What Is A Knowledge Base? How It Helps Businesses?

Are you not sure of what a knowledge base is? Do you want to build a knowledge base? Are you trying to decide whether your company or organization needs a knowledge base?

The term “knowledge base” is frequently used on the Internet in this age of information, especially if you are a businessperson or someone who is directly or indirectly connected in a business. Let’s investigate this Knowledge Base now.

What is a Knowledge Base?

Knowledge Base in a sentence,  is a centralized source of information on a product, service, department, or topic that is often used in business, educational, or customer support contexts to store and organize knowledge about a given topic or domain.

It is a database of information that authorized people may access, search, and update in order to provide support, answer queries, or solve problems.
It can be used to improve data collection, organization, and retrieval.

Articles, FAQs, guides, manuals, FAQs, policies, processes, troubleshooting methods, and other forms of documentation can all be found in a knowledge base. A knowledge base can be accessed by a variety of users, including employees, customers, and partners.

What is Knowledge Base Software?

A Knowledge Base (KB) in a business environment is an App/Software that captures human knowledge, converts it to a machine-readable format, and uses this knowledge to solve issues that only humans can solve.

Knowledge base software, which can be cloud-based, self-hosted, or hosted by a third party, is a particular kind of knowledge management platform for storing and sharing self-serve information.

See the Best Knowledge Base Software

NOTE: Knowledge base can have different meanings depending on the context. For example, if I say “I have a good knowledge base for Psychology”, it means that I have a general understanding of the main concepts and theories of Psychology as a field of study. However, in this article, we are talking about a different kind of knowledge base: a computer software that can store and organize information for various purposes and users, and that can have a positive impact on business outcomes.

Applications and Benefits of Knowledge Base

1. Customer Support:

Knowledge bases are extensively used in customer support to provide self-service options. By creating a repository of frequently asked questions (FAQs), troubleshooting guides, and instructional articles, businesses can empower their customers to find solutions to common problems on their own.

2. Employee Training and Onboarding:

Knowledge bases are valuable tools for training and onboarding new employees. They can contain training materials, standard operating procedures (SOPs), company policies, and other relevant information, ensuring consistent and efficient knowledge transfer.

3. Documentation and Technical Support:

Software developers and IT professionals often use knowledge bases to store technical documentation, troubleshooting steps, and best practices. These resources assist in resolving technical issues, debugging problems, and sharing knowledge within the organization.

4. Content Management:

Knowledge bases serve as centralized repositories for managing content in websites, intranets, or content management systems. They can store articles, blog posts, user guides, and other informational content, making it easier to organize and retrieve information.

5. Data and Information Management:

Knowledge bases can be used to store structured and unstructured data, making it easier to manage and access information. They provide a structured framework for organizing data, facilitating search and retrieval operations.

6. Decision Support Systems:

Knowledge bases can be employed to build decision support systems that help users make informed decisions. By storing rules, facts, and expert knowledge, these systems can provide recommendations, analyze scenarios, and assist in decision-making processes.

7. Chatbots and Virtual Assistants:

Knowledge bases are utilized to train and power chatbots and virtual assistants. By leveraging pre-existing knowledge, these AI-powered systems can provide accurate and contextual responses to user queries, enhancing customer service and user experience.

8. E-commerce and Product Support:

Online retailers often use knowledge bases to provide product information, guides, and troubleshooting assistance. This helps customers find answers to their questions and make informed purchasing decisions.

9. Healthcare and Medical Systems:

Knowledge bases find applications in healthcare systems by storing medical knowledge, diagnosis guidelines, treatment protocols, and patient data. They can assist healthcare professionals in decision-making, medical research, and patient management.

10. Education and E-learning:

Knowledge bases are utilized in educational institutions and e-learning platforms to provide educational resources, lecture notes, study materials, and interactive tutorials. They facilitate access to information and enhance learning experiences.

Knowledge Base Examples

Many companies use Knowledge base systems mainly for their Web Content Management. It has helped them to grasp the digital workspace which has efficiently increased their general communication, peer-peer collaboration, idea generation and innovation, and sharing and retrieving of files.

