Benjamin Franklin once said, "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." Something tells me that Ben didn't have knowledge management on his mind, but Ben was a pretty smart guy so perhaps he did. Corporations are beginning to understand what Franklin knew many years ago: Knowledge is a valuable asset. Much of the push for knowledge is coming directly from senior executives in our businesses. In a survey of Fortune 1000 executives, 97 percent of the respondents said that some critical business processes would improve if more employees knew about them. In the same survey, 87 percent of respondents said that costly mistakes are occurring because employees lack the right knowledge at the right time. This tremendous desire to improve and maintain a corporation's intellectual capital has triggered the field of study and vendor applications that we know as knowledge management.

I remember the first time I read about knowledge management. My first impression was that it sounded very similar to what I do with a meta data repository. Moreover, I don't see how a "true" enterprise-wide knowledge management solution can exist without a meta data repository. In fact, the meta data repository is the backbone of a knowledge management solution.

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