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Denise A. D. Bedford, Ph.D. Senior Information Officer World Bank

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Presentation on theme: "Denise A. D. Bedford, Ph.D. Senior Information Officer World Bank"— Presentation transcript:

1 How the World Bank built an enterprise taxonomy -- a story with a happy ending
Denise A. D. Bedford, Ph.D. Senior Information Officer World Bank ASIST Potomac Valley Chapter presentation November 19, 2003

2 Storytelling I’m going to use a traditional Knowledge Management tool tonight to tell you how we built our enterprise taxonomy – storytelling My goal in using this approach is to illustrate the technical, information architecture and the social aspects of such an undertaking It will also allow me to speak to some of the critical foundation elements and milestones in the process It would not be truthful for me to tell you a story about how one day we defined our enterprise-taxonomy, and the next day we all lived happily ever after! I’d like to take you back to the world of medieval fiefdoms – many systems, many rules, different sets of laws, different languages and grammars

3 Once upon a time We had many different financial systems, multiple document management systems, 100’s of searchable resources, and a number of gaps in coverage of our information assets Then a wise and foreseeing Chief Information Officer and President helped us to establish a stable, standard institutional platform for our institutional collections (…our modern day Alexander the Great) This meant that instead of having multiple financial systems, human resource systems, and document management systems, we had one to suit each function (…first thoughts of unification arise…) And, the wise counselors advised them to select systems that functioned on a common operating system - Oracle (…we agree to talk to establish lines of communication and send ambassadors) Enterprise begins to think of systems at an ‘enterprise’ level – this is a crucial organizational culture aspect to implementing an enterprise taxonomy                      Major cultural change in how we thought about systems – this was the first time really that the institution began to think about ‘one’ system to suit a business function – emphasis here is on systems suited to their business functions – we always regard the business function owners as the primary clients in the enterprise architecture at this level If your enterprise is not thinking in this way, simply blueprinting a taxonomy and trying to implement it will not change your culture. There has to be an effort somewhere in the enterprise that raises awareness of the value of a common foundation – typically, this is most effectively accomplished by the Chief Information Officer, CKO, CTO, but really takes hold and makes a cultural shift when it is promoted by the organization’s President. It was not an entirely smooth transition to the new systems, though. While we were migrating to the new foundation, we recognized a critical success factor for the future – not only do we need to have a common systems foundation, but we also need to have common guidelines for using those systems, common governance bodies and governance procedures – without these the foundation would revert back into multiple fiefdoms

4 Consolidation of Business System Fiefdoms
Before the dawn of the Knowledge Age, we had many different business systems Each business system had its own (or no…) metadata, classification schemes, indexes, search systems… When we standardized our primary business systems, we merged those different taxonomies into enterprise taxonomies In this first step, we still had multiple business systems, but one per business function

5 Laying Out the Information Empire
Once we had established a common communication foundation, the people in those different fiefdoms began to talk to one another and a cultural change began to occur The idea of having ‘one’ business system to support a business function was accepted by the masses Now we find we have many different kinds of taxonomies – accounting structures, business functions/process/task taxonomies, product taxonomies, taxonomies of job classes, skills taxonomies, organizational taxonomies, personnel profiles, etc. We built taxonomies in these business function systems as we were implementing them - designed to suit business functions and the people who were administering the systems, not necessarily end users Start to understand important of usability and end-user training                             

6 From Business to Information Systems
Then a wise counselor (information architect) had a vision of a common enterprise-document management system When we began looking for such a system, though, the commercial products were not up to snuff in terms of our requirements We developed our own in-house system – portions of which were/were not using the common foundation The wise counselor had another vision of an integrated enterprise information system that would support a single point of access to all the information within the information empire This was the spark that set a the goal for an integrated enterprise architecture and taxonomy, though we were not sure we could actually achieve it             

7 Document Management Systems
Document management system was like a cathedral that held the church network together – smaller churches represented the units contributing to the system Document management system architecture was a little bit different, though Took many years to convince the little churches to send their offerings to the cathedral so they could become part of the larger network Each church could maintain their own filing structures which served the creators not the users Eventually they agreed to use a common prayer book – common filing structure Churches can speak different languages but they all have to be able to communicate

8 Document vs. Information Management Systems
Monasteries Distribution Caution here – goals of document and records management systems are to store and preserve information from the perspective of those who created the information End user access is not a primary goal of these kinds of systems Taxonomies that you put in place for these kinds of systems don’t necessarily serve end users needs Kinds of taxonomies – organization filing structures, record series for retention & dispositioning, economic sector and impact categories, some minimal metadata is beginning to emerge, though These taxonomies serve filing and storage goals, not the information access goal of our enterprise taxonomy Note – you can have many different enterprise-taxonomies – one that supports records management retention & dispositioning, one that supports business accounting What we were really aiming at, though, was an integrated enterprise-taxonomy that would support information access from a single point or place, with harmonization of values across existing taxonomies

