UK English version. This edition is dated 21 January 2010.  Entries marked with an * have been added or modified since 21 October 2009.

 Alphabetical List

 

  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

    A

 

 

Abstract is an objective and accurate condensation of a Document, which can vary in length from a mere expansion or Enrichment of the title to several paragraphs.  Abstracts can save a great deal of time and effort and will alert you to newly published work that may otherwise be difficult to trace.  At the very least, an abstract will help you to decide whether or not you need to read the original material.  See also: Bibliography, Digest, Indicative abstract, Informative abstract, Synopsis. 

 

Active disinformation, see Disinformation.

 

Advanced technologies, also commonly referred to by the term High technology, are those that:

·         require significant expertise and Research and development input;

·         involve a high proportion of knowledge workers;

·         call for the intensive transfer and exchange of Information;

·         result in high-value-added products.

 

See also: Knowledge-based industries, Nanotechnology, Research and development, Technology.

 

After action reviews (AAR) are presentations or discussions following an event or activity by those involved with, or interested in, that event and whose purpose is to learn from it.  An AAR should describe what was intended to happen, what was actually accomplished, what mistakes were made, what lessons were learned, and how participation in similar events might be improved in the future.  They may be recorded in a variety of media as a form of reference for future use.  Briefings and AARs (also referred to as Debriefings) are excellent learning tools and help to instil an information-sharing culture.  Their effectiveness depends to a great extent on accurately identifying the most appropriate audience.  See also: Briefing, Debriefing, Intranet, Knowledge management, Mind maps, Narrative, Report.

 

Algorithm is a process or set of rules for calculating or solving problems, especially when using computers.  See also: Decision tree, Predictive analytics.

 

Alliance is a form of cooperation between two or more independent companies in which they share risks and revenues with the aim of jointly improving their Competitive advantage.  Alliances may include licensing, clusters, co-marketing arrangements, shared R&D, joint ventures, franchising agreements, outsourcing partnerships, and investments.  See also: Cluster, Joint project, Joint venture, Lead-firm network, Networking, Production network, Research and development, Service network, Strategic alliance.

 

Alternative outcomes analysis, see Scenario analysis.

 

Ambush marketing occurs when a company that does not directly support a specific event attempts to present itself as a marketing partner.  This is usually achieved through the use of misleading advertising or promotional activities.  See also Disinformation.

 

Analysis involves the examination of complex Information in order to ascertain what has happened (or is about to happen), what it means, and what should be done about it.  The fundamental forms of analysis are: Deduction, Induction, Pattern recognition, and Trend analysis.  See also: Cluster analysis, Competitor profiling, Group think, Industry profiling, Intelligence analysis, Predictive analytics, Scenario analysis, SWOT analysis, Synthesis.

 

Analysis paralysis is a colloquial expression that implies that one's decision-making ability is severely impaired by exposure to overwhelming volumes of Information; it is a symptom of Information fatigue syndrome.  See also: Information overload.

 

Annotation is a note, usually added to a Bibliographic reference, by way of comment, explanation, or description.  It may also be referred to as a Scope note when used in a Thesaurus.  See also: Bibliography.

 

Application service provider (ASP) manages and delivers application capabilities to multiple entities from a data centre across a wide area network (WAN).

 

Applied research focuses on the use of existing scientific principles in order to solve a particular problem or develop new products or applications.  See also: Basic research, Research, Research and development, Technology transfer.

 

Archie is a software tool for locating files stored on anonymous File transfer protocol (FTP) sites; knowledge of the exact file name or a sub-string is essential to successful retrieval.

 

Argument mapping, see Visualisation.

 

Artificial intelligence applies to a computer system that is able to operate in a manner similar to that of human intelligence; that is, it can understand natural language and is capable of solving problems, learning, adapting, recognising, classifying, self-improvement, and reasoning.  Examples of its application include Expert systems, Intelligent agents, Neural networks, and Robotics.  See also: Classify, Cognitive science, Predictive analytics.

 

Artilect is a neologism used to describe a computer incorporating Artificial intelligence and which is capable of programming and improving its own operations.

 

Assigned-term indexing involves assessing a record or Document and deciding on the appropriate terms to apply to it.  See also: Derived-term indexing, Enrichment, Index.

 

Assumption is that which is taken as being true for the purpose of argument or action.

 

Asynchronous digital subscriber line (ADSL) permits high-speed data transmission on copper wire.

 

Asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) in telecommunications is a broadband technology that permits large volumes of voice, image, text, or video data to be transmitted simultaneously.

 

Authentication is the process by which an individual confirms his or her identity, usually by means of a signature, an official Document, a personal identification number (PIN), a Password, a digital certificate, or some other acceptable means.  See also: Corporate security.

 

Automatic indexing uses a program to select words or phrases to identify content.  It often employs several Indexing languages (such as a Classification scheme, natural language, a Controlled vocabulary, a Standard Industry Code, or a Country Code).

 

    B

 

 

Balanced scorecard is a performance measurement system that, in addition to financial measures, quantifies items that had previously been considered as intangible assets, such as brand image, customers, reputation, Human capital, Information, Innovation, and Corporate culture.   See also: Corporate performance management, Intellectual property, Knowledge assets, Knowledge management.

 

Bandwidth is a measure of the capacity of an information channel, that is, the volume of Information that can be transmitted over a communications link in a given time.

 

Basic research is work of a general nature, conducted in order to acquire Knowledge of the underlying foundations of phenomena and observable facts without any obvious practical application in view.  The results are usually published in the appropriate literature.  It is sometimes referred to as Fundamental research.  See also: Applied research, Research, Research and development.

 

Benchmarking is a continuous, systematic process for evaluating and comparing an organisation’s activities, products, services, and work processes with those of organisations that are recognised as representing best practices for the purposes of performance improvement.  A secondary purpose is to reveal useful practices or ideas that may be adopted or adapted with advantage.  See also: Reengineering, Reverse engineering.

 

Bibliographic reference is the Information necessary to identify a Document.  It normally includes: author; title; place of publication, publisher, and date (in the case of a book); or author; title; name of journal; volume/edition, page number(s), and date (in the case of an article).  Additional details may be included for clarification.  See also: Annotation, Bibliography, Bibliometrics, Citation, Citation index, Content management, Knowledge management, Metadata.

 

Bibliography is a list of documents (for example, books, periodicals, articles, reports, and conference papers) covering a specific subject or range of subjects, arranged in some order, such as by subject, chronologically, or by author.  Its function is to identify, locate, or select material, and is primarily compiled for use by scholars and librarians. The essential content should include author, title, and keywords.  For purposes of location it should also incorporate edition, date, and location.  When used for selection it should extend to include some form of Annotation or Abstract.  See also: Bibliographic reference, Bibliometrics, Citation, Document, Metadata, Periodical, Report.

 

Bibliometrics is the application of statistical or mathematical methods to groups of bibliographic references (for example, authorship, publications, literature use) for comparison or comprehension.  See also: Bibliographic reference, Bibliography, Citation analysis, Informetrics, Webometrics.

 

Bioinformation transfer is the study of the neuro-active substances that play a crucial role in intercellular Information transfer, and of the application of such mechanisms to medicine and Information technology.  See also: Cybernetics.

 

Blog is a direct means for an individual to share ideas, thoughts, opinions, and Information concerning a particular topic with an audience, using the Web as the medium.  It usually takes the form of a diary or narrative (in reverse chronological order) initiated, and frequently updated, by the blogger.  Its main value lies in the establishment of networks and the Social capital created as a result, and usually comprises ephemeral material.  See also: Collaboration software, Corporate blog, Unstructured information, Wiki, World Wide Web.

 

Boolean logic refers to an algebraic system in which all values are reduced to TRUE or FALSE (that is, 1 or 0 in the binary system), and thus forms the basis for all electronic computing.  In the context of information retrieval, Boolean operators may be used for manipulating search terms or to represent relationships between entities.  The operators most frequently used are: AND (the logical product), OR (the logical sum), and NOT (the logical difference).  The AND operator is used to retrieve documents that contain all the chosen search terms, no matter where they appear in the document.  Increasing the number of terms helps to narrow the search.  The OR operator will retrieve documents that contain at least one of the search terms.  The use of additional terms will broaden the search.  The NOT operator is used to exclude from the results any documents which contain the specified term or terms; thus narrowing the search.  Search results may be graphically represented by using a Venn diagram.  The term is derived from the British mathematician George Boole (1815-1864), who devised the original system.  See also: Nesting, Precision, Proximity operators, Recall.

 

Bot (abbreviation of robot), see Robots.  See also: Crawler, Intelligent agents, Search engine, Spider.

 

Boundary spanner, see Gatekeeper.

 

Brainstorming is a technique used by groups of people to overcome the widespread tendency to overlook various obvious options while solving problems or generating new ideas.  The key principle is to defer judgment, achieved by insistence on first recording all suggested ideas.  See also: Lateral thinking, Mind Maps, Synectics.

 

Brief is either an abridged memory aid for presenting arguments in a legal case, or a set of instructions concerning a specific task, operation, or project.  See also: Briefing, Report.

 

Briefing is the oral or written disclosure, before the event, of information or instructions concerning an operation, project, or visit. The term is derived from military practice.  See also: After action reviews, Debriefing, Intelligence briefing, Knowledge continuity management, Mind Maps, Narrative, Report.

 

Browser is a client software program that is used to identify and locate various kinds of Internet resources.  See also: Cyberspace, World Wide Web.

 

Bulletin board system (BBS) is a computerised meeting and announcement system that allows people to carry on discussions, upload and download files, and record observations and points of view without having to be simultaneously connected to the system at any given time.  See also: Internet.

 

Burotics applies to the fusion of several technologies that are mainly covered by the term Business technology.  It includes: data organisation; word processing; facsimile; teletext and videotex; reproduction equipment; time registration; and business management systems.  See also: Technological fusion, Telematics.

 

*Business environment encompasses all those factors that affect a company's operations; including customers, competitors, suppliers, distributors, industry trends, substitutes, regulations, government activities, the economy, demographics, social and cultural factors, innovations, and technological developments.  It may also be referred to as Operating environment.  See also: Change management, Competitive advantage, Competitive intelligence, Strategic inflection point, Strategy.

 

Business intelligence is concerned with Information technology solutions for transforming the output from large Data collections into Intelligence; usually through the integration of sales, marketing, servicing, and support operations.  It covers such activities as Customer relationship management, Enterprise resource planning and Ecommerce using Data mining techniques.  Those people involved in business intelligence tend to regard it as one aspect of Knowledge management.  Systems based on business intelligence software were formerly known as Executive information systems.  See also: Competitive intelligence, Competitor, Competitor intelligence, Enterpise reporting, Intelligence analysis, Market intelligence, Strategic early warning, Technological intelligence.

 

Business performance management, see Corporate performance management.

 

Business plan incorporates a detailed study of the current and anticipated future activities of an enterprise, and of all the factors (such as marketing, development and production, and financial aspects) that will have a bearing on those activities.  Since it is also the normal mechanism for attracting investment, it should provide potential investors with the Information they need in order to evaluate the risks and the potential returns on investment (RoI).  Often used as a generic term covering marketing, operational, strategic, tactical, and other corporate plans.  See also: Planning, Venture capital.

 

Business process management (BPM) involves the use of appropriate tools and techniques to design, analyse, and manage operational business processes and, where possible, to improve those processes.  The term business process refers to repetitive activities performed in the context of an organisation’s normal, everyday operations.  See also: Horizontal organisation, Re-engineering.

 

Business process outsourcing (BPO) is the long-term contractual delegation of management and operational responsibility for an IT-enabled business function, or process area, to an external services provider.  BPO covers three broad areas of activity: sales, marketing, and customer care; administration and finance; operations processes (which may include materials management, procurement, distribution, or manufacturing).  BPO may be partial (management or operation only) or complete (management, operation, and ownership).

 

Business process re-engineering (BPR), see Re-engineering.

 

Business technology refers to the integration of computer and communications technologies in support of administrative applications and procedures within an organisation.  See also: Information technology.

 

Business war gaming, see War gaming.

 

    C

 

 

Cascade, see Explode.

 

Case-based reasoning is a technique for deriving solutions to problems through a reasoning process using Artificial intelligence to produce analogies with similar problems where solutions are already known. 

 

Caves and commons is a colloquial term for the two main types of working area: caves represent private areas used for concentrated thinking; commons refers to open spaces designed to encourage discussion and the exchange of Information and ideas.  See also: Work spaces, Working environment.

 

Census is an evaluation or enumeration of each and every member or unit of population under study.  See also: Demography.

 

*Change management refers to the act of making a rational and considered response to changes in the Business environment.  See also: Competitive intelligence, Environmental scanning Strategic inflection point, Strategy.

 

Chat room, see Newsgroup.

 

Cipher is a way of producing a Document whose content may be understood by the intended recipient but should be unintelligible to all others.  This is usually achieved by substituting computer-generated random numbers or letters for the symbols making up the content of the document.  Since the same sequence must be used to set up the system for both enciphering and deciphering, no cipher system is entirely invulnerable.  See also: Code, Steganography.

 

Citation is a reference or footnote to a Document which contains sufficient Information to identify and locate the work to which it refers.  It usually takes the form of a Bibliographic reference.  See also: Annotation, Bibliography, Citation analysis.

 

Citation analysis is a specific division of Bibliometrics devoted to the study of citations to and from documents.  See also: Document.

 

Citation index consists of a list of documents, usually arranged by author, with a list against each entry of other documents that have cited the item represented by the entry.  It is based on the principle that if the searcher is aware of a Document that is relevant, then any document published at a later date that cites the original is also likely to be relevant.  See also: Bibliography, Citation.

 

Classification scheme is an orderly arrangement of terms or classes - a class being any group of entities sharing the same characteristic(s).  The major universal classification schemes are: Bliss, Colon, Dewey Decimal, Library of Congress, and Universal Decimal.  See also: Classify, Cluster analysis, Index, Keyword, Ontology, Taxonomy, Thesaurus.

 

Classified information refers to military or national secrets.  It is normally available to unqualified individuals only by means of clandestine human or technical (imagery or signals) Intelligence.  See also: Classify.

 

Classify is to assemble or group items in a rational and consistent manner.  It is based upon a preconceived plan, with the whole field of interest divided into categories, classes, and sub-classes.  It also means to designate a Document as an official secret or as not available for general disclosure.  See also: Classification scheme, Classified information, Cluster analysis, Content management, Directory, Folksonomy, Hierarchical classification, Index, Keyword, Knowledge management, Ontology, Taxonomy, Thesaurus, Trade secret.

 

Clickstreaming enables a Web site to monitor a user's movements while on site and when moving to other links from that site.

 

Closed-circuit television (cctv) is a form of cable television accessible to a limited user group.  It is used especially in security systems and military establishments, and for educational purposes.

 

Closed proprietary information, see Trade secret.

 

Cluster consists of several enterprises, usually operating in close physical proximity, that have entered into a formal, continuing association in order to pursue some activities in common and derive maximum benefit from such synergy.  These shared activities may include: Research, Development, and Innovation; Marketing, promotion, labelling, and publication of Trade literature; imposing minimum standards of quality; arranging the supply of equipment, components, or materials; and sharing Information and its Analysis.  See also: Alliance, Cluster analysis, Joint venture, Lead-firm network, Networking, Production network, Service network, Strategic alliance, Value chain.

 

Cluster analysis is based on the classification of Data or objects into groups that are related in some way.  It is commonly used in Data mining, pattern recognition, image analysis and bioinformatics.  The practice is particularly useful in such activities as Brainstorming, and the rational exploitation of Mind maps, and Search engines.  See also: Classification scheme, Classify.

 

Clustering is the linking together of many small computers in order to create a more powerful machine.  See also: Grid computing.

 

Code is a pre-arranged system of words, letters, figures, or symbols used to represent others for secrecy or brevity.  The Morse code, for example, uses a sequence of dots and dashes to represent letters and digits.  See also: Cipher, Corporate security, Password, Steganography.

 

Cognitive science is the study of thinking, knowing, and intellectual reaction; of the process of comprehending, judging, remembering, and reasoning; and of the acquisition, organisation, and uses of Knowledge.  See also: Artificial intelligence, Concept.

 

Collaboration software refers to a broad selection of software that is designed to enable collaboration, cooperation, networking, and information-sharing activities through computer networks.  Collaboration software may be designed to execute some or any combination of the following:

·         Electronic mail;

·         meetings management;

·         project management;

·         Team scheduling;

·         Distance learning;

·         discussion groups.

 

See also: Blog, Community of practice, Networking, Networks, Wiki.   

 

Collaborative tagging, see Folksonomy.

