Click on one of the two buttons to access the content you wish to view. Guide Importance of knowledge to a growing business Share on:. What is knowledge in a business?
Basic sources of knowledge Exploiting your knowledge Make knowledge central to your business Sharing knowledge across your business Create a knowledge strategy for your business Using information technology to gain and manage knowledge. You've probably done market research into the need for your business to exist in the first place. If nobody wanted what you're selling, you wouldn't be trading. You can tailor this market knowledge to target particular customers with specific types of product or service.
Your files of documents from and about customers and suppliers hold a wealth of information which can be invaluable both in developing new products or services and improving existing ones. Your employees are likely to have skills and experience that you can use as an asset. Having staff who are knowledgeable can be invaluable in setting you apart from competitors.
You should make sure that your employees' knowledge and skills are passed on to their colleagues and successors wherever possible, e.
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See the page in this guide: create a knowledge strategy for your business. Customer knowledge - you should know your customers' needs and what they think of you. You may be able to develop mutually beneficial knowledge sharing relationships with customers by talking to them about their future requirements, and discussing how you might be able to develop your own products or services to ensure that you meet their needs. Employee and supplier relationships - seek the opinions of your employees and your suppliers - they'll have their own impressions of how you're performing.
You can use formal surveys to gather this knowledge or ask for their views on a more informal basis. Market knowledge - watch developments in your sector. How are your competitors performing?
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How much are they charging? Are there any new entrants to the market? Have any significant new products been launched? Knowledge of the business environment - your business can be affected by numerous outside factors. Developments in politics, the economy, technology, society and the environment could all affect your business' development, so you need to keep yourself informed. You could consider setting up a team of employees to monitor and report on changes in the business world. Professional associations and trade bodies - their publications, academic publications, government publications, reports from research bodies, trade and technical magazines.
Trade exhibitions and conferences - these can provide an easy way of finding out what your competitors are doing and to see the latest innovations in your sector. Product research and development - scientific and technical research and development can be a vital source of knowledge that can help you create innovative new products - retaining your competitive edge. Organisational memory - be careful not to lose the skills or experience your business has built up. You need to find formal ways of sharing your employees' knowledge about the best ways of doing things.
For example, you might create procedural guidance based on your employees' best practice. Non-executive directors - these can be a good way for you to bring on board specialised industry experience and benefit from ready-made contracts. An improvement in the goods or services you offer and the processes that you use to sell them.
For example, identifying market trends before they happen might enable you to offer products and services to customers before your competitors. Increased customer satisfaction because you have a greater understanding of their requirements through feedback from customer communications.
An increase in the quality of your suppliers , resulting from better awareness of what customers want and what your staff require. Improved staff productivity , because employees are able to benefit from colleagues' knowledge and expertise to find out the best way to get things done.
They'll also feel more appreciated in a business where their ideas are listened to. Increased business efficiency , by making better use of in-house expertise. Better recruitment and staffing policies. For instance, if you've increased knowledge of what your customers are looking for, you're better able to find the right staff to serve them. The ability to sell or license your knowledge to others. You may be able to use your knowledge and expertise in an advisory or consultancy capacity.
In order to do so, though, make sure that you protect your intellectual property. Databases organise information so it can be easily accessed, managed and updated. For instance, you might have a database of customers containing their contact information, their orders and preferences. A data warehouse is a central storage area you might use if you have a variety of business systems, or a range of information in different digital formats. Many businesses now use digital asset management to store, manage and retrieve information, and this can be particularly helpful if you sell online.
It is, however, a complex area technically and in task management, and you may wish to seek specialist advice from an IT consultant. Data mining is a process in which all the data you collect is sorted to determine patterns. For instance, it can tell you which products are most popular and whether one type of customer is likely to buy a particular item.
Reporting and querying tools let you create reports interpreting data in a particular way. How many of your sales have been handled by one particular employee, for instance? Business intelligence portals are websites that bring together all sorts of potentially useful information, such as legal issues or details of new research. The Internet and search engines - these can be a powerful source of knowledge, although be certain to check the credibility of your information source.
