Capturing Corporate Knowledge
Before it is Lost

The loss of knowledge in companies due to employees retiring or changing jobs is a major problem.   Highly experienced employees may have many decades of knowledge, which the company relies on, but which can walk out the door overnight. Most approaches to capturing this knowledge rely on unstructured, anecdotal descriptions of specific events or cases, often placed in a binder forgotten on a shelf. 

Exsys Corvid® provides the framework to systematically capture the experts' complete decision-making process for a domain as an expert system.  It provides detailed documentation of the knowledge that can be examined and understood by others. It automatically produces an on-line Corvid expert system that enables the knowledge to be delivered to other employees in an interactive session similar to talking to the expert. The knowledge is not just documented, it can be used to provide detailed situation-specific advice 24/7, whenever needed. The systems are also excellent training tools for new hires.

There is no full replacement for a valuable employee, but steps can be taken to capture some of the experts' knowledge in key areas.  Some options have been to have employees write training documents or make videos on their work background.  These can provide interesting anecdotal historical information, but usually they are too unstructured to really capture the expert's knowledge.

The "WAY" that knowledge is described limits the "TYPE" of knowledge that can be described.  A highly unstructured approach will lead to jumbled knowledge, full of gaps.   Also, focusing only on major decisions may miss the valuable more typical day-to-day decisions that are commonly encountered.  Using non-systematic techniques of capturing expertise will greatly reduced the effectiveness of a knowledge capture project.   

Corvid provides the best approach to systematic capture of structured decision-making logic in an expert system.  The expert can fully describe the way they approach a problem. Corvid's flexible Logic Block structures allow the system structure to parallel the expert's decision-making process. All the complexities, special cases and probabilistic logic can be incorporated using readable heuristic rules processed by Corvid's powerful Inference Engine. Corvid rules are written in English (or whatever language is preferred) and Algebra. They are easy to read and understand. Corvid's development environment is aimed at non-programmers and the expert does not have to learn complex syntax or jargon to build the system. Experts are not forced to think in the paradigm of the tool - they can just describe how they solve a problem similarly to the way they would explain it to another person.

Corvid also automatically indicates areas where the logic has gaps, prompting the expert to filled them in, systematically making the system complete.  The logic can be immediately tested to see if the expert agrees with the results.  If they don't, the logic can be examined to see where it requires expansion or correction.  Once complete, the Corvid system can be fielded on the Web to provide an interaction with end users that emulates a conversation with the expert to provide situation-specific advice.

Corvid is a highly flexible tool that can be easily learned, but capable of representing very complex logic.  With Corvid, an expert can either build their own knowledge automation expert system, or work with someone trained in Corvid to rapidly build systems that capture and preserve their knowledge on a particular tasks.   Implemented throughout an organization, a repository of expert systems not only preserves business knowledge, but also can automatically be delivered on-line via the Exsys Corvid Inference Engine.

Since 1983 Exsys Inc has been helping corporations build expert systems that capture and deliver the knowledge of their top experts. Contact us today for a free Web conference. We'd be happy to discuss how to help your organization capture your most valuable resource.


Some case studies of Exsys systems that help capture company's top knowledge. (Click on the titles for more details):


"By connecting over 400 systems with external programs, many routine tasks are automated, which frees up the experts to tackle complex problems and better utilize their talents."

"By using Exsys, we were able to take personnel, often with relatively little computer experience, and have them produce systems that are now assisting in many aspects of plant operations."

Eastman Chemical