 

Collective intelligence refers to the results gained from collaboration and the sharing of information, as well as through competition, between many individuals; it is the primary objective of Knowledge management.  Although the term is applicable to many activities (including those of certain bacteria, insects, and other animals), in this context it refers to the mass behaviour of human beings.  It may be regarded as a form of Networking, which has been enabled by recent developments in Information technology.  See also: Innovation, Mociology, Social media, Social network, Social network analysis, Technology transfer, Wiki.

 

Colloquium is an informal academic Conference or group discussion.  See also: Seminar, Symposium, Workshop.

 

Combination, one of the four basic Knowledge management processes, is a technique for combining items of Explicit knowledge to form new explicit knowledge.  See also:  Externalisation, Internalisation, and Socialisation.

 

Commerce is a term that usually applies to domestic trade; that is, conducted within a specific nation or territory.  See also: International trade.

 

Commercialism is the imposition of business principles and full cost-accounting techniques on government enterprises.

 

Commercialisation covers the range of activities involved in producing and Marketing an Innovation; or is the transformation of ideas into economic results.  See also: Diffusion, Technology transfer.

 

Communication is the process whereby Knowledge is codified into Information by the transmitter, passed through a medium to a receiver, who then reconverts that information into new knowledge.  See also: Document, Knowledge continuity management, Knowledge creation.

 

Community of commitment, see Community of practice.

 

Community of interest is a network of people who are committed to the mutual exchange of ideas and Information.  The focus tends to be on learning about areas of common interest, rather than on producing practical results.  See also: Community of practice.

 

Community of practice (CoP) is an informal, self-organising, interactive group that develops in response to a specific, work-related activity, subject, practice, or problem of mutual interest.  Membership is determined by participation and may transcend hierarchical and organisational boundaries.  It provides a means for developing best practices or solutions to problems through Communication, that is, through participation in the exchange of Information and the creation of Knowledge.  A community of practice may use a variety of media for this purpose, including face-to-face meetings, reports, email, instant messaging, collaborative workspaces, and intranets.  Communities of practice can sometimes make a major contribution to Social capital in organisations.  A CoP may sometime be called a Community of purpose or commitment, and a large, geographically dispersed community is often referred to as a Network of practice.  See also: Community of interest, Electronic mail, Groupware, Intranet, Knowledge continuity management, Knowledge management, Networking, Report, Seminar, Social network analysis, Team.

 

Community of purpose, see Community of practice.

 

Competency modelling involves identifying superior performers and creating profiles that specify their expertise, skills, personalities, values, and other attributes as a basis for general organisational improvement.  See also: Expertise profiling, Knowledge map, Mindset.

 

Competitive refers to the circumstances under which a company can maintain or expand its Market share while making at least enough profit to induce it to stay in its existing line of business.  See also: Competitive advantage, Competitive intelligence, Operational effectiveness.

 

Competitive advantage is gained by exploiting the unique blend of activities, assets, attributes, market conditions, and relationships that differentiates an organisation from its competitors.  These may include: access to natural resources, specific location, skilled workforce, lower costs, better-quality products, unique technologies, or exceptional customer service.  The fundamental strategies involved are: cost leadership, differentiation, and focus (or establishing a niche).  See also: Analysis, Business environment, Business intelligence, Competitive, Competitive intelligence, Competitor, Critical success factors, Operational effectiveness.

 

*Competitive intelligence is a systematic and ethical programme for gathering, analysing, and managing any combination of Data, Information, and Knowledge concerning the Business environment in which a company operates that, when acted upon, will confer a significant Competitive advantage or enable sound decisions to be made.  Its primary role is Strategic early warning.  See also: Business intelligence, Change management, Competitive, Competitive advantage, Environmental scanning, Intelligence analysis, Strategic inflection point.   

 

Competitive monitoring is intended to gain early warning through regular, frequent, and proactive monitoring and reporting of changes and trends in your Business environment.  These changes may stimulate more intensive research or call for the use of more sophisticated analytical techniques. When confined to competitors it is known as Competitor activity tracking.  See also: Competitive intelligence, Environmental scanning, Intelligence analysis, Strategic early warning.

 

Competitive simulation, see War gaming.

 

Competitor is any organisation that offers the same, a similar, or a substitute product or service in the field of endeavour in which a company operates.

 

Competitor activity tracking, see Competitive monitoring.

 

Competitor intelligence is a subdivision of Competitive intelligence that concerns the current and proposed business activities of competitors.  See also: Competitor, Strategic group analysis.

 

Competitor profiling is the systematic Analysis of competitors in order to learn from their strengths and exploit their weaknesses.  The main factors to be considered include:

·         background (including structure, ownership, subsidiaries, and alliances);

·         profiles of key executives;

·         critical success factors;

·         business environment (major markets, competitors, suppliers, and distributors);

·         management style;

·         corporate culture;

·         financial information;

·         assets and resources;

·         corporate and market strategy.

 

The knowledge acquired is used to gain and maintain a Competitive advantage.  See also: Analysis, Competitor, Industry profiling, Intelligence analysis, SWOT analysis.

 

Computer-aided design (CAD) involves the use of computers in the design and engineering process.  The term embraces geometric modelling, Analysis, testing, and drafting.

 

Computer-aided instruction (CAI) refers to the use of computers as teaching machines.

 

Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) involves the use of computer technology in the management, control, and operation of the manufacturing process.

 

Computer-assisted interactive tutorial system is one in which a computer is programmed to perform the role of teacher in (normally) a one-to-one tutorial.  See also: Distance learning.

 

Computer-assisted process planning involves the use of computers to generate process plans showing the sequence of operations and work stations required in manufacture.

 

Computer graphics refers to the use of computers to generate and display pictorial images.  See also: Visualisation.

 

Computer-integrated manufacturing is a term that applies when work stations are directly serviced by an automated material-handling system and controlled by a computer.  The term encompasses: CAD/CAM, Robotics, Group technology, Material requirements planning, Manufacturing resource planning, Automated storage and retrieval systems, Computer-assisted process planning, and Computer-aided parts programming.  See also: Computer-aided design, Computer-aided manufacturing.

 

Concept is any unit of thought, generally expressed by a term, letter, or symbol.  It may be the mental representation of beings or things, qualities, actions, locations, situations, or relations.  A concept may also arise from any combination of other concepts.  See also: Cognitive science, Insight, Knowledge, Semantic networks, Topic maps.

 

Concept mapping, see Visualisation.

 

Conference is a general session or face-to-face group that relies on participation; often used to publicise developments in a particular field of endeavour or discipline.  See also: Colloquium, Seminar, Symposium, Workshop.

 

Confirmation bias refers to our tendency to seek evidence that will confirm our own opinion, or ignore or devalue that which does not.  See also: Analysis, Intelligence analysis.

 

Conjecture is to form an opinion from incomplete Information; to guess.

 

Contact management system (CMS) allows organisations and individuals to record relationships and interactions with customers and suppliers as well as facilitating the development of comprehensive individual profiles.  See also: Content management, Knowledge map, Social network, Social network analysis.

 

Content analysis describes the technique of identifying keywords and descriptors from a given Document in order to facilitate Information retrieval.  See also: Descriptor, Keyword, Indexing.

 

Content management refers to the use of appropriate technology and software to create, collect, manage, store, retrieve, and publish content of any kind, including documents and Unstructured information within an organisation in order to better achieve the aims and goals of the enterprise.  The practice is sometimes inappropriately referred to as Enterprise search.  See also: Document, Enterprise systems, Information architecture, Information management, Information system, Information technology, Knowledge management.

 

Content visualisation, see Visualisation.

 

Contestability is the extent to which the provision of a good or service is open to alternative suppliers.

 

Contingency planning differs from Scenario planning in that it usually takes into account only one probable future event.  See also: Planning, War gaming.

 

Controlled indexing language, see Controlled vocabulary.

 

Controlled vocabulary is an Indexing language; that is, a standardised - yet dynamic - set of terms and phrases authorised for use in an indexing system to describe a subject area or Information domain.  Ideally, the terms that are used to represent subjects, and the process whereby terms are assigned to particular documents, should be both controlled and executed by one individual.  A controlled vocabulary can vary from a simple alphabetical list of terms to a complex annotated Thesaurus.  It may also be known as a Controlled indexing language.  See also: Classification scheme, Classify, Content analysis, Content management, Descriptor, Document, Folksonomy, Index, Keyword, Knowledge management, Knowledge map, Natural indexing language, Ontology, Taxonomy, Topic maps.

 

Copyright exists automatically on original literary, artistic, musical, or dramatic works and gives protection against unlicensed use.  See also: Document, Intellectual property.

 

Corporate blog is a Blog published by, or with the support of, an organisation in order to further its aims, aspirations, or goals.  See also: Wiki.

 

Corporate culture is the set of values, beliefs, and relationships between individuals and functions that guide the decisions of the company in order to achieve its objectives.  It results in behaviour that has been learned within a group or transferred between individuals over time.  It may also be referred to as Organisational culture.  See also: Group think, Learning, Meme, Mission statement, Social capital, Vision statement.

 

Corporate governance is the framework of rules, relationships, systems, and processes within and by which authority is exercised and controlled in corporations.  See also: Stakeholder.

 

Corporate intellectual assets, see Knowledge assets.

 

Corporate intelligence is a broad term covering Business intelligence and Competitive intelligence as well as those elements that are inherent in global operations, such as Corporate security and Counterintelligence.

 

Corporate memory, see Knowledge assets.

 

Corporate performance management, also known as Business performance management, is software that usually handles a number of basic applications, such as: budget planning and forecasting, financial consolidation, financial and statutory reporting, profitability analysis, and Balanced scorecard.  It is frequently associated with some form of Enterprise resource planning software. 

 

Corporate security aims at protecting Knowledge assets, whether in the form of physical entities or intellectual (tangible and intangible) property.  See also: Authentication, Counterintelligence, Intellectual property, Knowledge management, Trade secret.

 

Corporatisation is Privatisation coupled with the requirement that the government sector enterprise actively encourage competition from the private sector.  Government ministers set policy objectives but are not involved in routine operations. 

 

Counterintelligence refers to those activities that are concerned with identifying and counteracting the threat to security posed by hostile intelligence services or organisations, or by individuals engaged in Espionage, sabotage, or subversion.  See also: Corporate security, Intellectual property, Knowledge assets.

 

Countertrade is the exchange of goods or services free of monetary consideration.

 

Crawler uses existing Internet search engines to carry out automatic search and retrieval of selected Information on behalf of a user.  It may also be known as Web crawler.  See also: Bot, Intelligent agents, Search engine, Spider.

 

Creative industries comprise those organisations that engage in activities that have their origin in individual creativity, skill, and talent, and that have the potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of Intellectual property.

 

Creativity refers to the act of generating new and useful ideas, or of re-evaluating or combining old ideas, so as to develop new and useful perspectives in order to satisfy a need.  It is the capacity to select, re-arrange, combine, or synthesise existing facts, ideas, images, or expertise in original ways.  See also: Brainstorming, Innovation, Invention, Lateral thinking, Mind maps, Synectics.

 

Critical, or Key, success factors are the limited number of activities that need to succeed and be effective if company aims are to be achieved; or, are the few key areas of activity in which favourable results are absolutely necessary for a particular manager to reach his or her goals. Knowing the critical success factors helps to determine information needs.  See also: Competitive advantage.

 

 Current awareness service makes available Knowledge of what is being done in specific fields of endeavour through documents (such as notes, abstracts, clippings, email, Selective dissemination of information, and Database records) or orally (such as face-to-face or telephone conversations).  See also: Abstract, Content management, Document, Electronic mail, Indicative abstract, Informative abstract, Just-in-time knowledge.

 

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a software-based technique designed to select and manage customers in order to maximise their long-term value to an enterprise.  The term covers several aspects of customer relationships, such as: campaign management systems, call centres, interactive voice response systems, e-commerce, point-of-sale, and sales automation. The intention is to understand and anticipate the needs, preferences, and buying habits of existing and potential customers.  To that end, it usually employs some form of Data mining designed to exploit large customer databases.  CRM is seen by some as the most important aspect of Knowledge management.  See also: Database, Electronic commerce, Marketing, Value chain analysis.

 

Cybernetics refers to the science in which communication and control systems in electronic and mechanical devices are studied and compared with those in biological systems.  See also: Artificial intelligence, Bioinformation transfer.

 

Cyberspace is the notional environment in which communication over computer networks occurs.  The term is currently used to describe the whole range of Information resources available through such networks.  See also: Browser, Internet, Network, World-Wide Web.

 

Cypher, see Cipher.

 

    D

 

Dashboard is a Visualisation tool that provides graphical depictions of current key performance indicators in order to enable faster response to changes in areas such as sales, customer relations, performance assessments, and inventory levels.

 

*Data consist of unconnected facts, numbers, names, codes, symbols, dates, words, and other items of that nature that are out of context, and that only acquire meaning through association.  See also: Business intelligence, Code, Competitive intelligence, Content management, Information, Knowledge, Knowledge management.

 

Data logging involves the conversion of electrical impulses from process instruments into digital Data to be recorded, stored, and periodically tabulated.

 

Data mart is a focused collection of operational Data that is usually confined to a specific aspect of a business.  A number of stand-alone data marts are often referred to as Islands of data.

 

Data mining is the systematic computer Analysis, through the use of statistical techniques (often employing Neural networks), of large volumes of collected Data with the aim of revealing previously unidentified patterns, trends, and relationships about customers, products, services, and other activities that can lead to new and profitable business Opportunities.  As with any Database, the essential aspects are to do with accurate, up-to-date content, and with the means used for locating and matching that content to user needs.  In other words, the level and quality of the associated intellectual input is critical.  For these reasons the procedure is complex and protracted, calling for specialised expertise and imagination.  Data base mining is also known as Database tomography, Discovery informatics, or Knowledge discovery.  Examples of data mining applications include: identifying new customers, predicting customer buying habits, confirming suitable loan applicants, revealing fraud, indicating potentially rewarding investments, managing equity portfolios, diagnosing medical problems, managing inventory, and conducting certain aspects of Marketing.  See also: Content management, Data warehouse, Predictive analytics, Text mining, Visualisation.

 

Data warehouse is a repository of operational Data from one or more sources within an organisation, together with data derived from a variety of external sources that have been arranged into meaningful Information, and rendered easily accessible so as to allow for effective Analysis or decision-making.  See also: Content management, Data mining, Predictive analytics.

 

Database is a collection of interrelated Data stored together without harmful or unnecessary redundancy and structured in such a manner as to serve one or more applications.  The data are stored so that they are independent of programs that use the data.

 

Database tomography, see Data mining.

 

Datasmog, see Information overload.

 

Debriefing is an alternative term for After Action Reviews.  See also, Briefing, Knowledge management, Mind maps, Narrative.

 

Deception is the use of fraud, subterfuge, or false or misleading information in order to conceal the truth or to gain an advantage.  See also: Pretexting, Social engineering.

 

Decision diary records decisions made, together with any assumptions made and the reasoning employed.  It is used to derive lessons to assist future decision-making.

 

Decision tree is a graphical representation of the Analysis of sequential decisions and their likely outcomes.  See also: Algorithm, Group think, Predictive analytics.

 

Deduction is based on theory and logic.  It involves reasoning from the general to the particular; drawing specific conclusions from general premises; to infer.  For example, to ascribe to one member of a class the properties generally observed in other members of that same class.  In general, scientific laws are established in this way.  From a number of observations, a generalisation (or law) is drawn: the greater the number of observations, the more reliable the conclusion is likely to be.  See also: Analysis, Induction, Intelligence analysis.

 

Deep Web, see Invisible Web.

 

Deliberate practice refers to a form of training that consists of focused, gruelling, repetitive practice in which the subject continuously monitors his or her performance, and subsequently corrects, experiments, and reacts to immediate and constant feedback, with the aim of steady and consistent improvement.  It is generally accepted that this form of training calls for approximately 10,000 hours of concentrated effort if one is to achieve the optimum level of expertise.  The major lesson for business is that employees must be allowed to push themselves to their limits instead of only doing what they are paid to do.  It also means that they must receive rapid and instantaneous feedback on results.  The technique is based on research conducted by Anders Ericsson.  See also: Knowledge creation, Learning.

 

Demography is the scientific study of human communities, including size, composition, distribution, density, movement, rate of growth or decline, and other characteristics, and of the causes and consequences of changes in these factors.  See also: Census, Market intelligence, Market segmentation.

 

Derived-term indexing is where the Indexing terms are extracted directly from the record or Document.  See also: Assigned-term indexing, Enrichment, Index.

 

Descriptor is a term attached to a Document to permit its subsequent location and retrieval.  See also: Indexing.

 

Design refers to the ornamental and visual aspects of an article.  See also: Intellectual property, Registered design.

 

Desktop conferencing, see Video conferencing.

 

Development includes those technical activities of a non-routine nature concerned with translating Research findings or other scientific knowledge into products, processes, materials, devices, or services.  See also: Applied research, Innovation, Research and development, Technology transfer.

