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Visualisation is a common practice for many disciplines. Its computerised application for identifying tacit knowledge is now well established. Using computers to aid mapping of knowledge has been the subject of considerable research.


One of the leading centres for this work is the Knowledge Interaction Design Laboratory RCAST, University of Tokyo.


Examples are also covered by academics such as professor Edward R. Tufte.

One of the most comprehensive commercial applications of visualisation has been at Unilever. Piet-Hein Speel and Wouter de Vries of Unilever research, professor Nigel Shadbolt and Kieron O'Hara, from the University of Nottingham, and Piet Hein van Dam presented their approach and findings to the Twelfth Workshop on Knowledge Acquisition, Modelling and Management, Canada in 1999.


They defined knowledge mapping as:


"The techniques and tools for visualizing knowledge and relationships in a clear form such that business-relevant features are clearly highlighted. Knowledge maps are created by transferring certain aspects of (tacit or explicit) knowledge into a graphical form that is easily understandable by end-users, who may be business managers, experts or technical system developers."


Using Visualisation as a focus for group discussion is one of the most powerful ways individuals and groups of people such as a board of directors, creative teams, focus groups can work together.


The use of Visualisation as a technique for mapping social groups was first used by Jon White and David Phillips in the ealy 1990's and the first software to use this technique was developed in by John Bragga in 1994. It was called the Clarity Concept.


The Clarity Concept offers an intuitive representation that can aid expression of tacit and explicit knowledge and help decision-making in a visual. The technique used allows the software to codifies the ideas expressed, decisions made and their relative significance.


Using the Cognative Aproaches, this suite of software is based on an interactive visual aid that defines an abstract visualisation to generate data.


A group working together with a moderator respond to visual objects to provide a representation designed to solve communicative intent; that is, both convey what they want to communicate as well as identify a desired action or interpretation.


The interaction prompted when using the Clarity Concept brings group expertise and available research into an arena for group determination of the relative strengths and weaknesses of external influences on corporate assets and issues.


Management assets, such as the Value of Relationships both internal and external, brand values and corporate issues can be explored for their relative significance to aid decisions such as investment and management approach.


At the same time resources are collected and allocated to combine knowledge, know-how and corporate information into a single accessible resource.


The Clarity Concept output forms a single interpretation of corporate knowledge and intent. The information, insights and statistical analysis have many applications.

It is typically used for briefing internal and external audiences including boards of directors, design, development and brand management teams.


The same investment is also of immense value when briefing Employees, Advertising, PR, Brand, and Design agencies.




There a quick primer about Visualisation at Wikipedia including Knowledge Visualisation, and Information Visualisation

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