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Comic Relief 

The Challenge

Comic Relief are experts in raising money and then spending it effectively. However, the paper and rudimentary database that supported the complex grant application and monitoring processes for the distribution of this money becoming a significant hindrance on the good that Comic Relief could achieve. It was concluded that it was time to migrate to a full digital system.

The goals

The primary objectives were to:

  • To have an end to end digital process
  • To have a flexible, scalable architecture
  • To gain increased insight into how to get best value from money raised
  • To attain an increased rate and volume of knowledge distribution across the organisation
  • To achieve an increased rate and volume of knowledge distribution across grant holders
  • To meet accessibility standards

Our Solution

There were two major technical elements to the successful delivery for Comic Relief.

  • A flexible workflow system with integrated data storage
  • A computer understandable knowledge base (semantic enablement)

These components needed to be combined in a way that ensured Comic Relief’s users did not have to go hunting for the knowledge or learn complex grant application processes. This would enable Comic Relief to scale up the grant making process while at the same time increase the quality of grants made.

For knowledge to be useful you need both to be able to find it and understand it. In order to achieve this the completed Comic Relief system was semantically enabled or, put another way, the RDF tagging was used to create a virtual triple store. This had the effect of taking MOSS and MS CRM from a normal content store to a computer readable knowledge base.

In order to ensure the true semantic nature of this project Professor Nigel Shadbolt from Southampton University was consulted. The workflow system was then used to deliver notifications to a rules processing engine that could utilise the ever growing knowledge base MOSS, MS CRM and the ontology. This information is then fed back to the users throughout the user interface, thus delivering the increased rate of knowledge distribution and delivering insight into how the best grants run.

The Results

Working with Agency.com, Felinesoft took Comic Relief from a paper-based application process to a semantically enabled grant application and monitoring process that will actively increase knowledge sharing in under a year.

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