9 Renaissance – Creativity Explodes
While we were making good progress in synchronizing different kinds of taxonomies in all of these business areas, a creative renaissance of knowledge creation and sharing began In about 1997, we launched a knowledge management initiative, using Lotus Notes databases to support collaboration and document libraries Knowledge management was a cultural change in itself – creativity of organizational units was encouraged and heightened It was a very important source of cultural change within the institution – beginning of a transformation to a learning organization It meant that the masses could become interested in taxonomies

10 Renaissance – Creativity Explodes
Proliferation of writing, publishing and organizing of information Déjà vu all over again – creativity took the form of user-defined metadata, publishing and navigation taxonomies These taxonomies were different from any of the taxonomies we had seen before – reflected the new thematic structure of the KM organization In some respects there was more confusion because they were talking about different kinds of taxonomies but trying to fit them into the same structures We began some internal QuickStart educational sessions on metadata, taxonomies, search, semantic web, etc. to provide a framework

11 Popular Information Revolution
So now we have several business process systems, a decentralized document management system, knowledge management system – and there is a popular uprising – the web Many web towns are created - 100’s of web sites, 1000s of web pages No central coordination of virtual villages Too many different places to go to look for information – going back to the medieval monastery network systems Masses begin to surface their discontent with the quality of access and the quality of information that is being published Realization among the masses that not all of the quality information assets are electronic or publicly available

12 Popular Information Revolution
Begins to look like the Dark Ages again - no profiles, no taxonomies, no controlled vocabularies or values Different systems have different profiles, different taxonomies, controlled vocabularies or values, indexes, search systems We start to see information pollution – alchemists and court jesters come back onto the scene – advocating magical approach to discovering the enterprise architecture But, we didn’t give up – we kept working on the components of the infrastructure in the background We knew that the day would come when they would be needed – and that day came

13 Rationalism & Enlightenment
Wise counselor returns to bring back sense of rationalism and enlightenment Counselor commissions a synthesis of content types across systems, standard metadata scheme, and the rejuvenation of the World Bank Thesaurus Content of the information is what we focus on for integration Information architecture then derives from our kinds of content Synthesis and integration work outside of existing systems, but leverages all the work that is done within the business systems Metadata is the central structure (faceted taxonomy) Reference sources for each facet support the governance and quality control (flat, hierarchical and network taxonomy structures)

14 Scientific Revolution & Industrialization
About this time, the visionary counselor begins to lay the work for a superhighway connecting all information systems – using the integrated enterprise taxonomy as a blueprint Content type proposal – enterprise-wide review of kinds of information is completed and accepted by Information Architecture Committee Establishment of Bank standard metadata – deriving from existing metadata across systems Long-term search strategy proposed and submitted to Information Architecture Committee Simplified Enterprise Taxonomy for topics is formed – looking across all systems and looking to the systems that are used by our partners

15 Space Travel - Portals The wild and crazy growth of the external website of the Bank, as well as the need to create a new internal web services platform raised awareness of the value of an integrated enterprise taxonomy You need some predictability in the source and target systems before you can syndicate content from an SAP BW cube, a newsfeed source, a DM system, an RM system, Archives, and the InfoShop to a project portal or to a personal portal, they all need to have a common point of reference The portal team tried the vendor’s suggested approach – create and implement simple new hierarchies and use them throughout the portal The enterprise taxonomy actually becomes the technical and information infrastructure of the portal – metadata repository, global navigation bars, … Taxonomies also now must be an integral part of the content that you are creating in the portals and in the systems that provide content to the portals

16 Back to Communications
Vision of a whole-Bank search – one place to go to find information in any of the Bank’s systems, speaking any of the languages of our clients Vision involved having a search engine that spoke the Bank’s business language and the languages of our clients – another kind of taxonomy We had a print-based ‘topical’ thesaurus which needed to be updated and expanded to reflect the Bank’s business in 2000 (moved this from 10,xxx terms in 1997 to 92,xxx in 2003) Same time the Translations Department was implementing a new parallel translation system which leverages multilingual and cross-language glossaries Translations Department glossaries focus on business functions, WB Thesaurus focuses on topics – integration and cross-population now in progress

17 Transparency Policy on Information Disclosure (2002) approved by the Board of Executive Directors required that we: develop a metadata based, cross-system Catalog to surface disclosed and disclosable documents for the external public user put in place a system that would support the capture and tracking of disclosure requests in the future and record changes in disclosure status This effort funded the first release of whole-Bank search Disclosed and disclosable documents lived in all of those systems above and were not tagged with their disclosure conditions or status In order to deliver WB Catalog, we had to integrate all of those taxonomies described above as well as the long-term search strategy

