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Automating Gap Analysis Regarding Product Documentation

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000235550D
Publication Date: 2014-Mar-07
Document File: 3 page(s) / 49K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is an automated system for comparing sources of documentation as a means of enhancing an issue tracking or trouble ticketing system.

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Automating Gap Analysis Regarding Product Documentation

Disclosed herein is an automated system for comparing sources of documentation as a means of enhancing an issue tracking or trouble ticketing system.

From a technical support perspective, there are two different sets of sources of information about a product. One set of sources is public: the information is available to customers through product documentation and published support information such as Tech Notes. Another set of sources of product information is internal to the company

such as an internal "knowledge base," unpublished Tech Notes, or archives of e-mail sent to a support distribution list. In addition to these sources of product information, there is usually a system that contains information about the problems that customers are actually having; this is the issue tracking or trouble ticketing system.

Embodiments of the present invention include recognition that a disparity in prevalence of information among the sources of product information may indicate a potential problem that may lead to additional support calls. Problem reports from customers may indicate that customers have many questions about an issue that are not covered adequately in public documentation. Problem reports from customers may indicate that a new issue has emerged that is not adequately discussed in any internal or external source. In addition, information may be well known internally, but inadequately documented in public sources.

Advantages of the automated analysis herein disclosed include 1) reduced need for personnel to be proactive, and 2) increased integration of internal and external sources

The system disclosed herein treats the contents of an issue tracking system as a corpus of text documents. It provides the ability to gather additional text corpora from other internal and external documentation sources. The system compares the characteristics of the corpora in order to assess the relative coverage of key topics in the various sources of documentation. Based on the results of the comparisons, it then provides suggestions for areas in which the various documentation sources can be improved.

The disclosed system provides greater awareness of potential documentation issues. Because it is automated, it saves time over manual analysis. The disclosed system provides an analysis of changing characteristics over time (i.e. recurring trends). By extending its capabilities to more complicated kinds of text analysis (e.g., sentiment analysis), the system has the ability to encode expert decisions. The system can also automatically determine areas for improvement (e.g., filing documentation defects, or adding documentation improvements to a product backlog).

In a preferred embodiment, information flows through a...