The 5 golden rules for a successful Knowledge Base

Sep 16 2019

Information is power, and that power relies on quick and easy access to quality information. Today’s connected users don’t want to wait for a letter, a mail or even a phone call to get in the possession of their desired information, they want it now and they want it at a click away. That’s why you need a strong, structured knowledge base.

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Why should you choose a Knowledge Base? 

According to definitions, a Knowledge Base (KB) is a technology used to store complex structured and unstructured information used by a computer system. The initial use of the term was in connection with expert systems which were the first knowledge-based systems. In today's terms, it’s a self-serve online library that contains everything one might want to know about your product or business. Unlike a real library, a knowledge base is at a click away, every day.

Depending on your business’s specific, your knowledge base will take various structures, for it will include information from every employee, department, stakeholder or interested person. It can include everything from thorough details of what your business does, study cases on how to use your features, internal procedures, troubleshooting tips or frequently asked questions. And here’s the catch, it's stored online, easily accessible via search or a link, therefore: goodbye long threads of emails.

These solutions really work for the modern companies and those keeping up with market changes, and using XWiki Knowledge Bases you get a solution that allows you to access critical business information in a fast and efficient way. You don't need to worry about email overload or loss of critical information when someone leaves the company. XWiki helps you increase productivity and reduce operational costs, while regular backups prevent information loss.

So, what are the rules for a successful Knowledge Base?

1. Establish what you need and how you plan to use it

This means that you must assess how much time you might save if you and your employees would start using it. If the volume is consistent and the questions or tasks are repetitive, a knowledge base could work wonders for your business. Once you decide you need one, establish if you plan to use it internal or open to customers. Finding the right information at the right time can be a challenge for both your employees and your customers, especially when business-related information is scattered within your workforce's minds and computers across your organization.

2. Give a structure to the content

Go beyond simple text and add structure to pages, so you and other users can always know where to find a particular answer or the procedure in place. Design forms and templates for your pages and use tables to filter and sort pages so you will never worry about a cluttered virtual workspace again. Last, but highly important, enable anyone to edit pages using standard web forms. XWiki’s knowledge base comes with some great features to enhance adding new content: use the WYSIWYG editor to make changes; attach any kind of files to pages; import and preview office documents; export pages in different formats; define different layers of security by setting rights for users.

3. Keep your Knowledge Base user-friendly

Once it’s up and running, remember that your knowledge base is a self-serve operation. You’ll need to make sure your knowledge base is easy to navigate. And easy to use. Allow contributors to use quick templates to upload data. Use labels/search terms to categorize information so articles are easy to find. At the same time, with XWiki, your company's knowledge is organized and searchable. XWiki allows you to describe wiki pages by adding additional information (metadata) on top of the documents. You can create a structure that matches your exact needs.

4. Keep information relevant

For example, with XWiki, you can easily have a catalog that displays all contracts with the ability to instantly sort them by date, contract parties or type of documents. Use annotations to write contextual notes on pages, share pages by email with any user, allow users to leave comments and feedback on content and keep track of every change over the content with watch feature. In XWiki, you can compare any two-page versions, so you can always track amends to the content.

5. Let the Knowledge Base work for you

Benefit from the XWiki metadata management and native flexibility, our key differentiators from other wiki solutions, in order to organize your knowledge in a centralized and easy to use way!

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