We live in an age of rapid technological advancement and innovation with some mind-blowing applications getting launched periodically – from small, advanced, modular fusion and fission reactors to plant-based meat burgers and from custom cancer vaccines to sewer-free sanitation (disclaimer: these exciting technologies were handpicked by the great Bill Gates himself).
Yet, employees in most enterprise companies are still plagued with challenges when it comes to finding relevant information from knowledge bases and other sources at the time of need. Just as the thirsty sailor surrounded by salty ocean water in the poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, said: “Water water everywhere, nor any drop to drink”, so too, employees are stuck with heaps of information but none that can be found easily when needed.
In 1982, Buckminster Fuller developed the Knowledge Doubling Curve which basically showed how knowledge doubled in only eight years during the 1980s as compared to 200-400 years in the pre-1900 era. IBM took this study further to conclude that in recent years, information has been doubling every 13 months and also predicted that by 2020, knowledge will double every 12 hours – as alarming as this may sound, there is a high probability of this being true. Clearly, there is an exponential build-up of information.
The ease of generating fresh content using multiple sources has obviously led to this growth. However, accessing the right information, at the time of need, in the right amount of detail is a problem that has yet to be solved when it comes to enterprises.
The Problem Of ‘Too Much Information’ (TMI)
With digital transformation taking center stage across every industry, enterprises have started using anywhere between 25 and 124 (and upwards) applications for conducting business. As such, a lot of this information is disjointed and stored in silos across these applications that often have permissions-based access restriction, adding another layer of complexity in conveniently discovering relevant information. In a study conducted by harmon.ie, a majority of the 900 surveyed agreed that finding information wastes a lot of time because they have, on average, 10 different applications open at any given point in time.
The problem of not finding or discovering the right information at the right time comes with very high monetary, temporal and opportunity costs. A study conducted by IDC shows that, on average, an employee spends 2.5 hours per day or 30% of a workday searching for relevant information. For a company that has a 1000 employees relying on enterprise knowledge, this translates into a loss of:
- $2.5M in slow (or unsuccessful) information search
- An additional $5M in duplicating information that cannot be found
- An additional $15M in lost opportunities
Discovering the right information – unfortunately, is just the starting point. Once information has been discovered, it has to be delivered in an easy-to-consume manner for the user. Therefore the problem associated with information management is 3-fold:
- Information Discovery
- Information Delivery
- Information Consumption
So is there a solution that can address all 3 pain points? Maybe even offer information conveniently within the same page that users are in instead of redirecting them to a new tab? Fortunately, yes! There may be other products that solve 1 or 2 of the pain points but there is currently only one product that can conveniently solve all 3. Say hello to Smart Assist or Content Aggregation, the newest feature within Whatfix that is associated with knowledge base aggregation.
The Right Information At The Right Time, Regardless Of The Source
Whatfix Smart Assist helps companies recommend the best help to users right within the application by offering on-demand information that is personalized to a user’s requirement. It removes all the hurdles associated with information discovery, delivery and consumption.
- Information Discovery: Every time a user searches for information using the Whatfix Self-Help widget, Smart Assist searches through thousands of pages from across all knowledge bases the company uses to discover content most relevant to the search. Additionally, based on the user’s role, access rights, location, application version and language, search results are auto-contextualized to provide a personalized experience.
- Information Delivery: Since information is delivered within the application, users do not have to search or switch between applications thereby safeguarding a user’s attention. As a result, Smart Assist reduces confusion, distraction and manual errors that typically arise from too much information. In the near future, users can expect more options for accessing information such as being able to create support tickets directly with support tool integrations and to have a ‘conversational’ help experience through Chatbots.
- Information Consumption: When relevant information is provided quickly without interrupting the flow of work, employees do not have to waste time searching for information. Instead, they can apply the new knowledge in taking important decisions, not just for themselves but also for customers and other relevant stakeholders. Thus, Smart Assist helps lower opportunity cost of time by simplifying how employees consume information.
A Truly Connected Enterprise Application Landscape
The benefits of accessible and relevant information manifest in not just improved productivity, but also in achieving a truly agile business. Whatfix is the only digital adoption platform that expands the scope of content to application help and knowledge-bases (and not just content created specifically within the platform), thus leveraging your existing content and multiplying its value.
- Enhanced Employee Productivity: Even if 1 employee gets lost in gathering the right information, at least 3 other employees would get impacted – the neighboring employee, the manager and the support team (in case the employee decides to raise a ticket). All employees regain productive time when they find relevant information quickly, by themselves. They instead move the business forward by being more effective and agile.
- Improved Knowledge Management: Smart Assist provides a new way to create and manage information by automating the most complex pieces of your content creation and delivery effort:
- Since all KBs information can be used to provide help to employees, you maintain the democratization of information creation, but at the same time, use administration to keep info accurate, relevant and updated
- Auto-contextualization using tags saves heaps of content creation effort
- Track usage to improve suggestions & content over time.
- Reduced Support Needs: The number of support tickets gets drastically reduced with the self-service mechanism of finding information easier.
Whatfix Smart Assist serves as a panacea not just for employees searching for information, but also for HR and L&D teams who create content for the knowledge bases & LMSs, as well as for CIOs who drive digital transformation initiatives. Most importantly, it enables companies to minimize costs associated with knowledge management and information discovery, and increase the ROI from their existing knowledge repositories.
It’s time we kick this problem to the curb before IBM’s prediction of 12 hours becomes true. So let’s fix this with Whatfix!