Viewpoints on Innovation

Advanced Information Access: The Application of Search and Analytics in Product Development

Analytics and Decision Support

Kalypso conducted interviews and independent research to understand how advanced information access technologies can drive increasingly efficient innovation.

Over the past three decades, product development organizations have made radical productivity gains by leveraging information systems to help streamline predictable parts of the product development lifecycle. Moreover, traditional business intelligence tools have decreased the cost of reporting on management’s key performance indicators, making executives more effective at top-down decisions through which they steer corporate strategy.

Today, product development-intensive industries are more competitive than ever. Companies are under pressure to further compress timeto- market while expanding innovation that addresses the needs of increasingly fragmented customer segments. Furthermore, the information systems that supported progress to date have created a new challenge: mountains of enterprise information under layers of data management tools, and no practical way for the typical knowledge worker to use it. In fact, industry research shows that engineers spend as much as 30% of their time searching for information. Companies are often unaware of how better use of existing data could improve the product development process.

Lagging companies are struggling to deal with the information explosion by building an even more rigid layer of highly managed systems on top of their existing systems, as is the case with data warehousing. Meanwhile, the leaders of the next wave of innovation are now separating from the pack, taking a new approach, and leveraging a nimbler breed of technology to do so with advanced information access.

The ability to leverage existing company knowledge is vital to innovation. Advanced information access solutions go beyond simply finding and retrieving content to allowing a company to organize and utilize their full library of structured and unstructured data to provide quick, relevant results to users –regardless of their business silo. Three main benefits are realized through the implementation of an advanced information access solution:

  1. Increased productivity from information reuse and avoiding duplication of effort
  2. Decreased time spent searching for information in multiple systems and analyzing results
  3. Enhanced innovation by mining product development history and recycling “lost” ideas

These benefits provide cross-functional groups with in-depth information and access to a history of projects across product development phases, from ideation to launch. They can help companies reduce duplicate work, share knowledge across dispersed cross-functional teams, and gain visibility into product-related data that may have been previously hidden.

Kalypso examined product innovation applications of information access solutions, technologies and approaches in more than 20 leading companies across multiple industries. The research sample included companies with annual sales ranging from $200 million to more than $10 billion. The interviews also covered issues and opportunities facing companies who are considering information access projects, as well as lessons learned from companies with mature deployments.

Originally published on November 18th, 2008

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Topics: Advanced Information Access, Innovation, IP, Kalypso, Perspective, Product Development, Product Innovation, Strategy

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