Cognitive Automation Uses Tribal Knowledge to Make Better Decisions

Taylor Wills
Cognitive Automation Uses Tribal Knowledge to Make Better Decisions

Platforms that analyze business information and improve with practice and human interaction are necessary for the future of work

Tribal knowledge is the set of expert insights collected by employees who have years of experience working in an organization or industry. These people know how a company works so well they have an almost-intuitive feel for how a company works and how to get things done. 

They possess all the relevant arguments and experience for making informed decisions regarding workflows, strategy, and critical areas. They are often valued as the “go-to” people in the organization. However, this knowledge is usually trapped in their heads and not well-documented, if at all.

Why Tribal Knowledge Can Be a Challenge for Companies

While tribal knowledge can grease the business process gears in an organization, with the speed of change accelerating from the explosion of digital to the ongoing pandemic, can you continue to rely on these individuals? What may have been relevant even just a decade ago may not be so relevant today.

In addition, the pandemic has accelerated the change of the workplace that has been going on for the last decade. Fewer people are staying in the same place these days, as the median number of years spent with a current employer is 4.1 years only, and long-time employees are considering other opportunities. It’s hard to develop tribal knowledge because people don’t stay as long as they used to. Sooner or later, more experienced employees leave or retire, and the undocumented tribal knowledge walks out the door with them. 

Companies need a new solution to capture their tribal knowledge. And cognitive automation is the right technology to cope with these problems. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, it takes over and maintains the expertise of your best employees in the room.

How Cognitive Automation Helps Overcome The Challenges with Tribal Knowledge

Cognitive automation provides the background for fast and accurate decision making. It delivers all the required capabilities to achieve “what good looks like” for intelligent decisions. It unites science, data, process, and change to cover all the key stages in decision making with the highest accuracy and quality possible.

It adopts the best from tribal knowledge but accelerates the decision-making speed, enlarges the data set, and carefully documents and timely adjusts your insights.

Cognitive Automation Collects and Understands the Data

Cognitive automation serves as a digital brain that retains the context, decisions, and outcomes. It not only captures and harmonizes the relevant internal, external, and physical data, it provides the analytical context necessary to make intelligent recommendations.

However, it doesn’t stop there. A cognitive automation platform should also provide the ability to take action from that recommendation and remember the downstream impacts of those decisions. For example, if Veronica continues to adjust a recommendation by 10% because of her intimate knowledge of how weather impacts delivery schedules, the digital brain should remember human inputs to make better recommendations later.

Cognitive Automation Learns Fast and Constantly

Cognitive automation systems create recommendations, using the data and the history from your previous decisions. If it recommends manufacturing additional products, it takes into account competitors’ offerings, market trends, and the experience-backed intuition of decision makers like Veronica. As for the next steps, the cognitive architecture will review past decisions and actions, looking for repeatable patterns that it will recommend for automation.

This platform’s ability to not only learn, but also show the supporting data for the recommendations, strengthens the trust in its automation capabilities. That’s how cognitive automation provides the basis for a self-driving enterprise. Veronica keeps guiding the platform, and it never stops learning from her, systematically absorbing new insights and adjusting its recommendations fast and accordingly.

Cognitive Automation Prevents The Loss of Tribal Knowledge

With cognitive automation, organizations can capture and leverage the tribal knowledge built up within your organization to make better decisions. With augmentation tools and constantly learning automation capacities, the experience-based intuition of your expert workers is captured and leveraged. Even more, if the workforce continues to evolve and change, you can be assured that important knowledge and experience stay within the four walls.

Taylor Wills
Staff Writer
October 21, 2021