An ontology is part database, part model of the world and part artificial intelligence.
Ontologies may provide the following benefits:
Persistent organizational memory:
Ontologies are consumable knowledge which can be stored, this means, processes are not lost if a key member leaves the organization.
Ontologies may be used to add, or delete redundant processes, thus improving patient outcomes and productivity.
Ontologies may be useful as evidence to show managers where resources/money could be better placed.
All too often, ontologies are used merely as a taxonomy of things. My research is about making ontologies do useful things, especially, reflecting the classic notion of ontology as a 'snapshot' of reality.