In IT, rather than philosophy, an ontology makes explicit the meanings of terms used in domains, or concerning a specific reality, so that people and machines can precisely discuss the meaning of data. Specifically, ontology makes data sharing and analysis easier by making the meaning of data, and of the reality to which the database refers, explicit. Ontology has significant uptake in biomedicine but not yet in industry despite much technical development and reporting of specific successes. This research seeks to determine how and why organisations gain benefits from using ontology leading to a rigorously tested model of how business gains benefit from ontology use. This research in progress paper develops a model explaining the benefit of ontology use to firms and outlines our plans to test the model empirically. The outcome is significant for Australian industry because it will guide the efforts of organisations to use ontology effectively.



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