All You Need to Know for Internal Knowledge Base Software

Looking for effective internal information hub options? Read to discover a user-friendly internal knowledge software solution.

October 4, 2023
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Searching through a disorganized heap of information can be exhausting, even worse when it happens frequently. Having frequent situations like this not only frustrates efforts but they waste relevant time that could be spent on other beneficial things. 

Can this be avoided? Of course!

The solution is setting up a proper company knowledge base.

Smooth information flow and exchange within an organization are paramount for senior HR managers, and a centralized data repository definitely makes this possible. A company knowledge base expedites information search and retrieval, significantly boosting productivity. 

In this article, we’ll guide you through setting up a company knowledge base, selecting the suitable internet knowledge base software, and the differences to look out for.

But first, the basics.

What Is An Internal Knowledge Base?

An internal knowledge base is a centralized database set up by an organization to provide employees access to an organized layout of internal company information. Ideally, it should contain sufficient information to enable employees to carry out tasks seamlessly.

A knowledge base typically allows an organization to store and manage its internal resources. These resources include articles, documents, procedures, and FAQs.

It’s vital for onboarding new employees, tackling challenges, and guaranteeing that each member is updated with the latest information; this underscores the importance of knowing how to share information with team members effectively. 

Knowledge bases vary in size and degree of specialization. Generally, large-sized companies require larger databases due to the large volume of datasets to manage. 

Furthermore, highly regulated industries like finance require a much more extensive knowledge base to ensure compliance. The same applies to companies with a wide range of products and services, a large customer base, complex technological infrastructure, and high employee expertise. 

However, no matter the industry, an internal knowledge base thrives in a collaborative work culture.

The flexible nature of knowledge bases allows companies to configure them to achieve different tasks. They include:

  • Overview of training materials: 

This helps ensure consistency in onboarding new employees. By providing summaries of training materials, new employees can easily access these additional resources to improve their skills.

  • Standard operating procedures (SOPs): 

An organization’s internal knowledge base is an ideal platform to publish its SOPs. This enables employees to consult the workflow guidelines easily when the need arises.

  • Information about new products and upcoming launches: 

Having an internal knowledge base also helps to bring all employees up to speed regarding new products or a launch. Also, employees can easily access information about the new product whenever such information is required, for instance, when dealing with clients.

What Information Can Be Found On An Internal Knowledge Base?

A company’s knowledge base should contain organized and relevant information which is constantly updated. Furthermore, it should include specific resources for the needs and peculiarities of an organization, including applicable market research, reports, and strategies.

Core information found in an internal knowledge base includes:

  1. Basic company information

HR policies.

Code of conduct.

Legal and compliance information.

Employee compensation and benefits.

Safety guidelines.

Newsletters and announcements.

Calendars and events.

  1. Onboarding materials

Paperwork, training materials, daily activities, job descriptions, and other onboarding resources are also included in a knowledge base.

  1. Technical support insights

An internal knowledge repository contains sufficient information on rectifying common technical issues encountered during work. It provides employees with troubleshooting guides, security protocols, devices, and software setups.

  1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The company knowledge base should include this vital compilation of potential and common customer inquiries and their appropriate answers. FAQs enhance the organization's service delivery.

  1. Personnel directory

A personnel directory is a detailed list of employees, departments, and contact details of the top level of management staff. Personnel directories also contain an organization’s chain of command and team layouts. Including a personnel directory helps facilitate effective communication and foster a good understanding of an organization’s structure.

Benefits Of An Internal Knowledge Base

A company benefits significantly from incorporating an internal knowledge base into its productivity arsenal. These positive outcomes include:

  1. Enhanced internal communications.
  2. Improved decision-making.
  3. Improved compliance.
  4. Knowledge preservation.
  5. Exceptional customer service.

  1. Enhanced internal communications

Knowledge-based software ensures faster information access and exchange. It significantly reduces the time spent looking up an important document since information on an internal knowledge base is organized.

