Statement on Content Quality

Statement on Content Quality

BACKGROUND

Technopedia powers multiple customer use cases that drive effective, efficient enterprise technology decision making covering 2.5 million software and hardware products and 250+ million data points. With more than 4,500 updates per day, we endeavor to keep our technology catalog current with enriched market intelligence to ensure that customer systems speak a common language. Our customers' ability to solve their business problems is highly dependent on the quality of Technopedia content. This statement reiterates Flexera's commitment to ensuring that every effort is being taken to curate, maintain and provide the highest quality content to the best of Flexera's ability. 

WHAT

Core aspects of content quality include completeness, uniqueness, timeliness, validity, accuracy and consistency. All existing Technopedia content as well as any future curation will observe and meet those criteria, providing the data is available and can be publicly researched and validated against trusted sources. The data we collect is fluid as a result of a rapidly changing and evolving industry. While we strive to provide the highest quality of data and remain current, immediate remediation of any issues is part of the process to improve the quality of content even more.

WHY

High quality content drives effective and accurate decision making and ensures transparency across enterprise architecture. Correct analysis using Technopedia content makes possible the most optimal business decisions. Flexera recognizes the need to continuously review data that has been collected, normalized and served up to our customers to drive their uses cases. High availability and accuracy of data is our primary objective, and we are continuously looking back to make sure our data remains fit for purpose.

WHEN

The Content Quality mindset drives a continuous effort which happens during every step of the content life-cycle. Quality plays a role at each step, from the initial understanding of business use cases, to determining the right content to solve cases, to the investigation that identifies reliable content sources and all the activities to collect, curate and validate the data that solves those use cases. During the process of feeding the data into Flexera's applications and solutions, multiple layers of tests and constant monitoring catch any issues before they get into customer hands. We are always willing to discuss any issues the customers raise, and investigate data disputes when we and the customer do not agree. We adopt a pragmatic approach to troubleshooting data anomalies to help make sure the content and the process are always being refined to produce the best output.

WHERE

Efforts to uphold the highest content quality manifest at various points through which the content flows:

  • At source: making sure the source is reliable (e.g. content directly curated from official vendor's sources), complete, and up to date
  • At data ingestion: making sure that the ETL (extract, transform, load) process preserves the integrity of the data while also detecting any potential issues that may cause problems down at the consumption level
  • At data consumption: various data integrity testing covering scenarios actual customers would go through using the applications to consume the data
  • Post-consumption: capturing feedback from users on how well the content addressed their use cases, gathering issues they encountered as well as input on improvements

WHO

Every actor/stakeholder contributes to the quality of content. From within the content organization, we have: 

  • Content researchers and analysts:  research, validate, enrich and remediate data attributes captured into Technopedia
  • Content team leads: set the tone in terms of research standards and review the work of the researchers and analysts  
  • Content QA: execute scheduled and ad-hoc reviews of data attributes to ensure they remain current and accurate 
  • Content support: engage customers to understand data disputes and anomalies and help explain data usage and coverage 
  • Content engineers: produce utilities that test data accuracy and completeness
  • Content owner: defines guidelines to ensure data captured into Technopedia is within scope and meets eligibility criteria 

From within the product organization, content technology intelligence is driven by product managers who ensure the right content is collected and used through Flexera application portfolio. They manage the portfolio of capabilities which provides the highest value to customers.

From within the development organization, developers and QA/testing engineers consume content and implement the best ways to serve it up to our customers.

Flexera also engages with content contributors and partners (including vendors) to maintain the steady flow of quality content while providing extra eyes on how the content is being represented in Flexera solutions. Leveraging Flexera's Trusted Supplier Program, vendors have the ability to submit content directly, review how their content is being represented, and engage in conversations with customers whenever discrepancies or disputes arise.

Finally, customers at the consuming end of the content process who experience the content directly are empowered to report issues, validate data values, and provide valuable feedback into future content enhancements.

HOW

The following are activities, processes and rules currently in place in our effort to maintain and improve content quality:

  • Proof-based curation principle where every datapoint can always be cross-referenced to a reliable source
  • Eligibility criteria, which provides guidelines on which items can and cannot be captured in Technopedia. This enables a clean and well-controlled content ecosystem by minimizing noise and reducing data fatigue
  • Prioritization scheme with manufacturing tiers which allows for better focus on products from the most prolific manufacturers 
  • Regular refresh process that ensures a frequent, periodic review of every product on the list to make sure any changes are captured and any issues rectified. Regular refresh happens every six months for Tier 1/2 manufacturers, while Tier 3 manufacturers are refreshed by customer demand.
  • Event-driven refresh which allows immediate response to events that impact Technopedia content, from new product release, announcement of lifecycle dates or changes in the form of company mergers and/or acquisitions. New events that have content impact are captured within 30 days for Tier 1 / Tier 2 and 90 days for Tier 3.
  • automated prevention mechanisms within the internal database which either prevents incorrect content from being entered or fixes incorrect content after it is being entered. Similar mechanisms also exist to notify content team when incorrect contents are being detected so they can be re-mediated immediately. Examples include hard checks to ensure a version is not added without also having a release record.
  • Crawlers and data-scraping tools that pull content from the sources and populate them into the internal database for further validation
  • Gap-fill activities as part of regular process which take data from customer inventory to match with what Technopedia has, and when unmatched entries are being detected (i.e. Technopedia doesn't have the entries), content team will collect and/or update the content to return the right match
  • Content resolution goals which ensure timely remediation of issues or processing of new content requests from customers

FUTURE

A few visions of activities to improve content quality:

  • Automated generation of metrics/indicators that allow identification of potential issues more quickly as well as tracking of how the issues are being remediated and progress/improvements are being made
  • Utilization of machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies to allow proactive, early prediction of potential issues for timely remediation before the content reach the customers
  • Utilization of third-party audit organizations to allow for neutral, reliable and trusted valuation of Technopedia content
  • Fulfillment of various, widely accepted quality standards certification (e.g. ISO 9001, ISO 17100, ISO 13485, etc.)
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