 

Dictionary is concerned primarily with words; with their spelling, pronunciation, and meaning, in one or more languages.  Dictionaries may apply to a specific subject field, or may be restricted to abbreviations.  See also: Glossary.

 

Diffusion is the process whereby new Knowledge, Know-how, and innovations spread from an innovating organisation to other potential or actual users; or is the spread of innovations into general use.  See also: Commercialisation, Creativity, Development, Extension service, Innovation, Intellectual property, Networking, Social network analysis, Technology transfer.

 

Digest is a condensed version of a Document or topic, or of several related topics.  It is similar in many respects to an Informative abstract.  The term may also refer to a regular or occasional Synopsis of current literature or news.  See also: Abstract, Report.

 

Directory is primarily a list of names and contact details of people and organisations, together with descriptions of their projects, activities, products, and expertise arranged in a variety of ways; mainly in alphabetical, subject, or classified order.  Online directories provide lists of subject headings that are arranged hierarchically, from broader to narrower terms, and are compiled by human editors.  They are more suitable for browsing and easier to navigate than Search engines.  Be aware, however, that online directory compilers usually rely on descriptions submitted by site creators.  See also: Classify, Hierarchical classification, Index.

 

Discovery informatics, see Data mining.

 

Discussion group, see Newsgroup.

 

Disinformation may be of two kinds.  Active disinformation is that which is promulgated with the intention to deceive others in the expectation of benefit.  It is designed to change people's perceptions of reality and persuade them to accept certain desired conclusions by the use of exaggerated, false, or misleading Information.  Passive disinformation is when possibly detrimental information is deliberately ignored or concealed.  See also: Ambush marketing, Information warfare, Misinformation, Social engineering.

 

Distance learning is that branch of education in which teachers and students are at remote locations rather than in direct contact.  They communicate by correspondence, email, the Internet, radio, television, cctv, computer-assisted interactive tutorials, video-Teleconferencing, and so on.  Distance learning may also be referred to as Distance teaching.  See also: Closed-circuit television, Computer-assisted interactive tutorial system, Educational technology, Electronic mail, Groupware.

 

Distance teaching, see Distance learning.

 

Document contains recorded human Knowledge, in any format; or is Information structured in such a way as to facilitate human comprehension.  Essential elements usually include: the identity of the originator(s), one or more addressees, a title, the date of origin, relevant information, and – where feasible – one or more signatories.  See also: Communication, Content management, Explicit knowledge, File, Report, Surrogate.

 

Document management system is a computer-based technique for storing and retrieving documents held in a wide variety of formats or in a number of geographic locations.  Many systems allow for the control and recording of changes to documents, as well as a measure of the volume of use.  A document management system may also be referred to as a Record management system.  See also: Content management, Document.

 

Domain name is the unique identifier for an Internet site, having two or more parts separated by dots.  Reading from left to right leads from the general to the specific. 

 

Download is to retrieve Information from the Internet.

 

Dungeon, see Multi-user dimension.

 

Duopoly market is one in which the combined share of the top two companies is more that 73.9% of the market, and the leading company has less than 1.7 times the Market share of the second company.

 

    E

 

 

E-commerce, see Electronic commerce.

 

Economic factors are variables in the economy that might affect the operations of a company during the period covered by the strategic plan.  See also: Strategic planning.

 

Economic gardening refers to the provision of government support (including infrastructure, communications facilities, and Competitive intelligence) in order to encourage local economic development.  Of these three, it has been shown that competitive intelligence offers the greatest benefits.  Pertinent information is normally gathered and analysed by government agencies or academic institutions, usually on behalf of entrepreneurial small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).  This allows them to avoid the high costs of commercially available competitive intelligence research services.  The intention is to encourage the growth of local firms rather than to attract an influx of new businesses and industries (a practice referred to as economic hunting).           

 

Economic hunting, see Economic gardening.

 

Educational technology applies to the Development, application, and evaluation of systems and techniques for improving the process of human learning.  See also: Distance learning, Knowledge creation.

 

Electronic commerce covers a range of activities under which businesses and their customers can carry out transactions electronically between computer systems.  This greatly reduces costs and improves efficiency.   The more popular term is e-commerce.  See also: Electronic commerce, Electronic funds transfer.

 

Electronic funds transfer is the transfer of cash or credit from one account to another using computers and telecommunications.  See also: Electronic commerce, Information technology.

 

Electronic mail refers to a system for sending messages by means of a computer system or Network.  It is more popularly known as email. 

 

Elicitation can be a very efficient, successful and low-risk means to acquire Information that would not normally be revealed. It involves the use of a subtle, non-threatening, and conversational approach, one with a predetermined purpose.  Elicitation relies upon the existence of certain human foibles; for instance, that people generally:

         wish to appear well-informed, especially about their profession;

         are keen to be regarded as honest, trustworthy, and helpful;

         welcome praise or sympathy;

         dislike adverse criticism;

         need to point out, and correct, errors.

 

See also: Humint, Networking, Soft information

 

Email, see Electronic mail.

 

Embodied knowledge is that Knowledge which is incorporated in a product although not explicitly identified.  It is integral to equipment or materials; for example, the technological knowledge contained in a modern household appliance, a vehicle, or a recording device.  Embodied knowledge can often be deduced through Reverse engineering.  It is sometimes loosely referred to as Implicit knowledge.   See also: Knowledge.

 

Enrichment is the selection and use of terms additional to those contained in the title, abstract, or text of a Document in order to facilitate or enhance its storage and retrieval.  See also: Assigned-term indexing, Indicative abstract, Informative abstract.

 

Entanglement is an as yet unexplained correlation between quantum particles that were once united.  Because they once functioned as part of a larger whole, they seem to have acquired an inherent link between each other.  Changing the state of one qubit (quantum bit or particle) instantaneously changes the state of the other, no matter how far away from each other they are.  Not only does entanglement make instantaneous communication possible but, because quantum particles can exist in more than one state simultaneously, it also effectively doubles the capacity of any communication channel.  The phenomenon will almost certainly lead to significant developments in computing.

 

Enterprise content management, see Content management.

 

Enterprise information management is sometimes used in place of the more common term, Information management.

 

Enterprise information portal (EIP) is a term used to describe both the home page of an organisation’s Intranet and the intranet itself, together with its content.  Users typically have access to the system from a personal starting page.  See also: Web site.

 

Enterprise performance management (EPM), see Enterprise resource planning (ERP).

 

Enterprise reporting refers to large-scale Report generation, usually achieved through the use of so-called Business-intelligence software, and intended to deliver Information by means of the Internet or an Intranet.

 

Enterprise resource planning (ERP), also known as Professional services automation (PSA), is a software-driven technique that is intended to optimise the use and application of resources (project management) and manage mission-critical processes (such as workflows, time and expense reporting, collaboration, and Knowledge capture).  The software often incorporates Corporate performance management software.  See also: Knowledge management.

 

Enterprise systems aim to overcome problems with incompatible Information storage and retrieval systems by introducing a common format for databases within companies.  Proprietary processes need to be tailored to meet the needs of the enterprise systems, necessitating management and structural change.  See also: Database.

 

Entrepreneur is a person who has the ability to recognise Opportunities of benefit to an enterprise, and the will and capacity to undertake appropriate innovative action while accepting the associated risks.  See also: Innovation, Intrapreneur, Risk assessment, Risk management.

 

Environmental scanning involves continuous monitoring of the whole Business environment, primarily in order to identify Opportunities and Threats resulting from change.  See also: Change management, Competitive intelligence, SWOT analysis.

 

Ergonomics is the study of the engineering aspects of the relationship between human beings and their Working environment.

 

Espionage is the use of illegal means (spying) to collect Information, more particularly secret or unpublished information.  Offences may range from trespass and theft to treason.  See also: Counterintelligence, Knowledge assets, Trade secret.

 

Executive information systems (EIS) are now commonly referred to as Business intelligence systems.

 

Exhaustivity is a measure of how completely the concepts within a Document have been indexed.  The greater the proportion of concepts covered in the Index, the greater the exhaustivity.  See also: Concept, Indexing.

 

Experiential modelling is a sophisticated technique for converting Know-how and judgment into mathematical formulae that can be used to solve complex puzzles and help to predict the future. 

 

Experimental development involves systematic work using Applied or Basic research or practical experience for the purpose of creating new, or improving existing, materials, devices, products, processes, or services.

 

Expert system is a particular development of Artificial intelligence that helps to solve problems or make decisions through the use of a store of relevant Information (known as the Knowledge base, and derived from one or more human experts), and a set of reasoning techniques.  They are sometimes referred to as Knowledge-based systems.  See also: Knowledge engineering.

 

Expertise database, see Knowledge map.

 

Expertise location service, see Knowledge map.

 

Expertise locator software, available at various levels of sophistication, may be used in the compilation of a Knowledge map.

 

Expertise profiling is a technique for identifying and classifying personal Knowledge and expertise for use in a Knowledge map.  It is usually achieved either through manual completion of standard forms, or by inference from the content of documents produced by the individuals concerned.  See also: Classify, Competency modelling, Document, Selective dissemination of information (SDI).

 

Explicit knowledge consists of anything that can be codified, or expressed in words, numbers, and other symbols (such as plans, marketing surveys, customer lists, specifications, manuals, instructions for assembling components, scientific formulae, graphics) and can, therefore, be easily articulated, usually in the form of documents, processes, procedures, products, and practices.  See also: Content management, Document, Know-how, Knowledge, Knowledge management, Tacit knowledge.

 

Explode is a feature of some Indexing systems that allows the user to expand a category of terms in a hierarchy from general to specific to retrieve all documents allocated to that specific term or to any of the narrower terms relating to it.  It differs from truncation in that the terms do not have to include an identical string of characters in order to be retrieved.  Explode may also be known as Cascade.  See also:  Classification scheme, Classify, Controlled vocabulary, Document, Hierarchical classification, Index, Notation, Ontology, Taxonomy, Thesaurus, Truncate.

 

Exploratory data analysis is used to identify systemic relationships between variables when there are no (or incomplete) a priori expectations as to the nature of those relationships.  Exploratory data analysis is closely related to Data mining.

 

Extensible mark-up language (XML) allows content producers to add Metadata to non-text items (such as image, audio, or video files) and facilitates retrieval of unstructured Information (an important aspect of Knowledge management).  See also: Content management.

 

Extension service provides for the direct delivery of advice to industry and business with the aim of encouraging adoption of desirable, new or transferable technologies, and the provision of relevant feedback to Research and development services.  See also: Diffusion, Technology transfer.

 

Externalisation is the conversion of Tacit knowledge to Explicit knowledge by means of language or Visualisation.  See also: Combination, Internalisation, Knowledge management, Socialisation.

 

Extract is a verbatim portion of a Document selected to represent the whole.  See also: Report.

 

Extranet is that portion of an organisation’s Intranet that is accessible by selected individuals (for example, collaborators, suppliers, partners, major customers).

 

    F

 

 

Facility management is a business practice that optimises people, processes, assets, and the Working environment to support the delivery of the organisation's commercial objectives.

 

Fact is that which is known to have occurred or to be true.

 

File is any organised and structured collection of Information.  See also: Document.

 

File transfer protocol (FTP) is a very common method of moving files between Internet sites; it offers a means to Login to another site for the purpose of retrieving or sending files.  See also: File.

 

Finger is a software tool for locating people on other Internet sites.  It is also sometimes used to give access to non-personal Information, but the most common use is to verify that a person has an account at a particular site.

 

Firewall applies to software designed to protect internal computer networks against unauthorised access or intentional hostile intrusion.  See also: Corporate security, Counterintelligence, Network.

 

Five forces industry analysis helps to assess and manage the long-term attractiveness of an industry.  It is designed to explain the relationship between the five dynamic forces that affect an industry's performance; these are the:

·         intensity of competitive rivalry;

·         threat from new entrants;

·         threat from substitutes;

·         bargaining power of buyers;

·         bargaining power of suppliers.

 

See also: Analysis, Industry profiling, Intelligence analysis.

 

Folksonomy is a user-generated Taxonomy used to Classify and more readily retrieve specific Documents (including Web pages, images, links, and other content).  A folksonomy should ideally be originated by, and easily accessible to, its primary users.  Because they suffer from low levels of Precision and Recall, folksonomies are more often used in collaborative or social tagging, social bookmarking, social classification, or social indexing, rather than in a business setting.  Nevertheless, they may be useful in small, innovative teams or in emerging subject areas. See also: Classification scheme, Content management, Controlled vocabulary, Keyword, Knowledge management, Ontology, Thesaurus.

 

Foresight planning, see Scenario planning.

 

Freedom of information legislation requires that government agencies provide certain Information to the public on request while, at the same time, providing protection to commercial- in-confidence documents and other material that is likely to compromise government activities.

 

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) is a compilation of the most common questions, and the relevant answers, on a particular subject.  It is designed to minimise the time devoted to answering commonly recurring questions.

 

Fundamental research, see Basic research.

 

Fuzzy logic is a software program that operates at a high level of abstraction and is able to handle conflicting demands.  Typical engineering applications may be found in automatic transmission systems that are able to run more smoothly, and in subway trains that are able to start and stop without jerking.  Other applications include Text mining and Case-based reasoning.  See also: Artificial intelligence.

 

    G

 

 

Gatekeepers tend to collect and disseminate a wide variety of information in an informal manner and play a vital role in group relations.  They are essential to the effective and efficient operation of organisations.  Gatekeepers may be referred to as Boundary spanners.

 

Gateway may be either a Library gateway or a Portal. 

 

Gisting is the art of concisely reducing complex material to its absolute essence for intelligence reporting purposes.  See also: Intelligence briefing, Report, Summary, Synopsis.

 

Globalisation refers to the growth of interconnectivity that has been taking place since man moved out of Africa about 1.6 million years ago.  Such increased interconnectivity has resulted in greater economic, political, and religious flows across cultures and countries.  More particularly, globalisation refers to the continuing economic, technological, social, and political integration of the world that followed World War II.  Major benefits have been its effect on world trade (which more than doubled as a proportion of nominal world gross domestic product between 1960 and 2000) and significant reductions in the costs of shipping and communication generally.    See also: International trade.

 

Glossary is a form of Dictionary which usually lists jargon or technical terms confined to a specific subject field, discipline, or profession.  See also: Standards.

 

Graphic visualisation, see Visualisation.

 

Grey literature refers to material that is not formally published, such as institutional or technical reports, working papers, business documents, conference proceedings, or other documents not normally subject to editorial control or peer review.  It may be widely available yet difficult to trace.  Trade literature comes under this broad heading.  See also: Document.

 

Grid computing refers to the automated sharing and coordination of the collective processing power of many widely scattered, robust computers that are not normally centrally controlled, and that are subject to open standards.  Other terms employed in this context include: Autonomic computing, Data-centre virtualisation, On-demand computing, Public resource computing, and Utility computing.  See also: Clustering.

 

Group technology is a coding and classification technique that groups parts according to geometric or manufacturing characteristics; used to facilitate Computer-assisted process planning.  See also: Classify.

 

Group think refers to the situation where the desire for agreement concerning a particular decision overrides a realistic and rational assessment of the circumstances.  See also: Analysis, Corporate culture, Decision tree.

 

Groupware, see Collaboration software.
 
 

    H

 

 

 

Hard information is quantitative in nature and generally consists of facts, statistics, and other formally published Information.  See also: Document, Fact.

 

Hierarchical classification is a method of grouping in which terms are arranged from general to specific; that is, in which the structure is initially arranged in broad groups that are then successively subdivided into narrower groups.   See also: Classify, Directory, Explode.

 

High technology (Hi-tech) is a popular term for Advanced technologies.

 

Holography is the creation of three-dimensional images of objects using light produced by lasers.

 

Home page, see Web site.

 

Horizon scanning is a form of Scenario analysis in that it is devoted to the systematic search for potential developments over the long term, but with the emphasis on those changes at the periphery of current thinking, and primarily in the fields of science and Technology.  It tends to look at those key areas where science may hold the promise of a solution, or offer potential applications and technologies that have yet to be considered and articulated.  See also: Scenario planning.

 

Horizontal organisation is one that seeks to reduce the number of layers of management and facilitate the development of a flatter, more responsive and productive organisation.  Teams are allocated to, and made responsible for, specific business processes.  This ensures that decisions are made more quickly and in a manner more consistent with business objectives.  The technique is particularly useful in multinational organisations, because it helps to link disparate and geographically dispersed operations.  See also: Business process management, Team.

 

Host is any computer on a Network that acts as a repository for services available to other computers on the network.  It is quite common to have one host machine provide several services, such as the World Wide Web or Usenet.

 

Human capital is the combined ability, Knowledge, skills, expertise, competencies, know-how, and innovativeness of an organisation’s members to conduct a specific activity, operation, project, or task.  It also includes that organisation’s values, culture, and philosophy.  See also: Competency modelling, Corporate culture, Expertise profiling, Innovation, Intellectual capital, Knowledge map.