Also, product updates, newsletters, and calendar features of knowledge repositories promote quick dissemination of new developments in an organization, ensuring every employee is in the loop. In addition, it saves costs by reducing the need for duplicated onboarding and training materials in print. It can also be adapted for remote work, effectively assisting employees working from home.

  1. Improved decision-making

The best decisions are made in the abundance of accurate and up-to-date information. 

By providing real-time access to valuable resources, employees can take the appropriate course of action whenever work-related obstacles arise. According to Grammarly, a knowledgeable workforce translates to improved productivity across all teams in an organization.

  1. Improved compliance

Ensuring an organization complies with industry standards and internal policies is a top priority for senior HR managers. Implementing an internal knowledge base helps to guarantee compliance.

A knowledge database allows HR departments to seamlessly broadcast company policies, legal requirements, and industry guidelines to employees. This also ensures employees are always fully aware of the latest regulations.

  1. Knowledge preservation

An internal knowledge base, by its structure, is an information vault. It helps to store and preserve important company information. For instance, to ensure consistency in the onboarding process, senior management staff can take part in a recorded Q&A session to detail their experiences so that new and existing employees can listen to the recordings and learn from the situations.

By extension, this helps to stimulate knowledge sharing amongst a company’s workforce and teaches a culture of collaboration where employees are encouraged to share their expertise and experiences on the knowledge base. 

Assembly has a host of well-proven ways to encourage knowledge sharing. Try it Today.

  1. Exceptional customer service

Providing excellent service delivery is key to remaining relevant in your industry. Good customer service enables an organization to be profitable and build a large pool of loyal returning customers.

Studies have shown that retaining existing customers is less capital-intensive than converting new prospects. The ability of an internal knowledge base to equip employees with real-time information to answer clients’ pertinent questions makes it a suitable tool to aid an organization's customer retention efforts.

Also, an internal knowledge base reduces employees' dependency on the HR department since employees can easily find answers to frequently asked questions.

How Do You Set Up An Internal Knowledge Base?

Setting up an internal knowledge base involves several steps to create, curate, and manage the knowledge database effectively. You must have a clear objective and consider which workflow aspect will benefit from creating a knowledge base.

Here are steps to follow to set up a functional knowledge base. They include:

  1. Choose the right internal knowledge base software
  2. Develop an internal knowledge base strategy.
  3. Create an internal knowledge base team.
  4. Establish content hierarchy.
  5. Continuously improve and control the quality.

  1. Choose the right internal knowledge base software.

The selection of a knowledge base management software requires a pragmatic approach. A thorough evaluation of several open-source knowledge-based software is necessary to select the most suitable one.

It’s important to choose the suitable internal company knowledge base software for the following reasons:

  • Functionality

Every knowledge base software has its respective features. Choosing right means selecting one that can provide the capabilities specified in your knowledge database requirements.

  • Compatibility: 

Not all online knowledge-based software are compatible with your organization’s IT infrastructure; hence, it’s best to carefully select one that can integrate into your organization’s existing systems.

  • Scalability

If your organization is still growing, choosing a scalable knowledge base software to support more data and users is crucial.

  • User-friendliness

The chosen internal knowledge base software should be user-friendly for content creators and users to ease navigation and accessibility.

Developing and maintaining a knowledge base depends mainly on several factors, including the available capital resources, talents, and prevailing company culture. However, it’s important to consider factors such as:

  • Cost

As with every project within an organization, it’s standard practice that senior HR managers stick to the allocated budgets. So, evaluating the cost of online knowledge base software, including licensing fees, maintenance, and support, is important before committing.

  • Vendor reputation

Do a thorough background check on the reputation of the open-source knowledge base software you’re considering. Look out for customer reviews and testimonials to ascertain reliability and confirm if there’s a well-structured customer support system in place. 

Assembly is a top knowledge-based software with an impeccable track record. Book a demo today.

Involve employees in the selection process. Their opinion and feedback can help identify which software aligns best with the company’s goals.

  • Security and compliance

Ensure that the chosen knowledge base software complies with your organization's security protocols and the industry.

