How to create a searchable index of company knowledge

15 pts.
Tags:
Indexing
keywords
Software
So I have been asked to build a "knowledge map" for the company I work at. This is an engineering firm with 100 employees. I had been looking at options to create a diagram depicting how information was dispersed using interconnected nodes. I was going to use Microsoft Visio for this, something which is simple to do on a technical level. However, I found that the pieces of information I needed to depict were interconnected in too complex a manner to create a diagram that wasn't a visual mess.

I have been gathering information in survey form already and I would like to make this information accessible to others in a useful form. So I have started to turn my thoughts to the idea of creating a text index. Basically I want to figure out a way for people to be able to type in search terms and get back the details of the people who should know about these things.

I am not a coder so I was looking for advice on whether there is any software which handles this? 


Software/Hardware used:
windows 10, word, excel
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Try looking at the Neo4j website — I think you may be looking for a graph database! 

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  • ToddN2000
    A quick possibility might be to use Excel and use the FILTER option on the column headings to narrow the search results. That might be the easiest route if you do not have any coding skills like SQL.  
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  • carlosdl
    Sounds like what you really want is a database.

    You mentioned you are not a coder, but if you want a functional solution that allows people in the company to access the information easily and efficiently, you will need a database and most likely an application that simplifies the handling of the data for non-technical people.

    There are database systems and application development tools that you can get for free, but you need the knowledge to make use of them (a developer could probably build a simple solution in a short time, and it could be a one-time investment).

    There are most likely paid products or services as well, that allow you to create a database and basic applications or forms by just dragging and dropping components, designed to be used by non-technical people, but again, you would have to invest some money on them.
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  • LeightonA
    Hi guys, thanks for the replies. 

    Unfortunately the reason this project is being done by me (someone with no relevant skills) is that it is not a priority project by any means. I am unsure whether I would be authorized to incur any costs here, though I could probably get a spend of less than €100 through if I can justify it to my boss. I am pretty sure that they aren't interested enough in this to consider hiring a developer.

    I am expecting to generate less than 10k words total and wanted a list of 100-500 searchable terms. So the Excel solution would be workable. I had considered just using a Word document but I can see the advantage of using filters in Excel. I will do this if I can't find a reasonably simple way of doing something a little more polished. 

    I had hoped for a low cost (or free) bit of software which allows for the entry of short articles (personal skills bios) and manually generated keywords. Our company does have an intranet where people's photos and contact information are listed. I could even get the bios uploaded there. Then I would just need a way to make terms like "senior design engineer" or "Gas transmission" return a list of URLS for people who meet that criterion. I don't think I need to even make it possible for someone to filter by multiple terms at once. 
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  • carlosdl
    You might be able to use an SQLite database for this purpose.

    It is a very light-weight database that would allow you to store the information you mention, and if you use a GUI tool like DB Browser for SQLite, you might be able to create and manage your database without having to learn too many new things.

    Both tools are open source.

    From the DB Browser description:

    "...uses a familiar spreadsheet-like interface, and complicated SQL commands do not have to be learned.


    Controls and wizards are available for users to:

    • Create and compact database files
    • Create, define, modify and delete tables
    • Create, define, and delete indexes
    • Browse, edit, add, and delete records
    • Search records
    • ..."
    The DB browser has very easy to use search controls, where your users would be able to search for words very easily without too many clicks.

    Of course there is some learning curve for you, but it is really not very steep and you will most likely find examples and tutorials on the web, so, if you have the time, you might consider accepting the challenge ;)
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