 

Humint is an abbreviation for human Intelligence; that gathered by people directly from people, rather than from published sources; hence Soft information.  It may be conducted face-to-face, by means of telephone or facsimile, or online (email, chat rooms, intranets, and so on).  See also: Elicitation, Networking.

 

Hypertext is a File structure applied to the complex, the changing, and the indeterminate.  It allows the user to make links to other documents using words or phrases that cause those documents to be retrieved.  Sometimes described as a Semantic network, a hypertext system has three major components:

·         a collection of items of Information;

·         a Semantic network linking related items of information;

·         tools for recording items of information, for creating links, and for searching through the system.

 

See also: Document, Internet, Intranet, World-Wide Web.

 

HyperText markup language (HTML) is the coding language for creating Hypertext documents for use on the World Wide Web. It is very like a typesetting code, where blocks of text are surrounded by codes that indicate how it should appear.  In addition, HTML allows one to specify a block of text or word that is linked to another File on the Internet.  See also: Code.

 

HyperText transfer protocol (HTTP) is a system for moving Hypertext files across the Internet.  See also: File, Hypertext.

    I

 

 

 

Icons are graphical representations of computer functions or files that facilitate user recognition and selection.  See also: File.

 

Implicit knowledge is that which is not directly expressed; that is, the meaning is inferred from the context and, therefore, relies on existing knowledge.  See also:  Explicit knowledge, Know-how, Knowledge, Tacit knowledge. 

 

Index is a systematic guide to the content of one or more documents arranged in some chosen order (usually alphabetically), together with associated location elements (for example, topic description and page numbers in a book, or File titles and identification numbers in a filing system).  See also: Classification scheme, Classify, Content management, Controlled vocabulary, Directory, Document, Knowledge management, Ontology, Taxonomy, Thesaurus.

 

Indexing provides a means of labelling documents using freely selected keywords or phrases (natural language) or authorised descriptors from a Taxonomy or Thesaurus (Controlled vocabulary), or any combination of those, together with some means of indicating its location in the system.  See also: Assigned-term indexing, Content analysis, Derived-term indexing, Descriptor, Document, Keyword, Ontology.

 

Indicative abstract is one that describes the type of Document, the subjects covered, and the way in which the facts are treated (that is, what it is about).  It is only intended to alert readers to the existence of a Document of possible relevance and help them to decide whether reference to the original is necessary.  Written in the present tense and passive voice, it should discuss the article that describes the Research.  See also: Abstract, Fact, Informative abstract, Report, Summary, Synopsis.

 

Individual profiling is usually confined to the study of executives, senior managers, and specialists, either from a competitor or as a precursor to recruitment.  The more significant elements to be examined may include:

·         past and present responsibilities;

·         significant projects or activities with which involved (and decisions made);

·         whether or not financially responsible;

·         family or personal problems;

·         other peoples’ perceptions;

·         membership of influential groups, committees, or networks.

 

See also: Competitor profiling, Industry profiling, Intelligence analysis.

 

Induction is based on experience and experimentation.  It involves reasoning from the particular to the general; for example, reaching a conclusion by ascribing identical properties to all members of a class of things by examining only a limited number of those things.  Any conclusion must be based on a particular set of observable facts.   Possible techniques include:

·         illustration by example;

·         enumeration of particulars and details;

·         definition;

·         elaboration by comparison and contrast;

·         any combination of these. 

 

See also: Analysis, Classify, Deduction, Fact, Intelligence analysis.

 

Industrial espionage, see Espionage.

 

Industry extension service, see Extension service.

 

Industry profiling provides an in-depth description of an industry and its key players.  Significant elements to be considered might include:

·         Overview;

·         Critical matters which may affect the industry (such as industry threats and challenges, trends, developments, and new technologies, and relevant legislation);

·         Industry statistics;

·         Existing and potential industry opportunities;

·         Industry, trade, and professional associations.

 

See also: Analysis, Competitor profiling, Five forces industry analysis, Intelligence analysis

 

Infoglut, see Information overload.

 

Informatics is the systematic study of Information and the application of Research methods to the study of information systems and services.  It deals primarily with the human aspects of information, such as its quality and value as a resource.  Informatics may also be referred to as Information science.

 

*Information consists of Data arranged in some sort of order (for instance, by classification or rational presentation) so that they acquire meaning or reveal associations between data items.  Information may also be defined as a physical surrogate of Knowledge (language, for instance) used for communication.  See also: Business intelligence, Classify, Competitive intelligence, Content management, Document, File, Intelligence.

 

Information anxiety, see Information fatigue syndrome.

 

Information architecture is concerned with the creation and organisation of a Web site.  See also: Content management, Metadata, Ontology, Taxonomy, Thesaurus, Topic maps, Visualisation.

 

Information fatigue syndrome applies to the symptoms associated with Information overload.  The syndrome may also be referred to as Information anxiety.

 

Information literacy is the ability of individuals to recognise the need for specific Information, and then to identify, locate, evaluate, organise, present, and effectively apply the needed information.  Agreed competency standards are that an individual who is information literate should be able to:

·         determine the nature and extent of needed information;

·         gather the needed information effectively, efficiently, ethically, and legally;

·         critically evaluate information and its sources;

·         incorporate selected information into a knowledge base;

·         use information to accomplish a specific purpose;

·         understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information;

 

*Information management is the means by which an organisation maximises the efficiency with which it plans, collects, organises, uses, controls, stores, disseminates, and disposes of its Information, and through which it ensures that the value of that information is identified and exploited to the maximum extent possible.  The aim has often been described as getting the right information to the right person, in the right format and medium, at the right time.  It is sometimes referred to as: Enterprise information management, Information resources management, or Business intelligence, especially in connection with relevant software.  See also: Competitive intelligence, Content management, Information literacy, Information scientist, Information system, Knowledge management.

 

Information mining, see Data mining.

 

Information overload refers to the existence of, and ease of access to, bewildering amounts of Information, more than can be effectively absorbed or processed by an individual.  It often results in an obsessive addiction to new information in an attempt to clarify matters.  This may induce a continual state of distraction which leads to loss of productivity and interrupts social activities.  It is also known as Information fatigue syndrome and, more colloquially, as Infoglut or Datasmog;

 

 Information resources management (IRM), see Information management.

 

Information science, see Informatics, Information scientist.

 

Information scientist is one whose role is to assemble and evaluate Information (in whatever form it happens to be and from whatever source it comes), to interpret it, and to communicate it to whoever wants it in an appropriately packaged form.  See also: Information management, Knowledge management.

 

Information system refers to the applications and software that perform business functions or support key processes.  Performance criteria concern the quality and functionality of the software, its flexibility, and the speed and cost of development and maintenance.

 

Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage, and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual, or numerical Information using computers and telecommunications.  It is mainly concerned with the flow of information through networks.  Primary criteria for business performance are ease of use, reliability, and responsiveness.  See also: Mociology, Network, Technological fusion.

 

Information visualisation, see Visualisation.

 

Information warfare consists of those actions intended to protect, exploit, corrupt, deny, or destroy Information or information resources in order to achieve a significant advantage, objective, or victory over a Competitor.  See also: Disinformation, Social engineering.

 

Informative abstract is an abbreviated, objective, accurate condensation indicating work done, assumptions made, methods used, observations recorded, results obtained, and conclusions reached.  Usually applying to a scientific or technical Report or paper, it would not normally incorporate either interpretation or comment and is written in the active voice and past tense.  See also: Abstract, Document, Indicative abstract, Summary, Synopsis.

 

Informed flexibility, see Scenario planning.

 

Informetrics is the application of mathematical and statistical techniques to a broad range of social and organisational activities in an attempt to analyse trends and developments in society and in business.  The term incorporates Bibliometrics.  See also: Market intelligence, Predictive analytics.

 

Infoviz is the colloquial expression for Information visualisation.  See Visualisation. 

 

Innovation, a major focus of Knowledge management, incorporates all those activities necessary to adopt or diffuse an existing Technology, or transform an idea or Invention into a problem-solving or marketable device, process, product, service, or technique. It usually occurs as a result of a combination of Explicit and Tacit Knowledge.  Innovation is sometimes referred to as Knowledge conversion.  It has been shown that successful, innovative firms have certain characteristics in common; these include:

·         excellent communications (particularly with the outside world);

·         a willingness to seek Information from the most profitable sources and share it, both internally and externally (through, say, joint ventures or licensing agreements);

·         the provision of appropriate rewards for identifying and exploiting new ideas.

 

See also: Cluster, Collective intelligence, Commercialisation, Communication, Creativity, Development, Diffusion, Entrepreneur, Extension service, Intellectual property, Intrapreneur, Joint venture, Knowledge management, Learning organisation, Social network analysis, Technology transfer.

 

Insight refers to the creation of a new mental model; it occurs when new information influences or changes an existing Concept.  See also: Knowledge.

 

Intangible assets, see Intellectual capital, Knowledge assets.  See also: Balanced scorecard, Intellectual property.

 

Integrated services digital network (ISDN) is a digital telephone network that allows users to transmit and receive computer-based Information and Data of all types.

 

Intellectual assets, see Intellectual capital.

 

Intellectual capital refers to the total Knowledge within an organisation that may be converted into value, or used to produce a higher value asset.  The term embodies the knowledge and expertise of employees; brands; customer information and relationships; contracts; internal processes, methods, and technologies; and Intellectual property.  It equates, very approximately, to the difference between the book value and the market value of a company.  Intellectual capital is also referred to as Intellectual assets, Intangible assets, or Invisible assets.  See also: Content management, Human capital, Knowledge management, Structural capital.

 

Intellectual property refers to the definition and recording of a novel device, product, process, or technique so that it may be bought, sold, or legally protected.  The main forms of protection take the form of Copyright, licenses, patents, registered designs, trademarks, and trade secrets.  It is that portion of Intellectual capital that can be protected by law.  See also: Corporate security, Counterintelligence, Creative industries, Design, Diffusion, Human capital, Innovation, Invention, Know-how, Knowledge assets, Knowledge base, Patent, Patent specification, Registered design, Trademark, Trade secret.

 

Intelligence is high-level, processed, exploitable Information.  See also: Business intelligence, Competitive intelligence, Intelligence analysis, Knowledge, Knowledge management, Market intelligence, Synthesis, Technological intelligence,

 

Intelligence analysis is the systematic examination of any combination of relevant Data, Information, and Knowledge for applicability or significance, and the transformation of the results into actionable Intelligence that will improve Planning and decision-making or enable the development of strategies that offer a sustainable Competitive advantage.  The most profitable or beneficial Analysis calls for Creativity and Insight; which implies an ability to look beyond the obvious.  It is sometimes referred to as Strategic analysis.  See also: Business intelligence, Competitive intelligence, Competitive monitoring, Content management, Knowledge management, Strategic early warning, Strategy, Synthesis.

 

Intelligence audit is an examination of an organisation's current level of Intelligence activities with the objective of improving those operations in order to gain, and maintain, a significant Competitive advantage.  It involves:

·         identifying those people engaged in intelligence or related operations, together with their levels of expertise;

·         locating collections of Information, as well as other relevant resources, concerning the organisation’s Business environment;

·         establishing a set of Key intelligence topics or ascertaining management intelligence needs.

 

Intelligence briefing may either be an oral or written presentation designed to provide accurate, impartial, and timely Intelligence - together with an indication of its implications and recommendations for action - in a concise and easily assimilated form.  See also: Briefing, Debriefing, Gisting, Report.

 

Intelligence library may be either a separate entity or housed in a War room.  In contrast to the more usual in-house libraries, it should act as a directory, not a repository.  In other words, it may contain such items as directories and Professional association membership lists; a collection of major competitors’ Trade literature; Competitor, Market, or country files; Seminar and Conference brochures; lists of Internet sources; and a Thesaurus or Taxonomy together with a Glossary of terms.  See also: Directory.

 

Intelligent agents are software programs that are capable of assisting their users by performing predefined tasks on their behalf.  They may, for example, automatically, and simultaneously, monitor a number of Web sites in order to identify, filter, and collect relevant Information; and subsequently recognise patterns or other significant combinations of information; report the results to the user; and offer suggestions to solve a specific problem, draw inferences, or determine appropriate actions.  See also: Artificial intelligence, Search engine, Spider, Web site.

 

Intelligent network is programmed to allocate a priority rating to, and the subsequent handling of, Information on that net.

 

Internalisation involves the conversion of Explicit knowledge to Tacit knowledge through a learning process.  See also: Combination, Externalisation, Knowledge management, Socialisation.

 

International trade involves exports to, and imports from, countries outside national territorial limits.  See also: Commerce, Offset arrangements.

 

Internet is an international public computer Network based on the popular network standard TCP/IPS (Transmission control protocol/Internet protocol suite) with no single owner or government involvement.  It provides infrastructure for Electronic mail, electronic bulletin boards, File storage, Document transfer, Login to remote computers, distributed processing of large programs, access to the World Wide Web, and the handling of Multimedia documents.  See also: Browser, Bulletin board system, Intranet, Network.

 

Internet governance is the development and application by governments, the private sector, and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.  See also: World Wide Web.

 

Internet protocol suite (IPS), see Transmission control protocol (TCP)

 

Internet relay chat (IRC) is a huge, multi-user live chat facility.  Private channels may be created for multi-person Conference calls.

 

Internet service provider (ISP) is a company selling access to the Internet.  See also: Point-to-point protocol.

 

Intranet is any dedicated, privately owned computer Network that is based on the same standards and protocols (TCP/IP) as the Internet and which provides an inexpensive publishing platform for its owner. Applications might include Electronic mail, electronic access to company documents (including, for example, company files or internal directories and databases, debriefings or After action reviews, examples of best practice), and video communications, with the aim being to facilitate collaboration and information sharing.  An intranet usually offers access to the Internet, suitably protected to prevent unauthorised access from outside.  See also:  Database, Debriefing, Directory, Document, Enterprise information portal, Groupware, Knowledge management, Learning organisation, Transmission control protocol.

 

Intrapreneur is an Entrepreneur operating within a corporate environment.  See also: Innovation.

 

Invention is the act of creating a novel device, method, product, process, or technique.  See also: Creativity, Innovation, Intellectual property, Patent, Patent specification Trade secret.

 

Invisible assets, see Intellectual capital, Intellectual property, Knowledge assets.

 

Invisible Web is that portion (estimated to be between 60 and 80 per cent) of total Web content that consists of material that is not accessible by standard Search engines.  It is usually to be found embedded within secure sites, or consists of archived material.  Much of the Information may, however, be accessed through a Library gateway, a Vortal, or a fee-based Database service.

 

Islands of data, see Data mart.

    J

 

 

Joint project involves joint activities of a non-speculative nature.

 

Joint venture involves two or more autonomous enterprises in operations or projects that constitute some form of partnership of a speculative or commercial nature.  See also: Alliance, Cluster, Lead-firm network, Networking, Production network, Service network, Strategic alliance.

 

Journal is a Periodical containing items relating to scholarly Research or intellectual activity, or to the tools, methods and techniques employed therein.

 

Just-in-time knowledge is a concept for delivering Information to an individual at the time it is needed to perform a specific task.  It may be initiated by means of a program that identifies the contents of the documents currently being produced, or contributed to, by the individual concerned.  See also: Current awareness service, Document, Knowledge.

 

Just-in-time manufacturing describes an advanced manufacturing concept designed to produce components for assembly only when they are required, thus reducing the costs associated with holding large inventories of parts, components, and raw materials.  See also: Predictive analytics.

 

    K

 

 

Key intelligence topics (KITs) are those topics identified as being of greatest significance to an organisation's senior executives, and which provide purpose and direction for Competitive intelligence operations.  Key intelligence topics are invariably derived from a series of interviews.  They are then grouped into appropriate categories and allocated a priority, usually by the same, or a representative, group of people.  The basic categories are:

·         strategic decisions and actions (including the development of strategic plans and strategies);

·         early-warning topics (for example, competitor initiatives, new technology developments, and government actions);

·         descriptions of key players (including competitors, suppliers, regulators, and potential partners).

 

See also: Competitor, Intelligence audit, Strategic planning.

 

Key success factors, see Critical success factors.

 

Keyword is a substantive word in the title of a Document or a record in a Database that can be used to Classify or index content.  A keyword provides access to the item when it is used as a search term.  See also: Classification scheme, Controlled vocabulary, Indexing, Metadata.

 

*Know-how consists of accumulated practical skills or professional experience that allow tasks to be performed effectively but that is difficult to codify, express, or articulate.  See also: Implicit knowledge, Intellectual property, Knowledge assets, Tacit knowledge, Trade secret.

