Open Framework, Information Management Strategy & Collaborative Governance | Data & Social Methodology - MIKE2.0 Methodology
Wiki Home
Collapse Expand Close

Collapse Expand Close

To join, please contact us.

Improve MIKE 2.0
Collapse Expand Close
Need somewhere to start? How about the most wanted pages; or the pages we know need more work; or even the stub that somebody else has started, but hasn't been able to finish. Or create a ticket for any issues you have found.

Enterprise Knowledge Market

From MIKE2.0 Methodology

Jump to: navigation, search
JT Chair.jpg
Name: Jeremy Thomas
Organisation: BearingPoint
Title: {{{title}}}
Contact: {{{contact}}}



Get a visual synopsis of the Enterprise Knowledge Market here (slidecast embedding currently not working).

The Enterprise Knowledge Market

The Enterprise Knowledge Market (EKM) is an information discovery system designed to valuate and promote knowledge assets. It serves as the platform from which knowledge workers receive recognition for knowledge assets they produce in both "legacy" and Enterprise 2.0 environments. Within the EKM the enterprise collectively adjusts the calculated value index of a given knowledge asset. Over time the value index of an asset reflects its true value relative to other knowledge assets. This process acts as an efficient way to promote valuable over less valuable knowledge.

The EKM functions by first discovering knowledge assets either automatically across divisional silos or manually through user submission. Second, it converts these assets into commodities by programmatically assigning them a value index (similar to the stock price for a public company). This value index is then continually adjusted as users vote up or down the value of knowledge commodities. Third, the Enterprise Knowledge Market is equipped with a virtual marketplace through which the value of knowledge commodities is manifested. This is accomplished by displaying a snapshot of recent enterprise activity and top performing commodities. Knowledge commodities can also be categorized using Web 2.0 tagging techniques. Lastly, the marketplace fuels competition as knowledge workers strive to promote items they've authored. Competition, coupled with corporate incentive, increases participation and makes the enterprise better off as a whole. The enterprise has a broader range of quality knowledge assets from which potential innovative ideas can be discovered.


The discovery process is that in which the Enterprise Knowledge Market becomes aware of enterprise knowledge assets. A knowledge asset, also called an information asset, is "...a component or product of an information management system that can be defined, scoped, and managed for reuse." ( Blog posts, wiki pages, project plans and detailed design documents are all examples of a knowledge asset.

The discovery process is split into two logical components. The first allows users to submit content to the Enterprise Knowledge Market in a manner similar to what they would do when using social bookmarking applications such as delicious or reddit. This is especially useful when submitting ad hoc content that may not exist in an enterprise content repository (such as a knowledge worker's desktop). Once a knowledge asset is submitted, the Enterprise Knowledge Market valuates it.

The second discovery process is automated and behaves much like a web spider would. It crawls legacy content repositories and emergent Enterprise 2.0 applications (wikis, blogs, social bookmarking systems) and feeds information about what is discovered to the Enterprise Knowledge Market. Each asset is then valuated. This automated discovery process is important as information knowledge workers might not have thought to submit manually can also participate in the marketplace.

Knowledge Valuation

Once knowledge assets are discovered, they are converted into commodities by the EKM. Within the context of information management, a commodity can be thought of as an "...item produced for exchange" (wikipedia). Knowledge commodities are knowledge assets with a value assigned to them. The aim is to enrich the information discovery experience by promoting "valuable" knowledge commodities over "less valuable" ones with a clearly identifiable number that represents a value level.

Initial Valuation

When first discovered, a knowledge asset is valuated based on 5 main criteria:

  1. Inbound Links: The number of knowledge assets that link to it (weighted by the value index of each asset).
  2. Page Views: The number of page views multiplied by unique visitors (diversity is an important consideration).
  3. Subscriber Count: If the asset has an RSS or ATOM feed, the number of daily subscribers.
  4. Download Count: Relevant for non-HTML documents - the number of times a document has been downloaded.
  5. Age: The number days since the knowledge asset was last updated.

These criteria are used to algorithmically assign a value to a knowledge asset (thereby converting it into a knowledge commodity), and the knowledge commodity becomes discoverable in the Enterprise Knowledge Marketplace. For example, a knowledge commodity called "Enterprise 2.0 Architecture" might appear as follows:


Here we see the knowledge asset was discovered 1 hour ago, and it was automatically valuated to "76" by the algorithm. We also see additional information about the commodity, including its author and tags, which will be explained in depth later.

Perpetual Valuation

The value index of a knowledge commodity is constantly re-assessed algorithmically. But an additional factor also influences its value - group perspective. James Surowiecki, in his book The Wisdom of Crowds, argues that groups can make wise decisions when four elements are present:

  • Diversity of Opinion: Each person should have private information even if it's just an eccentric interpretation of the known facts.
  • Independence: People's opinions aren't determined by the opinions of those around them.
  • Decentralization: People are able to specialize and draw on local knowledge.
  • Aggregation: Some mechanism exists for turning private judgments into a collective decision.

Knowledge workers are perpetually adjusting the value of knowledge commodities by voting them up or down based on their perception of usefulness, propensity for innovation, etc. This process becomes efficient when the enterprise embraces the four elements required for wise group decision making and steers clear of controlling or influencing the process. Surowiecki points out that stock markets are efficient for the same reasons. Stocks are traded by loosely-coupled participants who operate under no central authority. And efficiency is mandatory here so that a knowledge commodity's value index reflects its true value.