Internet newsgroups can be specific sources of business information, but check the authors' other postings before deciding how to view their opinions and claimed facts. An intranet is a secure internal network for the sole use of your business. An extranet is similar to an intranet but can be extended to customers and suppliers. Customer relationship management software helps you build up a profile of your customer database and enables you to target them through e-mail, telephone or postal marketing campaigns.
Call-centre systems enable you to serve large numbers of customers if you sell by telephone. Website log-file analysis helps you to analyse how customers use your website so you can improve its effectiveness. Systems to analyse and file customer letters, suggestions, emails, and call centre responses, which will enable you to spot trends, improve customer service and develop new products, services and systems. Share on:.
Need help? BLS and the Census Bureau should jointly develop intermittent topical modules for their business surveys. These topical modules should be designed to allow periodic measurement in the same survey and with the same business sample of variables usually collected in separate surveys and at different frequencies.
Statistical agencies may also be able to improve the accuracy and timeliness of their products by tapping into data systems maintained by businesses.
Given that businesses must continually update their own employment, payroll, capital expenditure, and other records, it makes sense to develop conduits from internal reporting systems to government data collections. By recognizing that companies maintain accounting systems associated with day-to-day operations on a high-frequency basis, it may even be possible to mitigate business respondent burden.
New technologies e. The registers at the Census Bureau and BLS are the primary lists from which statistics on firm and establishment dynamics are generated. The Census Bureau program is. The business lists serve a number of critical purposes. They are used to create sampling frames for a wide variety of surveys conducted by the agencies; to benchmark survey data; to publish employment and wage data; and to generate key statistical aggregates, most notably many of the inputs to the national income and product accounts.
Comparison projects conducted cooperatively between the Census Bureau and BLS indicate that the business lists do not consistently align—for example, in terms of employment and establishment counts assigned to certain industries, or in their ability to pick up small and new businesses. Inconsistencies in the business lists carry direct implications for the reliability of key business statistics—from gross domestic product, to aggregate employment, to productivity and industrial production—derived at least in part from business list data.
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In turn, this creates problems for data users. Continued evolution of the U. The potential of reconciling the business registers is a highly visible example of what can be gained through effective interagency data sharing. However, the Census Bureau is not permitted to share its underlying business list or survey data with BEA or BLS because they are commingled with federal tax information. The panel supports extending CIPSEA to increase the flexibility with which information can be shared among statistical agencies for purposes of constructing a comprehensive business register and for designing special surveys.
Effective coordination of the statistical agency data programs is essential for improving the accuracy, coverage, and timeliness of business data, as well as the efficiency with which they are produced. Before work can progress further to reconcile the business lists, and before data sharing among the three CIPSEA-designated agencies can be fully exploited, the IRS regulations and tax code legislation must be changed. Measures should be taken immediately to facilitate the expansion of CIPSEA to increase the kinds of information that may be shared.
This expansion of data sharing can be accomplished by: 1 Congress acting to revise Internal Revenue Code Section j to extend authorized access of IRS tax information to BEA and BLS; 2 the Treasury Depart ment initiating an update of the IRS regulations, which clarify the purpose and detail specific items that can be shared with autho rized agencies; or 3 a combination of both actions.
The goal of the agencies charged with creating and maintaining the source lists should always be to include accurate data on all business units, large and small, new and old. There are, according to the Census Bureau, roughly 18 million nonemployer firms—individual proprietorships, partnerships, or corporations with no paid employees—that account for about three quarters of all firms and a reasonably large fraction 12 percent in of aggregate U.
Thus, sharing of business data would be quite limited if it did not permit an integration of data on the full range of businesses operating in the economy. In order to create a comprehensive business list and to generate data that would be useful for studying the dynamics of small and young firms, interagency sharing agreements should extend to data on nonemployers. Data on all sole proprietors and partnerships must also be included, whether they have employees or not.