 

*Knowledge is a blend of experience, values, Information in context, and Insight that forms a basis on which to build new experiences and information, or to achieve specific goals.  It refers to the process of comprehending, comparing, judging, remembering, and reasoning. 

 

Knowledge is Data that has been organised (by classification and rational presentation), synthesised (by selection, Analysis, interpretation, adaptation, or compression), and made useful (by presenting arguments, matching needs and problems, assessing advantages and disadvantages, and so on).

 

Knowledge is the uniquely human capability of interpreting and extracting meaning from Information.  It may be thought of as a structured (inter-related) set of concepts in the mind.  See also: Classify, Cognitive science, Concept, Content management, Educational technology, Embodied knowledge, Explicit knowledge, Implicit knowledge, Innovation, Intellectual capital, Intellectual property, Intelligence, Invention, Know-how, Knowledge assets, Knowledge-based industries, Knowledge engineering, Knowledge-intensive industries, Knowledge management, Knowledge map, Meme, Tacit knowledge.

 

Knowledge administrator is someone who collects, stores, maintains, and retrieves the Knowledge that others produce.

 

Knowledge analyst is a person who defines the needs of an individual or group, clarifies search terms, and advises on the most appropriate sources.

 

Knowledge annealing is a technique in collaborative writing in which participants make small, incremental changes to a Document in an effort to reach a consensual expression of group aims.  See also: Refactoring.

 

Knowledge archaeology is the process of rediscovering an organisation’s historical Knowledge that may have otherwise become difficult to trace. 

 

*Knowledge assets are bodies of Knowledge of value to an organization, including previously unarticulated expertise and experience held by individuals.  They may take the form of documents, databases, individuals, or groups of people, and include records of projects or activities, knowledge maps, links to networks or communities of practice, reports, standard operating procedures, patent specifications, licenses, copyright material, taxonomies, glossaries of terms, and so on.  Knowledge assets are sometimes referred to as Corporate intellectual assets, or Corporate memory.  See also: Community of practice, Copyright, Corporate security, Counterintelligence, Database, Document, Intellectual property, Know how, Knowledge management, Knowledge map, Network, Patent, Patent specification, Report, Taxonomy.

 

Knowledge base, in its traditional sense, refers to the Data and set of rules forming the basis of an Expert system.  More recently it applies to the complete details of all expertise, experience, and Knowledge within an organisation (that is, its Intellectual capital and Knowledge assets).  See also: Human capital.

 

Knowledge-based industries is a term used to describe a broad spectrum of enterprises that are involved with Advanced technologies and are concerned with the application of recent developments in many fields, including: advanced materials, biochemistry, biotechnology, Burotics, genetics, Information technology, instrumentation, Mechatronics, medicine, microelectronics, microprocessors, Nanotechnology, and optics.  See also: Intellectual property.

 

Knowledge broker is an intermediary who connects individuals to Knowledge providers.  The position is also known colloquially as an infomediary.

 

Knowledge centre, see War room.

 

Knowledge continuity management, also known more simply as Continuity management, employs Knowledge management tools and techniques in order to transfer knowledge from departing employees to the organisation in a usable form.  Techniques include mentoring, Briefing, organising communities of practice, interviewing, introducing retainer agreements, recording best practices, compiling training materials, and by ensuring that departees are suitably rewarded.  See also: Communication, Community of practice, Knowledge creation, Learning organisation.

 

Knowledge conversion, see Innovation.

 

Knowledge creation is the conversion of Data into meaningful Information that allows the world to be understood in new ways.  At the individual level this is known as Learning.  See also: Communication, Knowledge continuity management, Knowledge management, Knowledge management system, Learning organisation, Mind maps.

 

Knowledge discovery, see Data mining.

 

Knowledge economy is based on the production, distribution, and use of Knowledge as the main driver of growth, wealth creation, and employment across all industries.  It does not rely solely on a few advanced-technology industries but is applicable to traditional industries, such as mining and agriculture.  See also: Advanced technologies, Research and development.

 

Knowledge editor, see Knowledge reporter.

 

Knowledge engineering involves the planning, design, development, construction, and management of expert systems.  See also: Expert system.

 

Knowledge integrator is an individual who possesses sufficient expertise in a specific domain to be able to determine what Knowledge is most valuable and to be able to synthesise it.

 

Knowledge-intensive industries are those industries calling for high intellectual input; they include Information technology, pharmaceuticals, medical and scientific instruments, machine tools, automotive, shipbuilding, finance, and education.

 

Knowledge management is an integrated, systematic process for identifying, collecting, storing, retrieving, and transforming Information and Knowledge assets into Knowledge that is readily accessible in order to improve the performance of the organisation.  The basic tenets of knowledge management are to enhance decision making, foster innovation, build relationships, establish trust, share information, and improve learning.  The means for doing so might include apprenticeship schemes and mentoring programmes, briefings and debriefings, bulletin boards, databases, documents, educational and training programmes, knowledge maps, meetings, networks, and visits.  Performance improvements may be effected through enhanced learning, problem solving, Strategic planning, and decision-making.  See also: After action reviews, Briefing, Business intelligence, Classify, Collective intelligence, Community of practice, Competitive intelligence, Content management, Corporate culture, Corporate security, Customer relationship management, Database, Debriefing, Diffusion, Document, Enterprise resource planning, Index, Information literacy, Information management, Information scientist, Innovation, Intelligence, Invention, Know-how, Knowledge, Knowledge continuity management, Knowledge creation, Knowledge management system, Knowledge map, Learning organisation, Network, Networking, Patent, Patent specification, Social network analysis, Taxonomy, Technology transfer, Thesaurus.

 

Knowledge-management system is a process and procedure for enabling Knowledge management.  It usually incorporates a Search engine, Data-mining facilities, and - since Knowledge is primarily embodied in people - an expertise directory or location service (known as a Knowledge map).  Content may include profiles of key people, industry trends, Market surveys, descriptions of current and proposed projects or activities, solutions to past problems, and discussion group facilities.  The term also implies the creation of a culture and Information structure that promotes information sharing and Innovation, and places considerable emphasis on learning and personal development.  See also: Content management, Know-how, Knowledge creation, Knowledge management.

 

Knowledge map may be either, or a combination of aspects of both, of the following:

·         a graphical display (either hierarchical, or in the form of a Semantic network) of the core Knowledge, together with the relationships between various aspects, of a subject or discipline;

·         a Directory (incorporating identity, location, and subject expertise) of people possessing, or having access to, specific knowledge or experience.

 

In the latter sense, it is a guide to, not a repository of, knowledge or expertise.  A critical element is that those people whose details are incorporated must be traceable through keywords describing their area of expertise or subject knowledge.  Sometimes referred to as an Expertise database or Expertise location service, it is often compiled with the aid of Expertise locator software.  When properly compiled and maintained, it may be by far the most valuable of all Knowledge management tools.  It is often referred to by its more popular term, Yellow pages.  See also: Contact management system, Content management, Expertise profiling, Keyword, Mind maps, Ontology, Selective dissemination of information, Social network, Social network analysis, Taxonomy, Thesaurus, Visualisation.

 

Knowledge mining, see Data mining.

 

Knowledge practitioner, see Knowledge reporter.

 

Knowledge reporter is an individual who is capable of identifying and extracting Knowledge from those who possess it, re-arranging it into a usable form, and updating and editing it as necessary.  Also known as a Knowledge editor, Knowledge practitioner or Knowledge transfer expert.  See also: Content management, Knowledge management.

 

Knowledge transfer expert, see Knowledge reporter.

 

    L

 

 

Lateral thinking refers to a means of escaping from habitual mind patterns (or logical sequential thinking) in order to solve problems or explore new ideas.  Techniques include deliberate and provocative challenging of preconceptions, and rejection of yes/no thinking.  See also: Brainstorming, Creativity, Innovation, Invention, Synectics.

 

Lead-firm network is usually initiated by a large firm to ensure that its suppliers can meet the quality, quantity, and timetable of delivery required by that firm.  The advantage is a more reliable source of supply.  The suppliers benefit through gaining access to a guaranteed Market and, usually, through improved management and production techniques.   See also: Alliance, Cluster, Joint venture, Networking, Production network, Service network, Strategic alliance.

 

Learning refers to the acquisition, and transfer to long-term memory, of experience, Information, and Knowledge, which may subsequently be used for solving problems, making decisions, and creating new knowledge .  See also: Corporate culture, Meme, Knowledge creation.

 

Learning organisation is one that places considerable emphasis on developing strategies and techniques for sharing Information and creating new Knowledge in order to gain a competitive advantage.  Such organisations encourage trust and tend to be highly supportive.  They invariably have a shared long-term vision, gather information from many sources (and exchange that information freely), and welcome new ideas.  See also: Content management, Corporate culture, Innovation, Knowledge continuity management, Knowledge creation, Knowledge management, Learning, Meme, Narrative.

 

Library gateway consists of a collection of databases and Information sources (normally classified by subject) that have usually been assembled, reviewed, and recommended by specialists.   See also: Database, Document.

 

Link analysis is an Internet search technique that dispenses with Keyword searching, employing instead a complicated Algorithm that is based either on the number of Web pages linked to a specific site that is relevant to the search requirements, or on the number of visits to a site in a given time.

 

Local area network (LAN) provides facilities for communication between computer users within a specific location, up to a range of about ten kilometres (but usually confined to one site or one building).  See also: Network.

 

Location service, see Knowledge map.

 

Logic bomb, see Virus.

 

Login is either the account name used to gain access to a computer system or the act of entering a computer system.

 

    M

 

 

 

Machine vision involves the use of sensors (for example tv, x-ray, ir, uv, laser scan, ultrasonics) to receive signals representative of the image of a real scene, coupled with computer systems or other signal-processing devices to interpret the signals received for image content.

 

Magazine is a Periodical containing popular, pertinent, or interesting articles, written and illustrated in a less formal or technical manner than that found in a Journal.

 

Mailing list is a system (usually automated) that allows people to send email to one address, whereupon their message is copied and sent to all other subscribers to that mailing list.  It facilitates discussion among people using different kinds of email access.  See also: Electronic mail.

 

Management fad is an innovative concept or technique that is promoted as a new tool for management progress and that rapidly diffuses among early adopters keen to gain a competitive advantage.  When the concept is seen not to fulfil expectations, its use diminishes equally quickly; its popularity usually extending over a period of about five years.  Recent examples include: Quality circles, Total quality management, and Business process reengineering.  See also: Diffusion, Re-engineering.

 

Management reports compare actual results achieved with budgeted forecast levels and thus identify deviations from expected performance.  Operational managers should present the Information in such a way as to encourage further Analysis and corrective action.  See also: Report.

 

Market is a group of people or organisations that share a need for a particular product, and have the willingness and ability to use it and pay for it.

 

Market analysis deals with measuring and evaluating actual or potential sales of a product or service.  See also: Market, Psychographics.

 

Market intelligence concerns the attitudes, opinions, behaviour, and needs of individuals and organisations within the context of their economic, environmental, social, and everyday activities.  The emphasis is on consumers – product, price, place, promotion.  See also: Business intelligence, Competitive intelligence, Demography, Informetrics, Intelligence, Market, Marketing research, Psychographics, Sample.

 

Market research, see Marketing research.

 

Market segmentation is the process of dividing the Market into smaller groups that share one or more characteristics.  See also: Classify, Demography.

 

Market share is that proportion (per cent) of the total Market that is using a particular organisation's product.  Markets may be defined as: Duopoly, Monopoly, Niche, Oligopoly, Premium, or Unstable market.

 

Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating, and satisfying consumers' requirements profitably.  See also: Customer relationship management, Market, Value chain analysis.

 

Marketing information system is one designed to collect and exploit Information concerning existing and potential clients.  See also: Market intelligence, Psychographics.

 

Marketing mix usually refers to a selected combination of promotion, place, price, and product.  See also: Target market.

 

Marketing research is the study of methods of selling and promoting a product or service; or gathering Information that will support a marketing campaign (such as qualitative and quantitative Data concerning customer preferences and behaviour).  See also: Market intelligence.

 

Mechatronics is the fusion of the technologies of electronics and mechanics.  Examples include numerically controlled machine tools, industrial Robots, digital clocks, and electronic calculators.  See also: Technological fusion.

 

Mega-portal is increasingly being applied to sites that once were referred to as portals, mainly because of the widespread adoption of the term Portal for almost any site. 

 

*Meme is an element of a culture, a belief, or a system of behaviour that is passed from one individual to another by non-genetic means; or, more simply, that which is passed on by speech, gestures, rituals, or imitation.  The term was introduced by Richard Dawkins in “The Selfish Gene’ (1976).  See also: Corporate culture, Educational technology, Explicit knowledge, Knowledge, Learning organisation, Tacit knowledge. 

 

Memeplex is a group of memes passed on together, for example, religions, political idealogies, or other belief systems.  See also: Meme.

 

Memetic engineering refers to the manipulation of memes, as in advertising, education, or psychotherapy.  See also: Meme.

 

Metadata is Information (in the form of a Metatag) that describes an internet document and facilitates its retrieval. It is very similar to a Bibliographic reference, but - where present - is often more extensive, and may include author, title, affiliation, sponsor, Abstract, keywords, language, publisher, date published, contact details, Classification scheme, and so on; probably the most useful being keywords.  See also: Content management, Document, Enrichment, Folksonomy, Indexing, Internet, Keyword, Knowledge management, Ontology, Taxonomy, Thesaurus, Topic maps.

 

Meta-indexes permit searches using several search engines simultaneously through the medium of one search request. Individual results are presented as a single list.  See also: Search engine.

 

Metasearch engine is a Search engine that simultaneously submits a search query to a number of other search engines and produces results that may be manipulated in some way for the benefit of the searcher. 

 

Metatag, see Metadata.

 

Micro business is a very small business employing fewer than five people.

 

Mind maps (a concept devised by Tony Buzan) are a means of representing topics, ideas, projects, tasks, and similar items in a visual format, similar in some ways to Semantic networks, but with connections usually extending radially from a central concept or theme.  The various elements (including words, images, numbers, and colours) are arranged both informally and intuitively according to the relative importance of the concepts involved.  Mind maps may be used for After action reviews, aiding recall, Brainstorming, Briefing and Debriefing, clarifying information, creative thinking, decision making, learning, organising ideas, Planning, problem solving, revising, summarising, and taking notes.  See also: Cognitive science, Content management, Creativity, Knowledge creation, Knowledge management, Knowledge map, Ontology, Taxonomy, Thesaurus, Topic maps, Visualisation.

 

Mindset is a state of mind that affects an individual's attitude to events and ability to make decisions.  It is derived from that person's background, culture, education, upbringing, religious beliefs, and so on.  A person's mindset may also be affected by conventional or received wisdom, Corporate culture, and by the outcome of similar or related events in the past.  See also: Competency modelling, Knowledge, Meme.

 

Misinformation is erroneous Information that is not intended to deceive; it may result from ignorance.  See also: Disinformation.

 

Mission statement defines the business in which a company competes, the company's objectives, and the approach it will take to reach those objectives.  See also: Corporate culture, Strategy, Vision statement.

 

Mociology is the study of the effects of mobile information technologies on the development, structure, and functioning of human society.  See also: Information technology.

 

Modelling is a technique used to assist in decision-making by producing probable results based on combinations of assumptions and ‘what if’ questions.

 

Modem (modulator-demodulator) is a device for converting Data to sound signals, and vice-versa, for transmission over telecommunications networks. 

 

Monopoly market is one in which the leading company has at least 73.9% of the Market.  See also: Market share.

 

Multimedia refers to an interactive system that integrates text, sound, and video.  Typical applications are business presentations, training and education, databases, and electronic correspondence.  See also: Content management, Database, Knowledge management.

 

Multipoint competition explores the implications of a situation in which diversified companies compete against each other in several markets.  See also: Market.

 

Multi-user dimension (MUD) is a multi-user simulation environment in which users can create documents with which others can interact, thus allowing a World to be built gradually and collectively.  It is often referred to as a Dungeon.  See also: Document.

    N

 

 

 

Nanotechnology is an advanced technology involving the fabrication and use of devices so small that the convenient unit of measurement is the nanometre (one thousand-millionth of a meter); or, is the art of manipulating and exploiting the properties of matter at a molecular level.  See also: Advanced technologies.

 

Narrative refers to a description of activities, normally presented in the order in which they occurred.  It may be used to describe complicated matters, to explain the outcome of events (such as decisions made or lessons learned), or to bring about cultural change.  Techniques include After Action Reviews, best-practice databases, Briefings, Debriefings, and story telling.  See also: Database, Knowledge management, Learning organisation.

 

Natural indexing language is based on the language used in the Document being indexed.  Any terms that appear in the document are candidates for Indexing.  See also: Content management, Controlled vocabulary, Index, Ontology, Taxonomy, Thesaurus.

