Do you really need a knowledge base?
Each year, Fortune 500 companies lose a combined $31.5 billion simply because they are failing to share knowledge, market intelligence firm International Data Corp. found. And it’s not just the big guys that feel the impact of poor knowledge management.
According to McKinsey Global Institute, employees that need to interact with other employees to get tasks done spend almost 20% of their work week searching for internal information or finding colleagues who can answer their question.
This means that your employees use a whole day every week just looking for data to move forward with their tasks.
Indeed, managing knowledge to help users find and share information quickly is crucial for all businesses today; building a custom knowledge base application is the best way to do it.
What is a Knowledge Base?
A knowledge base, sometimes referred to as a knowledge database, is an organized repository of information.
It’s meant to help information seekers find information faster. It is the tool or technology that helps organizations manage their knowledge. Common examples of knowledge base tools are technical support portals, frequently asked questions (FAQ) and wikis.
Knowledge base applications can be customized to serve the whole organization, a specific department within a company, or external customers (as is the case with searchable product information pages).
For instance, Caspio’s free knowledge base application can be customized to manage help desk articles, training documents and tutorials, employee handbook policies and more.
Why Do You Need a Knowledge Base?
New employees need to be trained, tenured subject matter experts eventually retire. Customers and prospects will always have questions about your products and services. Knowledge will always be part of business operations, and if you’re not wisely managing company knowledge today, you’re losing productive time and more.
Setting up your own knowledge management platform can help your organization retain information and boost productivity.
Here are the benefits of creating a knowledge base for your organization:
- Limit time needed to find information. According to McKinsey Global Institute, implementing internal social technologies such as a searchable wiki – a type of knowledge base application – can help reduce search time by as much as 35 percent! The time employees save translates to cost savings and higher productivity.
- Increase employee productivity. Improved knowledge sharing within organizations can lead to a 20 percent to 30 percent increase in productivity, said the biggest chunk (28%) of respondents surveyed by research firm TSIA. Another 25% of respondents believe it can improve productivity by 10 percent to 20 percent.
- Ensure knowledge retention. “Managers often don’t know what they have lost until after the expert leaves,” wrote the authors of Critical Knowledge Transfer: Tools for Managing Your Company’s Deep Smarts. Case in point: one of the organizations they encountered was faced with the upcoming retirement of 700 tenured experts, which means they can potentially lose 27,000 years’ worth of experience.
- Provide good customer service. Forrester found that most consumers (71%) believe “valuing their time” is the best way for companies to provide good service. Instead of making customers call busy phone lines or wait the next day for an email response, why not provide them with a simple self-serve knowledge base they can use anytime, anywhere?
Tips for Creating a Knowledge Base
Instead of building software from the ground up via coding, you can start knowledge management initiatives faster by using no-code platforms.
So, you’ve decided to help your team better manage their information. Kudos! When building a knowledge base, be sure to use the following tips:
- Prepare your list of users and their corresponding access levels beforehand. You will have three types of users: regular users, contributors and administrators. Regular users can search and view the database. They can also leave comments. Meanwhile, contributors can upload knowledge base articles and files. Administrators are in charge of approving new articles and managing existing documents.
- Write clear, descriptive titles. Titles are the first thing users see. Make sure titles convey enough information to make it easier for users to determine if they are looking at the right entry. For example, “HR Policy: How to File for Employee Overtime Pay” might be a better title than “HR Policy No. 32.”
- Use synonyms and keywords in articles. A knowledge base makes it easy to find information. When creating the content, be sure to use keywords and synonyms. For example, users looking for “guidelines,” might type “procedures,” or “rules” instead.
- Use no-code knowledge database templates. Instead of building software from the ground up via coding, you can start knowledge management initiatives faster by using templates. Just make sure that the base or template application includes crucial functionalities such as user commenting and feedback, email alerts or notifications, and search filters via category.
How to Build a Knowledge Base Without Coding
Creating a knowledge base doesn’t have to be another burden on your shoulders. You can start organizing your company’s or department’s information without having to go through traditional software development.
By using Caspio’s no-code platform, you can quickly build and deploy business applications, including a custom knowledge base tool.
Our Ultimate Video Guide: How to Create an Online Knowledge Base Without Coding includes tutorials on how to use Caspio to quickly create the components of a secure and searchable online knowledge base application for your business. Discover how to set up database tables, login screens, forms and reports, as well as how to deploy your application using our no-code platform.
Final Thoughts on Knowledge Base Solutions
A knowledge base is a tool that you can use to manage your products’ or organization’s knowledge. It serves as a centralized location where users, including employees and customers, can go and find the information they need fast. It can help companies improve productivity and ensure knowledge retention.
Using no-code development platforms such as Caspio can help you quickly build your knowledge base so you can start managing company knowledge today. Watch our ultimate video guide to learn how.