18 Information Universe Let’s jump to the 21st century – Enterprise Content Architecture and Enterprise Content Management All those taxonomies we worked on for the past 15 years are now integral components of the enterprise content architecture We’re finding that these taxonomies are critical to efficient and effective use of portal technologies Allows us to shift the focus to information content, metadata management, taxonomies, search, access, security, disclosure…. Now the impetus is to bring them all under central control so that they can be managed and used by systems across the enterprise Let’s see what the enterprise taxonomy looks like today, its content, how we maintain and manage it

19 Information Universe We realize that we really do want to work and travel in a 21st century universe of information Space travel is not magical, but is based on good engineering and maintenance Managers need to understand that quick fixes and solutions do not result in sustainable systems, but rather result in significant investment losses A multi-dimensional design approach supports flexibility, extensibility, and customization We can view our information universe from several different perspectives Individual systems landscape A technical architecture landscape User’s view of the enterprise taxonomy An information architecture landscape All of these views make up our Enterprise Content Architecture and allow us to move to the next step – Enterprise Content Management

20 Systems Architecture Site Specific Searching Publications Catalog World Bank Catalog/ Enterprise Search Recommender Engines Personal Profiles Portal Content Syndication Browse & Navigation Structures Metadata Repository Of Bank Standard Metadata (Oracle Tables & Indexes) Reference Tables Topics, Countries Document Types (Oracle data classes) Transformation Rules/Maps Data Governance Bodies Metadata Extract Metadata Extract Metadata Extract Metadata Extract Metadata Extract Metadata Extract Doc Mgmt System Web Content Mgmt. Metadata SAP Financial System People Soft JOLIS Metadata InfoShop Metadata Concept Extraction, Categorization & Summarization Technologies

21 Technical View of the Enterprise Architecture
Content Contributor End User Content Systems DELIVERY Metadata Management and Security Services ePublish PDS …. access rules Content Access Services Content Management Services view multilingual srch workflow create/del. check in/out retention schedule search syndication versioning declare classification browsing notification reference data taxonomy Content Integration and Archives Services relate Connector Concept extraction rules evaluator harmonize Adapter thesaurus data dic. monitors SAP (R/3, BW) Notes / Domino Archives Store Over Time Documents, Images, Audio, Data records Metadata warehouse logs People Soft iLAP Repositories Services Business Systems

22 User’s View of the Enterprise Taxonomy

23 Information Architecture
Title Author Keyword Topics Content Type Bus. Activity Format Disclosure

24 Bank Standard Metadata by Purpose
Identification/ Distinction Search & Browse Compliant Document Management Use Management

25 Taxonomies in Action Metadata in Fielded Search – Faceted Taxonomy
Topics Taxonomy – Shallow Hierarchy Business Activity Taxonomy – Deep Hierarchy Organizational Taxonomy – Faceted Taxonomy Country – Region Taxonomy – Hierarchy Thesaurus in Search – Faceted Taxonomy Disclosure Status – Flat Taxonomy Simplified Bankwide Taxonomy of Topics Describe process & guiding principle of inclusion Naming conventions Mapping in oracle data classes again Programmatic categorization, based on structures

26 Top Tier Content Type Examples
Documents in IRIS, ImageBank, IRAMS… Data in BW, DEC SIMA queries in central, regional & agency databases, CDF indicators, GDF data reports, . Publications in JOLIS, Office of Publisher, Thematic Group databases… Communications in External Affairs, Office of President, DEC, IRIS… People & Communities in YourNet, PeopleSoft, WBDirectory,… Knowledge in Notes databases, Oral History program,… Services in WB Yellow Pages, Service Portal,… Collections in EIU database, Oxford Analytica Content types as one of the facets of the metadata taxonomy Content type two tiered taxonomy Use what exists, but harmonize to a high level structure - generalizing See if we can harmonize with retention & dispositioning classes as well Implementing at the content object creation level – specificity – so that when we Create new content types in the web content management system we have Profiles of attributes that we can build upon, rather than to proliferate hundreds of Kinds of content and web profiles Content types will also carry key document management and records Management information with them – if it is this content type, and this org unit, Then it will be assigned this record series class, and this disclosure condition 7

27 Lessons Learned You can change some of the information architecture, but some of it you will have to adapt or map Business functions are the most critical for standardizing to single business taxonomy – the move towards standardization has to come from above Map business system taxonomies to enterprise taxonomies - help the business system owners to see the value of being part of an enterprise taxonomy (no value, no buy in) Expect change and be ready to integrate and map, but educate your users to alert you to changes – make it possible for them to work with you Do outreach and consciousness raising (QuickStart programs on metadata, taxonomies 101, search engines, semantic engines,…

28 Lessons Learned Move forward on the end user front while you’re working on the backend – when people can see the actual value they will buy in (now no one wants to be left out of the WB Catalog now – we created it, so they are coming) Have to have a goal and a vision – you will never succeed at creating an enterprise taxonomy if you don’t know why you’re doing it We are putting in place an enterprise architecture based on well-defined and managed taxonomies that are used within and by internal systems This gives us flexibility to build different products and views for end users, while internally managing our information assets

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