Knowledge management walked in the business ecosystem in the 1990s and since then, its importance has increased manifold.
The knowledge management discipline encompasses capturing or creating, storing, sharing, and managing business information on a cloud platform, and ensuring optimal use of business knowledge to achieve organizational goals.
There are multiple reasons why knowledge management has gained immense popularity and acceptance from businesses across the globe.
Some of the significant knowledge management benefits include:
- It promotes a knowledge-sharing culture in an organization
- Facilitates easy access to information
- Improves decision making
- Increases employee productivity
- Streamlines work
Research by TSIA suggests that 74% of organizations believe knowledge management and sharing increase team productivity by 10% to 40%. This is one of the major reasons knowledge management is gaining popularity from organizations across the globe.
For knowledge management to be a success, you need to invest in creating a separate knowledge management division in your firm, hire the right resources which can run this function, and, most importantly, implement a powerful tool.
The challenging part here is choosing a suitable knowledge base tool from the variety of tools available online. You cannot blindly go by what’s promised, as the results and performance might differ.
A better approach would be to have clarity regarding the major features a knowledge management system should have. This will have you make the right choice.
Let’s glance through some of the features that an ideal knowledge management system should have.
Top 10 Knowledge Management Features
1. Simple to Use
An ideal knowledge management system is simple to use. It is easy to implement, set up, and access. It allows people with all skill levels to use it efficiently.
So, irrespective of the fact that a user understands coding or doesn’t know it at all, he or she should be able to work with your knowledge management system with the utmost ease.
2. Google-Like Search Mechanism
One of the most important features of a robust knowledge base tool is its search mechanism. A knowledge base is different from your website, so it must have a powerful search mechanism that provides a seamless information-gathering experience to end-users.
This is necessary because a knowledge base is usually large, so finding information without a full-fledged search system in place can be challenging.
It has been noticed that with time, a knowledge base expands because knowledge workers keep updating it with new information that’s important for customers or employees.
So an ideal knowledge management system should have a Google-like search mechanism where end users can instantly find content suggestions as soon as they start typing in the search bar.
This is the help center of HighQ. Can you see the highlighted search term in the search bar and the number of responses in the results? Well, that’s how a Google-like search mechanism works - accurate results in an instant.
3. Compatible With Multiple Devices & Browsers
Your knowledge base shouldn’t set limitations of any kind. Any person who wants to access it should be able to do so conveniently. The biggest problem businesses faced in the past was that their knowledge management systems were optimized only for certain web browsers and devices.
Sure, a lot of those businesses put up messages notifying people that they need to switch to a certain browser or device to use their knowledge base, but most of those visitors won’t bother to visit and prefer to look for information elsewhere.
Your knowledge base software should work well on multiple devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, as well as browsers like Chrome, Firefox, etc. This will ensure that all your customers or employees, regardless of the browser or device they use, are able to access your knowledge base in a hassle-free way.
4. Branding and Customization
Nobody likes a generic knowledge base. People are attracted to a visually appealing knowledge base which should reflect your brand. That’s why it’s crucial to customize your knowledge base.
Your knowledge management system should have powerful branding and customization features that allow you to change the color scheme, fonts, themes, and design of your knowledge platform. You should be able to add your company’s logo, brand name, and styling elements to your knowledge base with the help of your knowledge management software.
Besides, an ideal knowledge base tool allows you to create a knowledge base in multiple languages, helping you cater to a wider audience living across the globe. This can happen if your knowledge management tool integrates with Google Translate.
Watch this video to know more about how to design your knowledge base.
5. Team Collaboration
This is one of the major knowledge management features.
Knowledge cannot be managed in silos, by one single person. It’s a collaborative effort, where all team members come together to create, manage, and maintain your knowledge platform.
Keeping this in mind, ensure that the knowledge management tool you opt for offers team collaboration features that allow you to define the roles and responsibilities of different members.
As a master administrator, you should be able to assign roles such as administrator, contributor, editor, and viewer to different users, and set their responsibilities accordingly. This will streamline the work of knowledge management, and bring your entire team together to work with combined synergy to build your knowledge base.