The "manual" value adjustment process is close to that used to rate articles on And it is this feature that drives viral adoption of the Enterprise Knowledge Market as user input has a direct impact on the value of a given commodity. Collective intelligence, which is implicit in the criteria that informs the initial valuation of a knowledge asset, becomes explicit during perpetual valuation.

The difference between the EKM and the stock market is users aren't actually "buying" knowledge commodities. Instead they're voting for or against a commodity, and they only have one vote per item. But a user's vote doesn't necessarily alter the value index by +/- 1. Instead, the EKM weights a user's vote based on the number of commodities he's authored multiplied by their value.

Say, for example, a user has authored 2 knowledge commodities:

  1. Enterprise 2.0 Architecture, value: 75
  2. Explaining Web 2.0, value: 150

The user would have a "reputation" (or score) of 225. His voting up or down a knowledge commodity would effect its value more than a user with a reputation of 50. In this way the system is able to identify experts and give them more clout when determining whether or not a knowledge commodity is valuable.

The Marketplace


The Marketplace is the visual component of the Enterprise Knowledge Market. It is the Aggregation element required for wise group decision making that was explained in the previous section. Within the Marketplace users can comment on, buy or sell, and categorize knowledge commodities using Web 2.0 tagging techniques. They can also view important business intelligence information, including

  1. Snapshot - recent activity, top performing commodities and top contributors
  2. Trending - historical commodity performance information
  3. Categorization - tags
  4. Search - "Google-like" search for a commodity

The Visual Components of a Knowledge Commodity

The title for each commodity is a hyperlink to the original document. Users must authenticate against the content repository where the document is stored should it be password protected.

Second, when a user clicks the "buy" button he is indicating that he finds the knowledge commodity to be valuable. Conversely, clicking the "sell" button shows he finds the commodity to be of little value. The process of buying and selling has a direct impact on the value index assigned to the commodity (perpetual valuation). This means, with high participation, the value of a commodity could fluctuate significantly over time. The Marketplace also displays information about the commodity's value change for the day as well as the number of trades that have occurred.

Next, we can see the number of comments that have been made about the commodity, and users can click the comments link to submit a comment of their own.

The author of the knowledge commodity is also displayed, and clicking the author's link directs the user to the author's profile (perhaps in the enterprise social networking system). This is important as users may wish to contact the author for further information about the knowledge asset or to collaborate.

Finally we can see the last time the value of a given knowledge commodity was adjusted (traded) by the system or a user.

Recently discovered knowledge assets are also similarly displayed on the Marketplace homepage to raise their visibility and give them a chance to participate in the marketplace.


Knowledge commodity value fluctuation is captured by the Enterprise Knowledge Market and made visible as trending reports. For example, we may want to understand the value fluctuation for the "Enterprise 2.0 Architecture" knowledge commodity on August 31, 2007. The Enterprise Knowledge Market would show trending figures for that day as follows:


When the day began, the value index for this knowledge commodity was set to 513.10. The value index dropped to 511.47 before closing at 515.25. The Volume figure shows that 32 "trades", or buy/sell transactions, were made on the "Enterprise 2.0 Architecture" knowledge commodity on August 31st. The Avg. Vol figure shows that on average there are 23 transactions made on this knowledge commodity per day.

Trending showcases the enterprise's aggregate view of the value of a given knowledge commodity. Users can correlate the value of these commodities to external market trends and commercial activity. They can also see that the effect their buy/sell transactions have on a given commodity. And it's this demonstration that "my say makes a difference" that is engrossing.


Knowledge workers categorize knowledge commodities using Web 2.0 tagging techniques. Tags represent a user's perspective for how an information asset should be categorized.
The tag aggregate for a given knowledge item is known as a folksonomy. Contrast this to a taxonomy, which is a formal categorization system developed by "experts" (in Biology Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species is an example of a taxonomy), a folksonomy represents a social perspective on enterprise information. Over time a folksonomy can provide valuable insight into how knowledge workers actually perceive information (instead of how they're supposed to perceive it). The Enterprise Knowledge Market, then, is the perfect platform to nurture a folksonomy due to its social nature and it's holistic incorporation of enterprise information assets.

With that, we might see the development of a folksonomy such as the one depicted to the left.

This perspective is known as a tag cloud, where the size of a tag is loosely proportional to the number of knowledge commodities associated to it. In this example we can see that "enterprise 2.0" is by far the most commonly used tag. Users can click a given tag to view all of the knowledge commodities that have been categorized with it.


All knowledge commodities in the Enterprise Knowledge Market are searchable using an intuitive, Google-like interface. The search results are overlaid with the folksonomy, with tags that have been used to classify a given search result:


Here we see the second knowledge commodity has been categorized with 3 tags. Clicking a given tag will display a list of all other knowledge commodities that are associated to it. In this way a user is able to discover content using organic search capabilities and is exposed to the folksonomic view of a given item for extended discovery based on social context. The search capability is vital for surfacing "dormant" enterprise information.

In Conclusion

As demonstrated, the Enterprise Knowledge Market efficiently discovers and exposes enterprise information assets in an effort to recognize the knowledge workers who author them. The most valuable information assets are given the most visibility. Visibility leads to recognition, which knowledge workers compete for. Competition fuels participation, and participation increases the number of quality knowledge assets at the enterprise's disposal. This raises the likelihood that innovative ideas will be discovered, and innovation helps the enterprise remain competitive.

Wiki Contributors
Collapse Expand Close

View more contributors