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Key Idea: Transform Raw Data Into Knowledge

Miles Corbett's award-winning software company turns a client's complex institutional information into a coherent body of understandable and useful content.  Logon  to view all the videos of this episode.

Key Question:


Knowledge is power and the powerful win.  You have grown and will continue to grow your business because you know things other people don't know.  Or, your knowledge is applied in a way that others don't understand.  Your customers come to you because you are unique due to knowledge you have gained through the years and this all adds up to what is called, institutional memory. 

If you have one employee or 100 or 1,000 it is critical that you instill your power (knowledge) in each of them.  Take it one step further and pass on your power to your customers.  With your website you can teach what you know to the world.   There are some secrets that are kept like the recipe to Coca-Cola and there are companies here at Small Business School that have trade secrets protected.  We aren't talking about sharing that type of information.

Think how you can transfer what you know to others.  If you do not do this, your company will die with you.

Think about it

What steps can you take now to move your company's raw data into position so all employees can use it to make the best decisions/do the best work for your customers?

Clip from: Knowledge Management

Westerham and Stockport, England: In this episode of the show we go inside truly global businesses that are changing the way we know things and understand who we are. They are each uniquely helping us all get the information revolution under control and helping to open the way to a knowledge evolution.

You'll meet Miles Corbett and David Bowden and their team in Westerham, England. In their hands information becomes knowledge, and their programs are saving businesses millions of dollars every year.

Then later in the show, you will meet Bill Daring, Jon Keefe, Nick Smith and the team at KMPInternet of Stockport. They are eliminating mundane tasks from the work area and creating access paths over the barriers between languages.
Historically, if knowledge were on a grocery shelf, it would have been among the most perishable items. Here we meet people who are giving knowledge much more shelf space, at a much lower cost, and as a durable good.

Today intellectual property is as important as physical property. Physical property sustains the body -- food and shelter; intellectual property sustains the mind, imparting meaning and value to life. 

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Transition Associates (MC)

Miles Corbett, Co-founder

The Old Chapel
52 Paynesfield Road

Visit our web site:

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1995

Transform Raw Data Into Knowledge

HATTIE (In the Stuido) : Hi. I'm Hattie Bryant. One of the great mysteries of life is the human mind. What can we know? And, when do we really know it?
Today, we visit with people who are providing answers that will change our perception of information, knowledge, insight and, yes, even wisdom.

First, we go to Westerham, England, where a very small business is saving very large businesses millions of dollars because they have keys to vaults of information that, when processed through their hands, becomes knowledge and leads the person with questions to exacting new insights.

(Voiceover) In Westerham, England, about 20 miles southeast of London, we found the simple offices of an international award-winning software company, Transition Associates. Founded by Miles Corbett and David Bowden, the company makes knowledge out of raw data. They serve some of the biggest companies in the world with a team of 16 who work from offices scattered around the country.

DAVID BOWDEN: Knowledge management is a very broad subject to me. It covers a vast number of things.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) One of Transition Associates' largest customers is Baker Hughes. All over the world, its engineers drill into the plate tectonics of the Earth. The insight and wisdom gained at every location now becomes part of an organic knowledge database built by Transition Associates.

MILES CORBETT: (Voiceover) This was a really interesting process. David and I knew a lot about their business. We knew a lot about helping people to drill oil wells and what went into that.

But they had a new vision. They realized that they knew more about drilling for oil and gas than companies like Amoco, Exxon, BP, Shell, but they didn't know how they could convince them to do so. And they were just in the middle of spending $7 million on an expert system to select drill bits. And they wanted to work out how could they improve that process because it wasn't going too well at that stage.

So two of them wrote a book, 350 pages of close typed A4 text, one illustration, 350 pages. And this was a book on how to drill the best oil wells.

DAVID: If you've read it, if you could stick through and read it and actually absorb it, it's brilliant stuff and the beginning of something very good. But it was unusable.

MILES: We took that and translated that into some tools which fragment it down into digestible sizes of objects.

DAVID: A lot of what we do is taking people's messages and communicating them and helping to apply them with effect within an organization. And that's a knowledge management story. That's a cost delivery story. To some degree, that's an application development story as well.

MILES: We took their experience, right? We translated it into retained knowledge and then we built a tool which distributed the ideas.

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