Selecting the right software lays an excellent foundation for an efficient knowledge management system and directly impacts your organization’s information accessibility and productivity. 

  1. Develop an internal knowledge strategy.

Conduct a detailed workflow analysis to identify significant parts defining the knowledge base.

This step identifies data sets that should be captured in the knowledge base. For example;

  • Company Policies
  • Technical support documents
  • Company and industry best practices
  • Procedure Manuals
  1. Create an internal knowledge base team.

A strategic plan translates into results with actions. Therefore, you need a team to bring your internal knowledge base plan to fruition.

Setting up and maintaining a knowledge base is an intensive and continuous process that requires employees' expertise, collaboration, and commitment. 

Your knowledge base team will play a significant role in crafting, updating, and expanding the contents of the knowledge base. 

Their responsibilities include:

  • Creating comprehensive and accurate articles, documents, and resources.
  • Regularly updating existing content and developing additional content as needed.
  • Conducting relevant research, such as gathering employee feedback and customer survey responses, to continuously improve the validity of the knowledge base.
  1. Establish content hierarchy

Determining which content to prioritize on the internal knowledge base is crucial to ensure efficient organization access and easy access to information. And several factors come into play, including your organization’s size, objectives, and audience.

Essentially, prioritize information that applies to the day-to-day running of your organization and meets the preferences of your audiences, employees, management, etc. 

For easy navigation, one approach is to structure content by departments. So, consider categorizing resources under the following headings:

  • HR
  • Customer support and service
  • Legal
  • Design
  • IT

Another option is to aggregate resources based on database user types, which include:

  • New employees
  • Management
  • Developers

Using themes from frequently asked questions (FAQs). For instance:

  • Training
  • I.T issues
  • Employee benefits

An alternative strategy is to organize the internal knowledge base using a tagging system that enables you to affix relevant keywords and metadata to improve search, making it easier for users to locate specific information.

  1. Continuously improve and control quality. 

After setting up the knowledge base software, the next step is to improve the quality of resources on the internal database continuously. Routinely remove outdated information from documents, add new resources, and evaluate database success using performance metrics and user feedback.Also, encourage employees to contribute to knowledge enhancements actively. Additionally, as a critical security measure, it's important to also tokenize sensitive data within the knowledge base and safeguard confidential information.

What’s The Difference Between Intranet And Knowledge Base?

It’s important to distinguish between the two concepts. This distinction is essential for understanding how intranets and knowledge bases function.

An intranet:

  • Is an online platform for hosting collaboration and communication tools such as file sharing, company website, and email.
  • Houses various resources and services, including document management and messaging.

A knowledge base:

  • Exists within an intranet as a dedicated information repository section.
  • Focuses on organizing and storing information and resources to ease retrieval and reference.

Overall, the fast-paced evolution of the modern workplace has increased the need for both intranets and knowledge bases. Both provide employees with real-time access to internal company information, enabling them to take initiative and complete tasks more efficiently.

However, there are differences. An intranet functions as the company's across-the-board internal network, while the knowledge base represents the specific portion of the intranet where the company’s knowledge, resources, and important policy documents are stored.

Combining an intranet and a knowledge base in a workplace helps boost productivity by streamlining information exchange and enhancing overall organizational efficiency.

Finding The Hack To Effective Information Management

More often than not, the absence of an effective information repository in an organization may negatively impact productivity.

An internal knowledge base significantly transforms the entire workflow of an organization. It’s a productivity infrastructure that’s borne out of the need to address the important knowledge gaps in an organization unraveled by workflow analysis.

Addressing these peculiar knowledge requirements impacts an organization’s internal communication practices, leading to better decision-making and improved service delivery. It also fosters a collaborative workplace, the recipe for knowledge preservation.

On a final note, when setting up a knowledge base, you get it right when you use the appropriate knowledge base software. 

Not sure where to begin? Assembly readily avails you with a one-stop, simple-to-use infrastructure for curating important company resources with features of;

  • High search functionality
  • Robust compatibility
  • Easy scalability

Enhance information management in your organization using Assembly. Try for free today.

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