What don’t we know?

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It’s a simple enough question really, and one I’m trying to answer at the moment, how do we know what we don’t know?

Part of the work I’m doing with our Information Pyramid (which I’ve mentioned here before) is to try and map the content we do have into some sensible groupings. That will allows to see where there are gaps within the content set we already have, for example if group A has a whitepaper and data sheet, but group B only has a whitepaper, but it still doesn’t tell us what we don’t know.

The obvious answer is to ask our audience, which we do, but there comes a point that even they don’t know what they need to know until they need it.

There are a couple of avenues we are looking at to try and find some answers. One is to analyse our support calls, try to get to the root of the problem and whether or not they are information based. Another will be focussed around a new addition to our community website, a Q&A style forum which we hope will let us see which area of the product generates the most questions and hopefully allow us to use that data to improve the documentation.

The latter is a couple of months away but I think will make the biggest difference. So much so there is probably a case for dedicating a resource to monitoring the forums and likely acting as a community manager of sorts, not something I’d anticipated although maybe I should’ve as it was only in January of this year that I said:

“even if you don’t think social media will impact your own professional circumstances, I have no doubts that it will change the way our profession is perceived.”

What about you? Have you looked to social media to help solve a problem or improve your service?