Identifying and filling knowledge gaps with KM

Knowledge Management initiatives are helping drive innovation and growth in a membership organisation.

Energy is a political, economic, social and environmental issue.  The world's energy markets are in the grips of a 'trilemma', looking for secure energy sources that are the right balance of clean, cheap and accessible to all.

The Energy Institute (EI) is a learned society and membership organisation with 15,000 individual members plus corporate members.  The sector it services is extremely broad, taking in businesses at all stages of the energy exploration, production, transformation, distribution and utilisation value chain.  The EI also supports professionals at all stages of their careers, as well as helping create and mobilise good practice, knowledge and research and filling a broader remit of informing the wider public.  The very breadth of this activity is a massive knowledge challenge - and opportunity. 

At a joint Aslib/IFEG event, Gareth Parkes, the Energy Institute's Knowledge Manager described the work his team have undertaken in helping the EI identify and fill the gaps in its knowledge base.  At the heart of this work are initiatives designed to improve the EI's understanding of its customers.  At which points of the energy value chain do they work?  What different types of activities are they involved in? 

KM activities

Taxonomy development - the creation of a common language and terminology can help mobilise information previously sitting in pockets.  Information and customers can be identified according to the type of energy product (oil/gas etc); energy process; and the discipline or expertise of the individual/organisation. 

Upgraded membership relationship systems -part of a drive to gather more information from members to help inform the development of new products and services

Upgraded library and KM systems - links between library catalogue, training course events, policy milestones etc


With improved, in-depth knowledge of the customer, new opportunities will emerge to develop

  • targeted member-specific services
  • communities of practice
  • increased engagement with membership
  • to encourage and contribute to more informed debates about energy

You can read more about the Energy Institute here.