A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Knowledge Base

Knowledge Base

By storing unstructured data alongside structured information in a knowledge base, you can build a successful expert system that will keep your organization in the know at all times. Getting started with one can be a little challenging, however.

Creating a Knowledge Base Architecture

Start by having an objective discussion of community goals with all of the stakeholders in your organization. Once you know what you want out of a knowledge base, you’ll be in a good position to start brainstorming all of the content topics you’ll want to include in it. Sort these ideas into three basic categories:

  • Things readers need to know
  • Things they should know
  • The material they’ll probably want to learn later on

This will help your crew to properly segment the knowledge base that you’re building. Make a quick sketch of the tree structure that this starts to inspire. Unlike when you’re designing a database, you won’t have to worry about the exact type of on-disk realities that a knowledge base occupies. In fact, knowledge management experts recommend that anyone interested in building a KB simply make it in a way that’s understandable to humans working with it.

Writing Professional-grade KB Content

Regardless of whether you’re in the private sector or the education market, you’ll need to fill your base with professional material that’s directly geared toward the people who are going to be reading it. A group of knowledge management gurus from Verint has constantly reminded specialists that consumers have no patience at all when it comes to wrong answers. This is a good piece of advice to remember.

Look over every single piece of information that gets added to your KB. If there’s anything that even isn’t clear, then you’ll want to polish it up before your crew has a chance to explore the stored documents. Consider bringing in a technical writer or another type of specialist if you’re running into any hiccups along the way.

Add in Visuals When Necessary

It can be tempting to pepper your content with infographics and other shiny pictures, but you shouldn’t feel compelled to add images anywhere that they’re not absolutely necessary. On the other hand, there’s no reason to skimp on them. Add illustrations that demonstrate the correct procedure for performing a certain business process.

Those with dedicated technical drawings and other types of schema will certainly want to include them in their KB as well. Keep in mind, though, that knowledge management is a chore that’s never really finished.

Maintaining Your Knowledge Base Over the Long Term

The day will come when a fair number of people will want to take deep dives into multiple topics all at the same time. You’ll want to be ready for that day, so keep adding and updating articles stored in your database in order to stay current with new developments.

While it might seem like a great deal of work, a properly sourced KB can save loads of time in the long run.