For Asset Managers, the benefits of knowledge management are clear. Leveraging the full extent of their people’s expertise and the significant investments they have already made in internal and external information sources is essential. For those that can quickly and effectively deploy the collective investment wisdom of their entire firm (both historical and present day) to generate more effective investment decisions, there are clear advantages over firms who cannot.
But rather than just ‘managing’, we see ‘mobilising’ knowledge as being of particular value to active managers. Active managers face increasingly competitive markets and an investor shift towards passive, all at a time of great uncertainty and volatility both economically and politically. Additionally, the impact of the global pandemic on workforce location seems likely to see a rise in distributed teams with people increasingly working from home for much or even all of the working week for the foreseeable future. The ability to be able to quickly and easily find relevant information and expertise from across the firm is becoming ever more essential.
Furthermore, by highlighting how they actively bring to bear the power of their collective knowledge to their investment solutions, Managers can also help differentiate themselves from the herd and create a new positive narrative for their clients.
But recognising the need is only the start – how do firms ‘get active’ with their knowledge?
Most managers have made huge investments in external research. Despite this, our understanding is that almost none of them store this expensive content centrally – making it frustratingly difficult to access and fully benefit from. Additionally, there is very little (if any) integration with internal research and the existing search solutions that investment teams have are incapable of helping maximise the value of the research they have access to.
Accordingly, we see three areas where managers should focus their efforts to create the correct foundations for any successful initiative:
1. Consolidate access to content – content, which is often located across multiple data silos in a global organisation, must be unified.
2. Enhance search – ensure that users can systematically interrogate the interiors of all documents available in the repositories.
3. Boost collaboration – sharing searches/topics and profiling fellow users allows a firm to “memorialise” the investment process and simultaneously creates a dynamic internal expert network. Users can then see how the firm has approached past investment decisions and rapidly identify colleagues with relevant expertise to approach, thereby saving significant time and enabling better-informed investment decisions.
KiteEdge powers knowledge mobilisation by combining multiple search techniques, including ontology (a domain-specific structure created to help understand the component elements and the relationships of a content universe), to drive both effective search and increased collaboration. Managers are also offered the ability to customise the ontology to essentially map their investment process onto the search mechanism itself. We are not aware of any other market participants with the ability to do this.