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Knowledge Management for Investment Teams...& Veterinarians

May 31st 2016 - by Patrick Adrian, CFA

Practice Management
Research Department vs. Your Veterinarian

Here is a question for you:

How can it be that your pet’s medical history is more thoroughly and consistently tracked by veterinarians than research at most investment firms?

You can walk up to the front desk at your pet’s veterinarian and they can start reading back to you your animal's current status for immunizations, what happened during your last visit, what needs to happen today, or if there are any alerts for outbreaks in your area. All of the pertinent information, in real-time, and quickly communicated.1

In contrast, try a similar tack in your average investment research department. Information, data, and knowledge are often in disarray. An illustrative example is every time we’ve seen a new Chief Investment Officer join a firm, one of their biggest pain points is getting up to speed on internal research.

Knowledge Type

A reasonable question is, why? It seems intuitive that in a knowledge-based business, you would closely manage your intellectual property as an asset. Yet that is rarely the case, except perhaps at the largest investment firms in the world. Our working hypothesis is that this phenomenon is due to the type of knowledge in question. Investment research know-how tends to be unstructured and undiffused, to borrow from a seminal Knowledge Management framework2. In plain-speak, unstructured knowledge is difficult to articulate so that others can perform the same tasks with similar results. Undiffused knowledge is concentrated with a small number of insiders.

What Next?

With this in mind, the first step is... starting to structure and diffuse mission-critical investment research knowledge!

At RedQuarry, we spend all day, every day helping firms do this. We have the great fortune of working with some of the industry’s most advanced research teams. Through this wide exposure, we accumulate evidence that informs best practices. Through our research software, we can mine user behavior to understand what works and what doesn’t and tailor the interface to fit with actual human behavior and patterns.

We think the most valuable asset is a firm’s industry know-how. By capturing this knowledge, developing it, and ultimately exploiting it, firms are better positioned to provide value for clients, grow their business, and maximize firm value.

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RedQuarry's cutting edge research management software is used by leading investment firms around the world to manage their investment process, due diligence files, documents, reporting, and research compliance.