 

Nesting is a technique for combining several search statements (invariably by using a combination of Boolean operators) through the use of parentheses.  For example: (management OR executive) AND (training OR development).  See also: Boolean logic, Precision, Proximity operators, Recall, Venn diagram.

 

Network exists when two or more computers are connected together.  Two or more networks constitute an Internet.

 

Network of practice is the term that usually applies to a large, geographically dispersed Community of practice.

 

Network theory, see Social network analysis.

 

Networking is the informal exchange of Information between individuals who have grouped together for some common purpose.  It may be referred to as Social networking.  See also: Alliance, Cluster, Community of practice, Elicitation, Humint, Joint venture, Knowledge map, Lead-firm network, Production network, Professional associations, Service network, Social network, Social network analysis, Strategic alliance, Usenet.

 

Networking analysis, see Social network analysis.

 

Neural networks are an attempt to simulate the human brain (by employing Artificial intelligence software) for image analysis and pattern recognition, in locating and matching relevant Information, and in assessing risk.  Their success depends to a considerable extent on the volume of Data in the Database.  Expert human intervention is essential:

·         when setting up - more specifically for determining input variables and structuring the data in a sensible and usable format (usually the most time-consuming aspects of the technique);

·         for interpreting the results and identifying patterns, trends, associations, and similarities;

·         in order to make appropriate decisions based on the results.

 

See also: Content management, Data mining, Predictive analytics.

 

Newsgroup is the name for a discussion group or chat room on Usenet.

 

Niche market is one in which a firm offers a specific product or service and does it so well that no other firm will be tempted to enter that Market (for instance, the market is too small, or it would be too expensive for other companies to catch up).  See also: Market share.

 

Node is any single computer connected to a Network. 

 

Nodes applies to the individuals or groups engaged in Networking.  See also: Social network analysis, Ties.

 

Notation is a set of symbols, abbreviations, or codes associated with a Classification scheme, annotated Thesaurus, or Taxonomy, and used to facilitate the arrangement of items so classified.  A notation enables the use of an Explode facility.  See also: Bibliography, Code, Ontology.

    O

 

 

 

Offset arrangements refer to obligatory technological activities of certain overseas suppliers.  See also: International trade.

 

Oligopoly market is where the combined Market share of the top three companies is greater than 73.9% of the total Market and where the combined share of the second and third companies is greater than that of the market leader. 

 

Ontology was originally a branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being.  It is currently used to describe a vocabulary of terms and associated definitions or rules covering a specific domain.  Thus an ontology may be regarded as a Database together with associated Information about the categories or concepts that exist in that domain, what properties they have, and how they relate to each other.  See also: Classification scheme, Classify, Concept, Controlled vocabulary, Hypertext, Index, Knowledge engineering, Knowledge map, Semantic networks, Taxonomy, Thesaurus, Topic maps.

 

*Open proprietary information includes Information gathered through Reverse engineering of legitimately acquired products and services, or through legally conducted Competitive intelligence operations.

 

Open source information is unclassified published Information. It includes non-proprietary Grey literature as well as Information published electronically (on the Internet, for example).

 

Operating environment, see Business environment.

 

Operational effectiveness involves conducting similar activities to direct competitors, but being better in some way, such as faster, of higher quality, or at reduced cost; in other words, conforming to ‘best practice’.   See also: Competitive, Competitive advantage.

 

Operational planning refers to organisational Planning covering the mid-term, that is, from one to two years into the future. 

 

Operating environment, see Business environment.

 

Operations room, see War room.

 

Opportunities are favourable events or circumstances that may help a company to achieve its objectives or gain a Competitive advantage.  See also: Entrepreneur, Intrapreneur, Opportunity analysis, Strategic early warning, SWOT analysis.

 

Opportunity analysis is the identification and evaluation of potential business Opportunities coupled with an assessment of the organisation's ability to exploit them.  See also: Entrepreneur, Intrapreneur.

 

Optical computers use various combinations of lasers, holographs, and mass-storage media for such applications as optical character recognition, improved image clarity, and high-speed signal processing.

 

Optimisation is a scientific approach to solving problems, the purpose of which is to improve on the subjective aspects of decision-making; thus improving operational efficiency. It calls for the mathematical formulation of the problem and an explicit statement of the desired objectives.  The method consists of creating a mathematical model and using computational means to help choose the best schedule of actions among alternatives.  See also: Modelling.

 

Organisation network analysis, see Social network analysis.

 

Organisational culture, see Corporate culture.

 

Organised system is an assembly of interdependent elements and/or organised systems the physical activities of which are controlled by the interchange of Information so that they cooperate for a purpose.

    P

 

 

Pareto principle was formulated by Italian statistician and economist, Vilfredo Pareto (1848 – 1923).  It states that: In any series of elements to be controlled, a selected small fraction in terms of number of elements almost always accounts for a large fraction in terms of effect.  This was subsequently developed into the 80/20 rule and applied to real-world situations in which there is a question of effectiveness versus diminishing returns on effort, expense, or time. 

 

Parkinson’s law (also known as the Rising pyramid) states that: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.  This law was proposed by C Northcote Parkinson (1958).

 

Passive disinformation, see Disinformation.

 

Password is a Code used to gain access to a secure system.  It may take the form of a word or phrase, or any combination of numbers and letters (in both upper and lower case).  See also: Authentication, Corporate security.

 

Patent is a government authority to an individual or organisation conferring a right or title to make, import, use, offer for sale, or sell an Invention or discovery made in the natural world.  It gives the patentee the right to take legal action against unauthorised used of the invention (known as infringement) for a fixed period.  A patent cannot be granted for the following:

·         an aesthetic creation, such as a literary, dramatic, or artistic work;

·         a computer program;

·         a discovery not made in the natural world;

·         a mathematical method;

·         a scheme or method for performing a mental act, playing a game, or doing business;

·         a scientific theory;

·         the presentation of Information.

 

See also: Copyright, Intellectual property, Patent specification.

 

Patent specification is a Document that describes an Invention.  See also: Intellectual property, Patent. 

 

Periodical is a publication that is issued at regular or stated intervals, such as a Journal or Magazine.

 

Personal mobility is the term given to recent developments in personal communications, including mobile telephones, facsimile machines, and networks; the ultimate aim being to provide each individual with one unique, universally applicable contact number.  See also: Network.

 

Personalisation is a search engine information retrieval technique in which results are based on the individual’s past search behaviour.  It is the current equivalent of Selective dissemination of Information (SDI). 

 

Personality profiling, see Individual profiling.

 

Phase-frequency analysis reveals the pervasive themes of a Database.  See also: Data mining.

 

Phase-proximity analysis discloses the relationships among pervasive themes in a Database.  See also: Data mining.

 

Phishing is the fraudulent use of email to persuade recipients to disclose personal information, such as bank account numbers and passwords.  See also: Corporate security, Electronic mail, Password.

 

Planning is the process of synthesising a goal or set of intentions into a sequence of steps, formalising those steps so as to facilitate their implementation, and articulating the anticipated consequences of each stage in the process.  Planning uses the left brain, involving logic, reasoning, and rational thinking.  See also: Business plan, Mind maps, Operational planning, Scenario planning, Strategic planning, Tactical planning.

 

Point-to-point protocol (PPP) is a means whereby an individual computer communicates with an Internet service provider (ISP).

 

Portal is a Web site that acts as a Gateway to the Internet by providing a broad and diverse range of services, including directories, Search engines or, links, email, reference tools, forums or chat facilities, access to online shopping and banking, games, entertainment, and so on.  See also: Directory, Electronic mail, Mega-portal, Vortal.

 

Portfolio analysis provides a framework to assess relative Opportunities and to enhance the return on investment (RoI) in a company's portfolio of businesses.  It is used to optimise the allocation of available resources among strong and weak products, brands, or business units.  See also: Predictive analytics.

 

Precis is an abridged, impartial version of a Document designed to offer clear, concise material for rapid, easy assimilation, usually to clarify obscure or involved argument.  Comment, interpretation, implications, or opinion may also be included, but should be identified as such.  See also: Report.

 

Precision refers to the number of relevant items retrieved as a proportion (per cent) of the total number of retrieved items in an Information collection.  See also: Boolean logic, Nesting, Recall, Venn diagram.

 

Predictive analytics is the use of relevant software for the Analysis of large data collections employing statistics, Neural networks, decision trees, Visualisation, pattern-matching algorithms, Data mining, Artificial intelligence, and similar techniques (concerning, for example, the demand for products or services, customer behaviour, business transactions, and market dynamics) in order to suggest decisions for optimum results.  Applications include: brand management, campaign enhancement, cost reduction, customer support, fraud detection, investment, just-in-time inventory control, process improvement, product or service differentiation, and risk management.  See also: Algorithm, Data warehousing, Decision tree, Informetrics, Just-in-time manufacturing, Portfolio analysis, Product differentiation.

 

Premium market is one in which the market leader has more than 41.7% of the Market and at least 1.7 times the share of the second company.  See also: Market share.

 

Pretexting refers to a specific form of Deception in which the perpetrator acquires personal (usually finance-related) information through false pretences - that is, by making false statements, through misrepresentation, or by fraud - and subsequently uses it for some form of gain, or to avoid legal process.  See also: Social engineering.

 

Privatisation is the partial or total sale of government business to the private sector.  See also: Corporatisation.

 

Product differentiation is that which makes a company's products different from those of its competitors.  See also: Market, Predictive analytics.

 

Production network is formed when two or more enterprises cooperate in the production of goods by making the best use of their combined resources and skills, including people, production capability, technology, and Information.  In this way the enterprises are able to achieve a level and range of production necessary to enter new markets.  See also: Alliances, Cluster, Joint venture, Lead-firm network, Market, Networking, Service network, Strategic alliance.

 

Professional associations comprise groups of people concerned with a particular craft, trade, profession, or industry.  See also: Networking.

 

Professional services automation (PSA), see Enterprise resource planning (ERP).

 

Proposal is a Document used to seek approval for a specific course of action.  Its content should normally:

·         describe the aim or purpose, and the anticipated benefits;

·         outline the means of achievement;

·         nominate the individuals responsible for carrying it out;

·         list the needed resources;

·         note any constraints;

·         provide an accurate estimate of the cost and time to completion.     

 

Proprietary information, see Trade secret.

 

Prospective hindsight is a technique for evaluating the effect a likely future event may have upon the organisation. Results may be achieved by comparing the probable reasons why an event may take place with the reasons why it did take place - by assuming that the event has already occurred.  Alternatively, an ideal outcome may be proposed and, by working backwards, the optimum means of achieving that outcome may be extrapolated.  See also: Scenario analysis, Scenario planning.

 

Proximity operators are used in full-text searching to identify semantic or contextual relationships between words in a Document.  They enable a searcher to specify where one term in a document must be in relation to another term: for instance, adjacent to, within a certain number of words, or in the same sentence or paragraph.  See also: Boolean logic, Nesting, Precision, Recall.

 

Psychographics refers to the attempt to evaluate the purchasing intentions of consumers from a study of their emotional and psychological responses to qualitative surveys.  The aim is to match standard demographic Data (such as age, income, marital status, socio-economic group) to more amorphous characteristics (such as values, interests, self-image).  See also: Market intelligence.

 

Push technology, currently referred to as Personalisation, is a colloquialism for Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI).

    Q

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Quarterback technique applies to external events, such as trade shows and conferences, in which a Competitive intelligence team is managed to maximum effect through the use of specific, predetermined information and analytical needs and the optimum selection of known or anticipated information sources.  The activity calls for rapid reaction to changing circumstances, considerable flexibility in handling resources, and frequent discussion throughout the event.  Coordination may be best achieved through the use of an on-site War room, together with senior executive input.  See also: Trade show intelligence.

    R

 

 

Recall refers to the number of relevant items retrieved as a proportion (per cent) of the total number of relevant items in an Information collection.  See also: Boolean logic, Nesting, Precision, Proximity operators, Venn diagram.

 

Record management system, see Document management system.

 

Recorded knowledge, see Explicit knowledge.

 

Re-engineering is the radical redesign of business processes and organisational structure in order to achieve significant improvements in performance, such as productivity, cost reduction, cycle time, and quality.  There are usually four major components:

·         increasing the emphasis on customer needs;

·         fundamental redesign of core processes in order to enable improvements;

·         reorganisation into cross-functional teams;

·         rationalisation of the relationships between human and other resources.

 

See also: Business process management, Horizontal organisation, Management fad.

 

Refactoring applies to a form of editing in collaborative writing in which a participant restructures, summarises, or clarifies a collection of comments, annotations, and other writings into a cohesive whole in order to optimise subsequent group discussion.  See also: Knowledge annealing.

 

Registered design provides protection for the visual appearance of a Design, which includes the shape, configuration, pattern, and ornamentation, but does not cover its feel, the materials from which it is made, or its manner of operation.  See also: Intellectual property.

 

Relationship card is the generic name for a Smart card that performs a range of functions including both financial and personal services (such as travel bookings, health records, passport details, frequent-flyer programmes, transaction records, driver's license, and social security information).  See also: Stored-value card.

 

Report may be a Document containing the findings of an investigation or study, or offering an interpretation of facts and ideas, and usually incorporating recommendations.  It may give an account of the activities of an organisation over a specific period, or describe a process or operation. Very often it is produced in response to stated terms of reference, with a known audience in mind.  Although producers of reports must examine essential evidence in an impartial and disinterested manner, they may express personal opinion - provided that it is a rational interpretation of Information set out, or referred to, in the report, and that it is identified as opinion.  A report may also take the form of an oral presentation.  See also:  After action reviews, Briefing, Debriefing, Digest, Extract, Gisting, Indicative abstract, Informative abstract, Intelligence briefing, Management reports, Precis, Review, Special intelligence briefing, Summary, Synopsis.

 

Request for comments (RFC) is the name for the result and the process for creating a standard on the Internet.  New standards are proposed and published on line as a Request for comment.

 

Research is any activity undertaken to extend Knowledge.  See also: Basic research, Development, Research and development, Tactical research, Strategic research.

 

Research and development (R&D) refers to systematic investigation or experimentation involving Innovation or technical risk, the outcome of which is either new Knowledge (with or without a specific practical application) or new or improved materials, products, devices, processes, or services.  See also: Advanced technologies, Applied research, Development, Invention, Research.

 

Research impact assessment uses combinations of methods to ascertain the effect of Research on a specific field of endeavour, on allied fields, on related technologies or systems, and on operations.  The main approach may be qualitative (peer review), semi-quantitative (retrospective studies), or quantitative (Bibliometrics).

 

Resource is any asset, organisational process, capability, firm attribute, Knowledge, or Information controlled by a firm that enables it to conceive of and implement strategies that improve its efficiency and effectiveness.  See also: Intellectual property, Knowledge assets, Strategy.

 

Reverse engineering refers to the process of systematically examining or dismantling a competitor's product or service in order to reveal details of its design and manufacture; such as materials employed, techniques used, level of Technology, standard of quality, elegant solutions to problems, and so on.  See also: Benchmarking.

 

Review is either a critical notice of a specific Document or subject that may include interpretation, offer perspective, or provide an overview and summary of progress or developments in a given subject over a specified time.  See also: Report.

 

Risk assessment refers to the identification of factors in the Business environment which may have the potential to affect the profitability or existence of an organisation, together with an evaluation of the costs and benefits of reducing the effects of such risks.  See also: Entrepreneur, Intrapreneur, Risk management.

 

Risk management is the formulation and execution of actions and strategies designed to mitigate the effects of identified risks.  See also: Business environment, Entrepreneur, Intrapreneur, Risk Assessment.

 

Robotics is the application of Artificial intelligence techniques to the design and production of Robots. 

 

Robots are re-programmable, multifunctional manipulators designed to move materials, parts, tools, or specialised devices through variable programmed motions for the performance of a range of tasks.  The term, often abbreviated to Bot, is also applied to programs that search the Web in order to gather specific Information on behalf of a user.  See also: Crawler, Robotics, Search engine. 

 

Rumour is a Report disseminated without known authority; an unverified statement or assertion.

 

    S

 

 

Sample is a subset of a population or a group under study that is representative of the entire population.  See also: Market, Market intelligence, Marketing research.

 

Scenario analysis is a systematic method of studying and articulating probable future events that may affect the organisation or its operating environment.  It may, for instance, be used to: forecast trends in an industry; identify probable Competitor strategies; evaluate the effect of emerging technologies; assess a potential merger, acquisition, or alliance.  It is a useful, long-term and highly objective analytical technique the timing of which may not always be accurate.  Scenario analysis is also known as Alternative outcomes analysis or ‘What if?’ analysis.  See also: Business environment, Contingency planning, Horizon scanning, Prospective hindsight, Risk assessment, Risk management, Scenario planning, Strategic early warning, Strategy.