We believe that a compelling data-driven case has been made, in this report and elsewhere, that reconciliation of the business lists would better serve downstream users—such as BEA in the production of national accounts, the Federal Reserve in carrying out research to inform monetary policy, and the Congressional Budget Office in projecting real gross domestic product growth—to an extent that more than warrants the actions recommended here.
The political and legal feasibility of expanding data sharing among the statistical agencies has been enhanced by CIPSEA; indeed, given the uniform set of requirements enacted through CIPSEA, the agencies are now in a better position than ever before to protect data collected for statistical purposes under a pledge of confidentiality. The statistical agencies rightly view themselves primarily as data producers, and their mission is to do so, maximizing quality subject to budget constraints.
While the agencies do maintain skilled in-house staffs, the vast share of research expertise resides elsewhere, at universities or other nongovernmental institutions.
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It is the intensive use of statistical agency prod-. The quality of research based on business data produced by the statistical agencies would improve with greater interaction between outside researchers and businesses and the statistical agencies. As recommended in previous Committee on National Statistics re ports, statistical agencies, in particular the Census Bureau, should incorporate into their missions a broader interpretation of the cri teria for access to data.
Specifically, research that informs social and economic policy should be considered a valid reason for ac cessing confidential data. In planning a data system capable of measuring business formation and dynamics, it is essential to keep in mind the needs of users—federal agencies and researchers, as well as businesses themselves. Questions about business activity are frequently made in reference to specific places, ranging from neighborhoods to the entire country. Thus, for many purposes—such as state and local planning—data must be collected and accessible in a way that allows for small-area analyses.
Data with precise location identifiers are also needed to document the effects of federal government policies and actions. The impact on local economies of base closures, contract awards, emergency relief, and extending eligibility for unemployment insurance are but a few examples of situations in which the capacity to fully analyze events has been compromised by data limitations.
The importance of tracking businesses and people at substate levels has been reinforced by the series of recent natural disasters that have disrupted and redirected many kinds of business and worker activity. Designing useful data systems therefore requires building in the capability to readily aggregate to a range of geographic scales. The statistical agencies have done a good job of integrating small-area details in many of their data programs.
Survey programs should continue to collect, and administrative record systems should maintain, data that enable 1 identification, for authorized purposes, of detailed geographic and sectoral location of business activity, generally at the establishment level; and 2 flexible aggregation of statistics by product, industry, region, county, etc. Because point-level geographic identifiers uniquely identify a site of.
These themes are 1 that the statistical agencies should maintain their business registers in a more fully coordinated manner and 2 that statistical agencies should utilize the registers to produce new tabulations of economic activity, specifically by business establishment age. The recommendations associated with these themes should be given high priority. The report also includes recommendations that would require greater resources or longer term effort to carry out. The rationale behind several of these is that young and small establishments should be given more weight in survey sampling than their receipts or total employment might suggest, because their characteristics change quickly and because they may contribute disproportionately to economic growth.
These recommendations are equally if not more important for measuring business dynamics, but the pace at which they can be implemented will be slower. Other recommendations, such as those suggesting more rapid integration of new technologies or more effective use of existing data sources, are offered to encourage long-term efficiency of business data collection.
In our view, the amount of resources required to provide a more timely, accurate, and complete description of U. The U. With globalization markets have also become more interconnected. Measuring business activity in this rapidly evolving environment increasingly requires tracking complex interactions among firms, establishments, employers, and employees. Understanding Business Dynamics presents strategies for improving the accuracy, timeliness, coverage, and integration of data that are used in constructing aggregate economic statistics, as well as in microlevel analyses of topics ranging from job creation and destruction and firm entry and exit to innovation and productivity.
This book offers recommendations that could be enacted by federal statistical agencies to modernize the measurement of business dynamics, particularly the production of information on small and young firms that can have a disproportionately large impact in rapidly expanding economic sectors. It also outlines the need for effective coordination of existing survey and administrative data sources, which is essential to improving the depth and coverage of business data.
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