Learn more about team collaboration through knowledge base software, with the help of this video.
6. Content Authoring & Editing
One of the most prominent knowledge management features is the editor. Since content forms the core of your knowledge base, the tool you use must offer features that help your team write, edit, and publish content effortlessly.
An MS Word-like editor is highly desirable, as it offers the styling and formatting options that other editors do not provide.
Such an editor also provides advanced features like inserting images, tables and videos directly to your knowledge base, change paragraph formats, indentation, add page breaks, bullets, anchor links, and much more to the content.
7. Intelligent Integrations
A major benefit of integrations is that it gives you dual benefits, and makes it easy for you to do multiple tasks at the same time with efficiency.
A standalone knowledge base tool will offer limited benefit, as compared to a tool that can be integrated with scores of other third-party tools related to ticketing, CRM, survey, and much more.
So, for instance, if your knowledge management system teams well with a popular ticketing tool, it helps you provide a better experience to end-users. Your end-users will be able to find information instantly on their own through the knowledge base, and if they face hiccups while doing so, they can instantly raise a ticket right from your knowledge platform, without leaving the page.
Ensure that any knowledge base software you choose should work seamlessly with popular tools like Zendesk, Freshdesk, Wufoo, Salesforce Desk, and the like.
In combination with other tools, your knowledge base becomes much more than simply a way to keep all the important information digitally.
8. Built-in Reports
Creating a knowledge base is not a one-time activity. It constantly needs to be updated with new and improved content. But, how to analyze what’s missing or wrong in your knowledge base, and what’s working well?
A versatile knowledge base tool can help you here.
Its built-in reports give you a glimpse of your knowledge base performance using metrics like -
- Number of articles created
- Total number of searches
- Failed and successful searches
- Poorly rated and popular articles
- Broken Links
- Keywords that were unable to yield results
- Author activities
This data is presented in graphical and tabular form to make comprehension easier. Leverage this valuable data to get insights into how your knowledge base is performing, and what needs to be improved.
Here’s a short video to give you more information on how to evaluate your knowledge base's performance using reports.
9. The G-Suite Integration
The basic functionality of every knowledge base is to be useful for a company; however, keep in mind that it is probably not the only software tool you will be using.
The system should be able to integrate well with G-suite comprising tools like Google Fonts, Google Translate, and Google Analytics. This is of the most crucial integrations you should be looking at while choosing your knowledge base tool.
Integrating your knowledge base with Google Fonts ensures that you have more font options than the basic Verdana or Times. Google Fonts provides users with scores of free font options that they can easily use.
Combining your knowledge base with Google Translate can help you in more ways than you can imagine if you have a globally-dispersed user base. It makes your knowledge base instantly available in over 90 languages, manages translations, and improves translations manually.
Next, comes the Google Analytics integration. This tool is perfect if you want to know whether your efforts to build a knowledge base are bringing substantial results.
The tool gives you rich insights into your knowledge base traffic and evaluates what your visitors are up to.
Integrating your knowledge base with Google Analytics is a great way to -
- View what visitors are searching for
- Track pages popular with visitors
- Monitor visitors’ search behavior
- Search exits
- Average search depth, and much more.
Wondering how to integrate your knowledge base with Google Analytics? Watch this video to find out.
10. Feedback System
A knowledge base is incomplete without a proper feedback system in place. You will want to know whether readers liked an article or have any suggestions they would want to give. Capturing this valuable feedback can help you make your knowledge base more relevant to readers.
Go for the best knowledge management tool that provides built-in feedback forms that you can use to ask readers simple questions such as - “Was this information helpful,” with Yes/No as the options, “Rate this article on a scale of 1 to 10”, and more.
Besides, knowledge management features should allow you to create custom forms from scratch or integrate with third-party tools to add an external feedback form to your knowledge base.
These are the 10 major knowledge management features that you should consider while selecting a knowledge management tool for your business. Given the variety of options available online, the process of finding one tool can be challenging.
To make your work easier, we have compiled a list of the 20 best knowledge management tools. Go through this list to get a clear understanding of some of the popular tools and their features.
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