 

Scenario planning uses Scenario analysis in order to formulate plans or prepare appropriate responses to probable future trends and events.  The resulting plans usually cover a range from best case to worst case probabilities.  The technique allows users to explore the implications of several alternative futures and learn from mistakes without risking real-life failure.  More simply described as informed flexibility, it also enables users to modify their strategic direction as events unfold.  It may also be referred to as Foresight planning.  See also: Contingency planning, Horizon scanning, Opportunities, Planning, Prospective hindsight, Risk assessment, Risk management, Strategic early warning, Threats, War gaming.

 

Schema is a term sometimes used in place of Taxonomy.

 

Science park is a development, within or near an institute of higher education or centre of excellence, that provides collocated advanced-technology or knowledge-based enterprises with the opportunity for Technology transfer from that institute, or between each other.  See also: Advanced technologies, Knowledge-based industries, Technology park.

 

Scientometrics is the Analysis of the structure and development of scholarly communication, Information-seeking behaviour, and government policy as they relate to the sciences.

 

Scope note, see Annotation.

 

Search engines are microprocessor-driven software programs capable of successfully retrieving Information from computer networks or databases in order to match the needs of searchers.  They automatically Index keywords in context, usually by using Robots, then search those indexes for keywords that match the user’s request.  Generally speaking, they are more suitable than directories for conducting Research.  Current developments may incorporate Visualisation techniques.  See also: Bot, Crawler, Database, Directory, Keyword, Metasearch engine, Network, Spider.

 

Selective dissemination of information (SDI) is a personal Current awareness service.  It refers to a technique for directing new items of Information, from whatever source, to those individuals whose current interests in a particular subject are high, and who may be able to take advantage of such information.  SDI is based on a user interest profile which may be compiled using one of the following methods:

·         user-created (in which the profile is normally selected by the user from a list of keywords, descriptors, or indexing terms);

·         system-generated (which analyses word frequencies in relevant documents to identify patterns or areas of interest);

·         combined (which consists of a system-generated profile modified by the user);

·         neural net (where the system is trained using documents of interest to, and selected by, the user);

·         stereotype model (in which areas of interest shared by many users are used to produce individual profiles);

·         rule-based filtering (which implements explicit if-then rules to categorise content).

 

Push technology or Personalisation are more recent terms for the same activity.  See also: Content management, Expertise profiling, Knowledge map, Social network analysis.

 

Semantic networks represent Knowledge in the form of concepts (known as nodes) and links (that indicate the relationships between concepts).  A Concept is an abstract class or set consisting of items or things that share common features or properties.  See also: Classify, Hypertext, Knowledge map, Node, Ontology, Topic maps.

 

Seminar is a meeting that calls for a high degree of participation; primarily used for training purposes.  The leader is both a content expert and a discussion leader. The term may also be used about a group of experienced people who wish to share their experiences.  See also: Colloquium, Community of practice, Conference, Symposium, Workshop.

 

Server is a computer, or software package, that provides a specific service to client software running on other computers.  A single server machine may have several different server packages, thus providing many different services to clients on the Network.

 

Service network occurs when enterprises combine to enhance their competitive capabilities in supplying services.  The costs associated with Research and development, training, Marketing, and initial exploration of export markets are shared by members of the network.  See also: Alliance, Cluster, Joint venture, Lead-firm network, Market, Networking, Production network, Strategic alliance.

 

Simple object access protocol (SOAP) is a successor to the TCP/IP protocol.  See also: Transmission control protocol.

 

Situation room, see War room.

 

Situational analysis, see SWOT analysis.

 

Small business is generally taken to be a manufacturing enterprise with fewer than 100 employees, or a non-manufacturing (service or retail) enterprise with fewer than 40 employees, in which owners retain independent ownership and control and make key management decisions.

 

Smart agents, see Intelligent agents.

 

Smart card is a plastic card, similar to a credit card, containing one or more integrated circuits for identification, Data storage, or special-purpose processing, used to validate personal identification numbers (PINs), authorise purchases, verify account balances, and store personal records.  In some types, the memory may be updated every time the card is used.  See also: Relationship card, Stored-value card.

 

Social bookmarking, see Folksonomy.

 

Social capital represents the active connections between people; including trust, mutual understanding, shared values, and behaviours that bind together the members of groups, networks, and communities and make cooperation possible; or, comprises the norms and relations embedded in social structures that enable people to coordinate action to achieve desired goals.   See also: Corporate culture, Human capital, Meme, Networking, Structural capital, Vision statement.

 

Social classification, see Folksonomy.

 

Social engineering is the use of deception, manipulation, or persuasion to obtain information by illicit means.  See also: Disinformation, Information warfare, Pretexting.

 

Social indexing, see Folksonomy.

 

Social media is a combination of sociology and Information technology that allows people to publish their own content and to establish business or personal relationships. See also: Mociology, Networking, Social network, Social network analysis, Wiki.

 

Social network is a map of relationships between individuals or organisations.  It comprises nodes (usually individuals or organisations) and ties (the connections between them), which may operate at many different levels, ranging from families and close friends to sovereign nations.  Social networks often have a critical role to play in the management of organisations, enabling problem-solving, decision-making, collaboration, and information sharing, as well as facilitating trade and commerce.  They may be used for conducting Social network analysis.  See also: Contact management system, Knowledge map, Networking, Social media, Usenet, Wiki.

 

Social network analysis is the mapping and measuring of links and relationships between organisations and individuals engaged in Networking or collaborative activities.  It may reveal: specific expertise or influence; how people cooperate, and with whom; who is overburdened with requests for assistance; and who fails to collaborate at all.  Since it provides both visual and mathematical analyses, it is a very powerful technique for evaluating mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and inter-company relationships.  The terms Networking analysis, Network theory, or Organisation network analysis may also be used.  See also: Alliance, Analysis, Cluster, Community of Practice, Diffusion, Innovation, Joint venture, Knowledge management, Knowledge map, Networking, Nodes, Ties, Visualisation. 

 

Social tagging, see Folksonomy.

 

Socialisation is a means for acquiring Tacit knowledge, usually by means of a shared learning experience.  See also: Combination, Externalisation, Internalisation, Knowledge management.

 

Soft information is essentially qualitative in nature and consists of ideas, suggestions, opinions, Rumour, gossip, feedback, anecdotes, speculation, and tips.  It may be derived from direct observation or by scanning the media (newspapers, magazines, the Internet, television, and radio) but, predominantly, through Elicitation, interviews, or other face-to-face activities.  It is highly regarded by senior executives and is particularly valuable in Intelligence operations.  See also: Humint, Networking.

 

Sonification is the transformation of Data and Information into sounds that are said to permit more rapid identification of change.  Claimed advantages over Visualisation include that it is a more natural - and largely underused - sense, it can portray large volumes of information, it can alert observers to events outside the visual field, it can holistically bring together various channels of information, and may be more reliable than existing methods for controlling computers and other technologies.  Current investigations in this field include its application in stock-broking, aviation, and cancer surgery.

 

Spam is mass, unsolicited commercial Electronic mail on the Internet. 

 

Special intelligence briefing is a brief Report that identifies a specific issue, summarises the key supporting analyses, and recommends one or more courses of action.  See also: Analysis, Briefing, Intelligence briefing, Summary.

 

Specification is a set of technical or operating requirements to be satisfied by a product, a material, or a process.  See also: Patent specification, Standards.

 

Spider is a program that searches the Web in order to gather specific Information on behalf of a user.  See also: Bot, Crawler, Search engine. 

 

Spying, see Espionage.

 

Spyware is any software application that is generally installed without the knowledge or consent of the user, to obtain, use, or interfere with personal information or resources, content, or setting, for malicious or undesirable purposes.

 

Stakeholder is any individual or group that has a direct interest, or some level of involvement, in the success of an organisation and would be affected by the outcome of any decisions.  See also: Corporate governance.

 

Standard specifications, see Standards

 

Standards are of two kinds: those used in the measurement of physical units, and those (more properly referred to as standard specifications) that describe quality, size, fitness for purpose, shape, and performance of products or materials and, by extension, methods or processes.  Another function of standards is to give precise meanings to the terms used in science and technology – to define the terminology, in other words.  Standards are normally referred to by serial number.  See also: Glossary, Specification.

 

Steganography is a technique for disguising or hiding messages; it usually applies to the encryption of a message contained within an audio or graphic file.  See: Code, Corporate security, Cipher.

 

Stemming, see Truncate.

 

Stored-value card is a form of Smart card that replaces cash in some circumstances (for example, in payphones and computer terminals); some offer reload facilities.  See also: Relationship card.

 

Strategic alliance is a collaborative agreement between two or more enterprises to mutually commit expertise or resources in order to achieve common goals or objectives, such as reducing costs, inhibiting competitors, gaining entry to new markets, supplementing critical skills or expertise, sharing the risks and costs of major projects, or acquiring access to new technology.  Such an alliance may be between companies, or between a company and its customers, its suppliers, or its competitors.  See also: Alliance, Cluster, Joint venture, Lead-firm network, Market, Networking, Production network, Service network.

 

Strategic analysis, see Intelligence analysis.

 

Strategic business unit is an enterprise or segment of an enterprise whose product line, Market environment, sales force, competitors, and customers are sufficiently different from the remainder of the company's activities that it requires its own unique marketing strategy.  See also: Marketing.

 

Strategic early warning is the primary role of Competitive intelligence operations.  The aim is to monitor the Business environment for weak signals and early trends that may reveal potential changes before they become obvious to others.  It calls for a knowledgeable, cross-functional team, approved and encouraged by senior executives (to whom it reports), and which is able to call on advice and support from relevant experts.  See also: Brainstorming, Business intelligence, Competitive monitoring, Intelligence analysis, Opportunities, Scenario analysis, Scenario planning, Threats.

 

Strategic group analysis identifies groups or clusters of businesses that adopt similar strategies and that tend to be affected by, and respond to, competitive actions and external events in similar ways.  See also: Cluster, Competitor intelligence, Strategy.

*Strategic inflection point is anything which causes a business to make a fundamental change in the way it operates.  Such change may be either subtle (such as the introduction of new technologies; for instance, the PC and the Internet) or catastrophic (such as a switch in customer preferences; for example, by the rapid introduction of a much more effective substitute).  The most difficult aspects associated with strategic inflection points lie in recognizing and adapting to them.  The term was originally coined by Andy Grove.  See also: Business environment, Change management, Competitive intelligence, Strategic planning, Strategy.

Strategic intelligence is Knowledge about an organisation’s Business environment that has implications for its long-term viability and success, usually extending several years into the future.

 

*Strategic planning is a top-down approach concerned with the long-term mission and objectives of an organisation, the resources used in achieving those objectives, and the policies and guidelines that govern the acquisition, use, and disposition of those resources.  It must also take into account the Opportunities available to the organisation, and an assessment of its ability to exploit those opportunities with a view to gaining a distinct Competitive advantage.  See also: Competitive intelligence, Contingency planning, Entrepreneur, Knowledge management, Planning, Resource, Scenario planning, Strategic inflection point, Strategy, Tactical planning War gaming.

 

Strategic research is mission-oriented and involves the application of established scientific Knowledge and methods to broad social or economic objectives, often extending over a considerable period.  See also: Innovation, Research, Tactical research.

 

Strategy is the timely adoption of courses of action and the allocation of resources necessary for carrying out the basic long-term goals and objectives of an enterprise with the emphasis on achieving something different or unique.  An organisation’s strategy may be represented visually by a Strategy map; a powerful communication tool.  Strategy formulation involves the right brain, calling for Creativity, as well as the ability to deal with large volumes of information and to visualise a broad perspective.  See also: Balanced scorecard, Competitive intelligence, Competitor, Insight, Resource, Strategic inflection point, Strategic planning, Tactics, Vision statement, Visualisation.

 

Strategy game, see War gaming.

 

Structural capital is the hardware, software, Databases, organisational structure, Copyright, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and other items of that nature, that support the productivity of the Human capital.  See also: Intellectual property, Knowledge base, Patent, Patent specifications, Trademark.

 

Subject directories or guides, see Directory.

 

Summary is a brief restatement, contained within the relevant Document, of salient ideas, findings, and conclusions.  It is intended to assist with orientation of the reader, for ready reference, or as a record.    See also: Gisting, Indicative abstract, Informative abstract, Report, Synopsis.

 

Surrogate is a substitute to be used in place of a Document.  For filing purposes, this may take the form of an index card bearing a Bibliographic reference and the location of the document (for example, a numbered File, a specific office or department, or a named individual), or a Database record containing similar details.  See also: Metadata.

 

Switched multi-megabit data service (SMDS) is a standard for very high-speed Data transfer.

 

SWOT analysis is the evaluation of available Information concerning the Business environment in order to identify internal strengths and weaknesses, and external Threats and Opportunities.  SWOT analysis is also known as Situational analysis and, when applied to competitors, as Competitor profiling.  See also: Intelligence analysis.

 

Symposium is a meeting convened for the discussion of some particular subject.  It also refers to a collection of opinions expressed, or articles contributed, by several persons on a given subject or topic.  See also: Colloquium, Conference, Seminar, Workshop.

 

Synectics is a body of Knowledge and a series of techniques designed to induce imaginative problem-solving or creative activities.  Techniques include deliberate efforts at right-brain thinking; and positive, supportive behaviour.  See also: Brainstorming, Creativity, Lateral thinking.

 

Synopsis may be either:

·         a series of brief statements describing the content of a Document or section of a document (although usually only found at chapter headings in old novels and textbooks, they can be an effective retrieval tool);

·         a concise Summary presenting the key ideas, results, an Abstract, illustrations, and references from a full-length article that has been refereed in the normal manner; regarded by some as the ideal format for retrieval.

 

See also: Gisting, Indicative abstract, Informative abstract, Report.

 

*Synthesis is the process of combining Data, Information, and existing Knowledge in order to produce a connected whole, such as a hypothesis, theory, or system; a Research Report; or the development of a Thesaurus or Classification scheme.  See also: Analysis, Competitive intelligence, Intelligence, Intelligence analysis.

 

    T

 

 

 

Tacit knowledge is the product of interaction between people, or between people and their environment.  It refers to Knowledge that is gained only experientially and, therefore, cannot be readily articulated or explained to inexperienced parties (for example, drawing, painting, writing, tying a knot, Planning, decision-making).  An individual will acquire tacit knowledge only by gathering Information, relating it to existing knowledge, and accumulating experience; it involves judgment, intuition, and common sense.  In groups, tacit knowledge exists in the practices and relationships that develop through working together over time.  The major challenges are in its recognition, sharing, and management.   See also: Content management, Corporate culture, Implicit knowledge, Intellectual capital, Intellectual property, Know-how, Knowledge management, Meme.

 

Tactical intelligence is Knowledge about an organisation’s Business environment that has implications for its viability and success in the immediate future.  It often concerns such matters as Marketing, promotion, pricing and positioning.

 

Tactical planning is that aspect of organisational Planning which covers the immediate future, that is, up to about one year from the present time.  See also: Business planning, Operational planning, Scenario planning, Strategic planning.

 

Tactical research involves the application of established scientific Knowledge and methods to the short-term solution of practical problems.  See also: Research, Strategic research.

 

Tactics are the activities necessary for implementation of the Strategy in order to gain advantage or success. 

 

Target market is a group of people for whom a specific Marketing mix is created.  See also: Market.

 

Taxonomy, in its original form, refers to the science of the classification of living and extinct organisms.  In modern parlance, it applies to any system or software designed to organise Information or Knowledge so that it may be more easily stored, maintained, and retrieved.  It usually reflects the language and culture of a specific enterprise or industry and acts as the authority for identifying documents and the content of knowledge maps.  A taxonomy is often created by reference to several thesauri, classification schemes, or indexes using a combination of human intellectual effort and specialised software.

 

A taxonomy offers a means of classifying documents and other items of information into hierarchical groups to make them easier to identify, locate, and retrieve.  It consists of a structure (or Thesaurus), which embodies the terms and their relationships, and a set of applications, which provide the means to identify and locate the information.  See also: Annotation, Classification scheme, Classify, Content management, Controlled vocabulary, Corporate culture, Document, Folksonomy, Hierarchical classification, Index, Indexing, Knowledge management, Knowledge map, Metadata, Notation, Ontology, Topic maps.

 

Team is a group of people nominated to carry out a specific task, and which usually disbands upon completion.  Each individual’s role and level of participation is clearly defined.  Some or all of the members of a team may, however, subsequently develop into a Community of practice.  Teams of seven or fewer are best suited to making considered decisions by consensus.

 

*Technological change refers to the whole, or any part, of the process from Invention, through Innovation, Technology transfer, Diffusion, to supercession, of machines, tools, products, processes, and techniques, with the emphasis being on the sociological implications of innovation.  See also: Strategic inflection point.

 

Technological fusion involves the merging of different areas of Technology; for example, Information technology is the combination of computer and telecommunication technologies.  See also: Burotics, Mechatronics, Telematics.

