Always be in the know

I traded what some would call the perfect job, for no salary – and all to solve the problem of knowledge discovery

When I think about the perfect job, I think about being involved with a workplace where I am given the ability to shine, where I am valued by my colleagues and customers and I can value them, with enough of a salary to allow me and my partner to holiday once or twice a year. Well, I had that and more. I was a core engineer at a large software company in Copenhagen, Denmark. I was working on great products, worked with talented people and only worked lots of hours because I wanted to, not because I was pressured to. Breakfast and lunch all included, trips around the world, speaking and conferences and a genuinely inspirational environment to work in.

So then why did I quit this job so that I can work all those hours over again to hopefully get back to that same place in a few years? This time there is one major difference, I am using the skills I have acquired in my career so far to build a product as part of a new startup. I am also not alone. I am lucky enough that I have the most talented engineers I have ever met joining me in this journey to solve a problem that plagued us and potentially had plagued everyone in their career – having not only access to all the information that sits within your organization, but using this knowledge to propel you in your everyday work.

I consider myself a person that absolutely loves their job. In fact, it is embarrassing the amount of time that I spend on a computer – building, learning, training and trying to better my skills. Call it a “comfort factor” for when I have to do hard tasks, but this love for technology has fuelled a career for me that has taken me across the globe, talking in front of thousands of people and working with some massive talent in the software industry. However, one thing has always irked me enough to make an impact. This same learning, training and general gaining of knowledge never really percolated naturally within the organizations I worked at. I crave to know what is happening within my,  my team and my organizations work that could help me produce better work in a more productive manner. I am what you call a #KnowledgeWorker.

There is a plethora of information, data, content, knowledge (call it what you want) that gets generated, distributed, circulated, isolated and siloed within organizations every single day. Research shows that even if employees were  in the fortunate situation to gain access to all of this knowledge, 1% of those employees actually use this knowledge to make future business decisions on a day to day basis. To put this in practical terms, there are decisions made in my organization that, if made aware of, I would be able to utilize to make some type of productive gain – whether that is efficiency, quality of work or even save me from duplicating work that already exists. A lot of books and guides tell us, fail fast, learn from your mistakes. This teaching should really be extended to also learning from others mistakes as well. 

Wait! Did I say 1 Percent?! Take all your business processes, all your management styles, all the tools you use and all the investments you make in these departments and ponder, that even with these, still, only 1% of the data, whether that is computer data, discussions  or notes on paper, is utilized within further business or technical decisions that are made. Now you can start to see why I and a select few decided to quit our perfectly great full-time jobs to dedicate our careers to solving this problem. 

Introducing CluedIn. CluedIn is an application that taps every employee in an organization into all the data that is being generated in their organization. We then use this data to surface knowledge to employees that is found in those heaps of unstructured, unmanaged, sometimes messy and incorrect data. Our mission is to enrich and empower every employee to utilise the information in their workplace to help them produce better work, more efficiently and more confidently. Research shows that we all spend 1 full work day a week just searching in the organization. This could be searching on network fileshares, intranets, internal document management systems, cloud based tools or within emails. For the average employee of 200 employees, this is well over $1 million USD spent on this action every year. So, by now you completely will understand why this needs to be solved. But why are we the right people to do it? 

The problem of Organisational Data Mining is a very complex problem, made up of many facets of complexity including security, privacy, crawling, search, just to name a few. We believe that these facets although important, are definitely not what solves this problem – they are only staple requirements that are mandated to even be considered an entry level tool for solving this problem. The CluedIn engineering team has broad enterprise backgrounds in building hugely scalable, intelligent and distributed systems. We do not intend to only give you access to all your data, but the ambitious task of understanding your data so it works for you. It is only when we understand information that it becomes knowledge. This knowledge only becomes insightful and truly engaging to employees when it is supported by an engine capable of connecting, enriching, understanding and mapping your data – think, mapping our DNA.

CluedIn is only months away from public release. Those that have experienced the application so far describe it as a huge breakthrough in technology, one that we are extremely proud of putting into your hands in our Spring release.

I almost forgot! This opportunity gives me the ability to work fulltime with our new office dog, Seymour.

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If you would like to be amongst the early adopters, you can visit our website now and request an invitation at http://cluedin.io/signup

Tim Ward

Founder, Developer and Loudest Employee at CluedIn.