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KFS (KM) in China:
IV Taxonomies

Conway and Sligar (2002) thereby differentiate between three types of taxonomies when it comes to the organization of information:

* Descriptive taxonomies: A comprehensive search engine is connected to the information databases which users can use to search for desired types of information. Important thereby is, that the search engine not only searches for the exact phrases the users enters but also for synonyms and other matching words on its vocabulary lists. For example, in case an employee searches for methodologies of "market entry strategies", the search engine would automatically look for "market penetration strategies". Google provides such a search engine which is connected to most pages of the internet.

* Navigational taxonomies: Information within the organization is structured into a directory based approach. The labeling of categories can thereby be done according to the firms preferred set of vocabulary. The advantage of this taxonomy is that users often discover new formulations of information categories they would not have thought of during when using a descriptive taxonomy. Yahoo is an example of a directory which aims to categorize most internet pages worldwide.

* Data Management Vocabulary: This taxonomy comprises a "short list of authorized terms without any hierarchical structure that is used to support business transactions" (Conway and Sligar, 2002, Chapter 6) which is important when brining information within the company into the same format. For example, when describing a market, the analysis should include a globally used set of criteria (e.g. market size in dollars, number of competitors, etc.) so that other marketing personnel can successfully mine for market report information in the future. "Without a shared taxonomy, a company risks developing islands of data that cannot be shared or easily utilized by the rest of the organization." (Chapter 6)

To work efficiently, an organization's central information portal should employ all three taxonomies in order to enable efficient access to required information by its users.


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