 

Technological intelligence is a subdivision of Competitive intelligence covering those technical activities that are concerned with translating Research findings or other scientific Knowledge into devices, materials, products, processes, or services.  See also: Intelligence.

 

Technology is the scientific study of the practical or industrial arts, or the organisation of Knowledge for the achievement of practical purposes.  See also: Advanced technologies.

 

Technology assessment aims to evaluate the social and environmental costs, the probable detrimental effects, and the potential benefits of Technological change.

 

*Technology forecasting is used to analyse the potential of a Technology as compared to the alternatives.  It helps users to determine the appropriate timing and level of investment in current and developing technologies.  See also: Strategic inflection point.

 

Technology park is a development, usually established under government auspices, designed to accommodate enterprises engaged in the commercial application of Advanced technologies.  It may offer ancillary services such as Research and development facilities, Information resources, office support, and access to Marketing expertise.  See also: Science park.

 

Technology transfer involves the transfer of scientific Knowledge towards practical and useful applications; or the process whereby innovations find applications in fields not originally envisaged for them.  See also: Applied research, Collective intelligence, Commercialisation, Communication, Creativity, Development, Diffusion, Extension service, Innovation, Knowledge management, Science park.

 

Teleconferencing refers to any system that employs telecommunication links as an integral aspect of Conference operation.

 

Telematics refers to the fusion of several technologies that are mainly covered by the terms telecommunication, computer engineering, Data processing, data-transmission techniques, Burotics, and office technology.  See also: Technological fusion.

 

Teletext is a Data broadcasting service in which pre-programmed sequences of frames of data are broadcast cyclically, and a user, equipped with a standard television receiver and a special decoder, selects the desired frames for viewing.

 

Teleworking is the process of enabling work to be conducted from any place at any time through the use of telecommunications links.

 

Text mining is a software program for extracting essential concepts and clarifying the meaning of a large volume of text.  See also: Concept, Data mining.

 

Thesaurus is a list of terms, or authorised descriptors, used to provide a Controlled vocabulary for Information storage and retrieval.  It shows hierarchical (broader, narrower), synonymous, and other related terms, and often incorporates scope notes.  These latter clarify the meaning of the term or give guidance on its use.  A thesaurus may also include a Notation as an aid to Indexing. 

 

A thesaurus is a controlled and dynamic vocabulary of semantically and generically related terms that cover a specific domain of Knowledge.  It represents a richer and much more powerful tool than does a Taxonomy for descriptive purposes.  See also: Annotation, Classification scheme, Classify, Content management, Descriptor, Folksonomy, Hierarchical classification, Index, Knowledge management, Metadata, Ontology, Topic maps.

 

Threats are unfavourable events or circumstances that may hinder the company in the achievement of its objectives.  See also: Strategic early warning, SWOT analysis.

 

Ties refers to the relationships between individuals and groups engaged in Networking.  See also: Nodes, Social network analysis.

 

Time bomb, see Virus.

 

Topic maps are designed to facilitate the organisation and navigation of large information collections through the use of an open (non-controlled) vocabulary using topics, associations, and occurrences.  A topic may represent any Concept, including subject, person, place, organisation, and event.  Associations represent the relationships between those concepts; and occurrences represent relevant information resources. Although sometimes used when referring to an Ontology, Taxonomy, or Thesaurus, it may, in fact, incorporate any combination of these.  See also: Content management, Controlled vocabulary, Knowledge map, Metadata, Mind maps, Semantic networks, Visualisation.

 

Total quality management (TQM) is a management philosophy embracing all activities through which the needs and expectations of the customer and the community, and the objectives of the organisation, are satisfied in the most efficient and cost-effective way by maximising the potential of all employees in a continuous drive for improvement.  See also: Management fad.

 

Trade, see International trade.  See also Commerce.

 

Trade literature is produced by individual companies, primarily to instruct or inform existing and potential buyers.  It includes sales pamphlets, advertising brochures, promotional material, product or parts catalogues, maintenance or instruction manuals, handbooks, user guides, data sheets, and certain in-house journals or newsletters.  See also: Grey literature.

 

Trade secret is Information (including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process) that derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use, and is subject to efforts, that are reasonable under the circumstances, to maintain its secrecy.

 

Or, more simply, a trade secret is anything which:

·         confers a competitive advantage on its owner;

·         is subject to reasonable measures to prevent its disclosure;

·         is not generally known in the industry or business in which it is used or practiced.

 

Generally speaking, to legally qualify as a trade secret, the information supporting a new product, process, or plan must be:

·         documented or readily identifiable;

·         unpublished;

·         disclosed on a need-to-know basis;

·         known to be a secret.

 

See also: Corporate security, Intellectual property, Know-how, Knowledge assets.

 

Trade show intelligence is the systematic collection and Analysis of exploitable Information, from any source and in any format or medium, at any event where products and services, or information about them, are openly displayed; as well as prevention of its collection by others. 

 

Trademark is a word, name, device, sign or symbol used by manufacturers to distinguish their products from similar products made by others.  See also: Intellectual property.

 

Transmission control protocol/Internet protocol suite (TCP/IPS) is the suite of protocols that defines the Internet.  Originally designed for the UNIX operating system, they are now available for every major kind of computer operating system.  TCP ensures proper delivery of Data; IP directs Information through the Network. 

 

Trojan is similar to a Virus.  It usually consists of an insidious program hidden in a seemingly innocuous File, which is designed to infiltrate a computer system and deliberately cause damage; but it cannot propagate itself.

 

Truncate means to shorten a word by omitting letters from the end and, when used as a search term, effectively broadens the scope of the search.  For example, Defen, would retrieve all words beginning with the chosen letters, such as: Defence, Defenceless, Defend, Defendable, Defendant, Defender, Defenestration, Defense, Defensible, Defensive.   Also referred to as Stemming.  See also: Explode.

    U

 

 

Uniform resource locator (URL) is the standard method of allocating an address to any resource on the Internet that is part of the World Wide Web.

 

Unstable market is one in which the Market leader has less than 26.1% of the total market and every other company in the market is within 1.7 times the Market share of its nearest rival.  An unstable market is the most attractive for a new entrant having a differentiated product. 

 

Unstructured information refers to the content of any Document that has no defined or standard structure such as would allow for its convenient storage and retrieval.  Examples include blogs, emails, images, audio and video files, and wikis.  See also: Blog, Content management, Corporate blog, Electronic mail, Information management, Knowledge management, Wiki.

 

Usenet is an outdated term for a worldwide system of discussion groups, with comments passed among hundreds or thousands of machines.  The system is completely decentralised, with numerous discussion areas, each of which is known as a Newsgroup.  A Usenet is now more commonly referred to as a Social network.

 

    V

 

 

 

Value chain comprises all the activities an organisation needs to undertake in order to create or add value to its products or services.  It includes design, production, marketing, delivery, and customer support.  Alternatively, a value chain consists of a group of enterprises cooperating to progressively add value to a product or suite of products in response to market opportunities.  See also: Cluster, Value chain analysis, Value chain management.

 

Value chain analysis is used to identify potential sources of a company's economic advantage in its industry.  The Analysis examines the firm's major activities in order to understand the behaviour of costs, the associated value added, and the existing and potential sources of differentiation. Major activities are those associated with products, services, and processes, such as Customer relationship management and Marketing.  Competitive advantage is gained by performing some or all of the activities at a lower cost or with greater levels of differentiation than competitors.

 

Value chain management involves actively managing a Value chain to achieve efficiencies and expand capacity in order to increase Market share.   It usually results in any or all of the following: lower costs of doing business, reduced lead times, enhanced products or services, reduced inventory or stock holdings.

 

Vapourware applies to the deliberate and premature announcement of a product before it is ready for the Market in an attempt to discourage potential customers from considering the purchase of similar, competitors' products.  Mainly applicable to software, it is a form of Disinformation.

 

Vector space modelling is a profiling and matching technique (a form of Selective dissemination of information) that depends upon the frequency of occurrence of words in a sample Document.  When processed, this document forms the basis of a profile that is then used to gather matching items.  Vector space modelling is more often employed in a scientific context, rather than in business; the latter presenting a fuzzier problem.

 

Venn diagram is a graphical representation of the relationships between terms resulting from the use of Boolean operators.  These are usually depicted in the form of overlapping circles, each of which represents a search term.  A Venn diagram may illustrate three basic conditions: the logical product (AND operator), the logical sum (OR operator), or the logical difference (NOT operator).  See also: Boolean logic, Nesting, Precision, Recall.

 

Venture capital refers to equity investment in an unlisted business offered free of collateral to an entrepreneurial enterprise having potential for high returns over the medium to long term (two to seven years).  See also: Entrepreneur, Intrapreneur.

 

Venture management involves Innovation management together with some form of capital investment, either financial or (more usually) by a combination of time, effort, and expertise.  Its aim is to encourage entrepreneurial activity by reducing areas of uncertainty in the establishment of an enterprise.  See also: Entrepreneur, Innovation, Intrapreneur, Venture capital.

 

Very high-performance Backbone Network Service (vBNS) is a high-performance Network, developed by NASA and the US National Science Foundation, designed to supplement the World Wide Web.

 

Video conferencing provides real time video and voice communication between terminals, usually employing dedicated systems in a Conference room setting.  Video conferencing may also be accomplished by using a webcam and personal computer, when it is usually known as Desktop conferencing.

 

Virtual competition, see War gaming.

 

Virtual organisation is one in which members are geographically separated but who work together through online communications.  See also: Networking.

 

Virus is a small program that can be transferred into a computer system and adversely affect the operation of that computer. It can also be propagated by passing from computer to computer, not unlike a biological virus, by way of networks, emails, or on a contaminated storage device.  A virus attaches itself to an existing program and runs with that program, causing whatever problem it is designed to introduce.  See also: Corporate security, Electronic mail, Network, Trojan, Worm.

 

Vision statement describes a desirable state that a company wishes to attain at some time in the future.  Elements of mission and vision statements may be combined to describe a company’s purposes, goals, aspirations, and values. See also: Corporate culture, Meme, Mission statement, Strategy.

 

Visual information analysis, see Visualisation.

 

Visualisation of information is a technique for making visual representations of the topics or ideas contained in a body of Information, and of their relationships with each other.  It usually takes the form of a map or other graphical depiction that can be readily understood and manipulated.  Visualisation expands the capacity of the human mind to deal with complex matters, enables users to extract Knowledge more efficiently, and helps them to find insights not always obvious when information is presented in traditional formats.  Other terms used include: Argument mapping, Concept mapping, Content visualisation, Graphic visualisation, and Visual information analysis.  See also: Computer graphics, Content management, Dashboard, Knowledge map, Mind maps, Predictive analytics, Social network analysis, Sonification, Topic maps.

 

Voicemail offers a means of electronically sending, receiving, and storing voice-based messages.

 

Vortal, an abbreviation of vertical portal, is a subject-specific Directory or Database, as opposed to the more generic Portal.  Vortals are usually created by academics, researchers, experts, government agencies and other subject specialists; hence the material is usually of a higher quality than that found through general Search engine sites.

 

    W

 

 

War gaming is a process, adapted from the military, in which teams or individuals, representing the company and its competitors, simulate a business situation and act out the roles of decision makers in timed phases.  Comparison between the results leads to the next stage.  This continues until at least one feasible Strategy, counter-strategy, plan of action, or solution emerges.  War gaming is very effective in industries undergoing high rates of change.  Sometimes referred to as Competitive simulation, a Strategy game or, Virtual competition.  See also: Business environment, Competitor, Scenario planning.

 

War room is an area set aside for use as an Intelligence or Knowledge centre or as a demonstration room for Reverse engineering purposes.  Also referred to as an Operations or Situation room; it may:

·         contain a variety of Intelligence or Market-oriented displays;

·         act as an Internet/Intranet/Database/Knowledge map centre;

·         be equipped as a library or a repository of Information collections;

·         allow easy and rapid access to recent Research results. 

 

Web 2.0 currently lacks a precise definition.  It is true to say, however, that although Web 2.0 need not necessarily incorporate new technologies it is generally more interactive than hitherto, tending to encourage increased content creation, collaboration, and learning, and it places considerable emphasis on the user.  It is very much oriented towards social networking.  See also: Blog, Folksonomy, Social network, Wiki. 

 

Web crawler, see Crawler.

 

Web rage describes the anger or frustration provoked by slow Internet access.

 

Web site is an online collection of pages (or screens) of linked Information on the World Wide Web; usually accessed by way of a Home page.  See also: Information architecture.

 

Webinar (abbreviation of Web seminar) is a presentation delivered over the Web using Videoconferencing.

 

Weblog, see Blog. 

 

Webometrics is a neologism used to describe the application of Bibliometrics to the Analysis of Web sites.  It may be used, for example, to measure the relative visibility of a company or organisation.

 

Wetware is a term applied to the human aspects of computing. The term is also used to describe devices and computer peripherals that have been implanted in, or grafted onto, a human being.

 

What if? analysis, see Scenario analysis.

 

Wide area information server (WAIS) is a software package that allows the Indexing of huge volumes of Information, and then makes those indexes available for retrieval across the Internet, or other networks.  A prominent feature is that the search results are ranked according to their relevance.  See also: Index, Network.

 

Wiki (from the Hawaiian word for quickly) is a medium for collaboration that allows many people to participate in the production of a long-term knowledge repository or database, often devoted to a specific subject or field of interest.  It is based upon a relatively unstructured collection of hyperlinked documents that may be modified or edited by any number of authors but that also incorporates a mechanism for comparing the result with the pre-edited version.  A wiki allows users to gather all information pertinent to a project or activity in one central location.  See also: Blog, Collaboration software, Content management, Corporate blog, Knowledge map, Social media, Social  network.

 

Work spaces is a term that covers both working conditions and the dimensions needed to carry out a particular function.  See also:  Caves and commons, Working  environment.

 

Working environment refers to the physical surroundings required for human activity or industrial processes.  See also: Caves and commons, Work spaces.

 

Workshop is a meeting in which the participants are the primary resource, usually used for Planning, solving problems, or fact-finding.  See also: Colloquium, Conference, Seminar, Symposium.

 

World-wide web (www), a component of the Internet, is a system that enables Information (including text, audio, video, and graphics) to be accessed anywhere on the Internet using active text links called Hypertext.  Users can move with ease between different computer systems or information sources on the Internet by navigating a trail of highlighted text or graphical links on the Web pages.  Data are automatically downloaded to the Browser software used to navigate the Web.  See also: Web site.

 

Worm is similar to a Virus; the difference being that it does not contain deliberately destructive instructions (although it may cause damage by overloading the system) and it does not require the presence of a host.  It is usually passed over the Internet.

 

    X

 

 

    Y

 

Yellow pages is the colloquial term for a Knowledge map.

 

     Z



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Vernon Prior

Vernon Prior (operating as Prior Knowledge) is a leading practitioner in competitive intelligence (CI) and knowledge management (KM).  Over the past 18 years he has presented training programmes in Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates.

 He has worked with Bond, Deakin, Monash, and RMIT Universities; the Singapore, Malaysian and Australian Institutes of Management, the College of International Business; the Institute for International Research; the International Quality and Productivity Centre; the CEO Institute; International Enterprise Singapore; the Australian Trade Commission; the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation; the ASEAN-EC Management Centre (Brunei); the Singapore Ministry of Defence; Etisalat Academy (Dubai); the Queensland Department of State Development & Innovation; the Victorian Department of Industry, Technology and Resources, and with many major companies (who prefer not to be identified).  

 A prolific author, his book, ‘Smart company: finding and managing business intelligence’ (published in 1991 but currently out of print), describes how to manage intelligence for competitive advantage.  He also wrote ‘Your guide to writing reports’, which was adopted by the Public Service, both Commonwealth and State, as well as by several Australian universities. 

 Vernon has had more than 200 articles published internationally, in newspapers, journals, magazines, and on the Internet.  Three useful introductory articles are as follows: ‘Introduction to Competitive Intelligence’ at:  www.freepint.com/issues/050106.htm, ‘DIY Detection: Competitive Intelligence for SMEs’ at:  www.freepint.com/issues/090807.htm, and ’Knowledge Management: Getting Started’ at http://web.fumsi.com/go/article/manage/2854.

 Vernon has a post-graduate Diploma in Librarianship and Information Science (DipLib), he is a Fellow of the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (FSCIP), a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, manufactures and commerce (FRSA), and Founder of the Society of Knowledge and Competitive Intelligence Professionals Australia (SCIPAust). 

 

       
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Contact Information:  Telephone: +27(0)124305128     Fax: +27(0)866162088     Cell: +27(0)828233280      e-mail: q3@quantum3.co.za

Contact Information:  Telephone: +27(0)124305128     Fax: +27(0)866162088     Cell: +27(0)828233280      e-mail: q3@quantum3.co.za