Microsoft Knowledge Base

Microsoft developed its Product support service website as a Knowledge base which came to best use when havoc broke out during Microsoft’s release of its first version of Windows Vista which had multiple malfunctions (bugs) and errors. Millions of Windows users were in need of support and Knowledge base came to their rescue. Most of the customers were able to find help using Microsoft support website without having to make actual contact with Support staff.

Other Knowledge Base Examples

See more knowledge base examples here.

Features of a Powerful Knowledge Base Software:

Preference to ordered articles

According to a Forrester report, self-service has a better satisfaction rating than virtual agent interaction, as customers prefer to find help by themselves and look for support articles.

Creating a well-structured and categorized support articles is indeed key to providing effective self-service support. A knowledge base can help create a dashboard with a table of contents and a drag-and-drop feature to change the order of contents, which could come in handy for managing the articles.

Save time and money

Using a knowledge base can help customers find support articles by themselves, saving companies a lot of time and money spent on customer support.  An excellent knowledge base can dramatically reduce the money spent on customer support.

Better customer experience

Search is a core feature that helps customers find the right help quickly. A powerful search in your knowledge base can do wonders for your users’ experience. This feature would have Instant Ajax search (an algorithm that searches for keywords in contents) which is incredibly fast and accurate, allowing users to get the best help in a minimal amount of time.


Provides a feedback system with Insights

Customers often feel that the content in support articles does not match their expectations, so getting customer feedback is essential to meet their needs. Having a knowledge base that provides a voting system for your articles and an insight engine to help you get the best insights to improve your self-help articles can be very helpful.

They will help you see:

  • What users are searching for
  • How popular your articles are
  • Whether your articles are hitting the mark and resolving customer queries
  • More liked/disliked articles
  • Overall user happiness score
  • Your most happy/unhappy customers

Restrict access to your content

If support is a premium feature for your product that you want to give only to paying customers, or you have two different contents for types of customers or customer groups (for example, a long-time and a new customer), then you will need a knowledge base to provide user access control with added password protection. This will let you restrict each customer to limited support content.

Easy documentation and Editing

The nature of support content itself is to be reviewed continuously and edited based on user experience. For this purpose, an easy product documentation and editing feature is needed. A knowledge base should have a frontend editing feature (editing of page content directly by just clicking a link) which can enable the user to do the necessary editing. Frontend editing is super useful and easy to edit.

Increase your domain authority

Customers will search for support articles mostly on search engines like Google, and because your knowledge base articles are easy to find with keywords that are optimized for search, there is more traffic to your domain. This increases your site’s SEO and domain authority. Having a good knowledge base is marketing in itself.

Know more about Knowledge base features.

Open-source and Free Knowledge Base

A Knowledge base is widely used to help small businesses and customer service, teams. They are built on different platforms depending on the platform which the business and support websites are built. Some of these Knowledge base are Free Knowledge Base and are available to download as an Open-source Knowledge Base.

But in the World of Technology,  a Knowledge base requires constant support and updates to meet the advancements and competition from other companies. Hence, a premium Knowledge base is better equipped to meet our needs rather than Open-source and Free Knowledge base.

Knowledge base software Vs. Knowledge base plugin

Knowledge base software is hosted knowledge base solution provided as a service with a monthly subscription like Zendesk, Freshdesk etc., There are maintained by the company and you only get access while you pay the monthly/annual subscription.

Knowledge base plugin is self-hosted knowledge base solution which comes as an extension for CMS (Content Management Systems) like WordPress. They can be free and paid knowledge base solutions. They are cheaper than a knowledge base software and for premium knowledge base plugins like Helpie you pay on an annual subscription.

WordPress Knowledge Base plugins

WordPress powers almost 29% of the whole internet, and many of the popular e-commerce and business websites are also built on WordPress. There are various knowledge base plugins available for WordPress. They help your users and customers find documents and FAQs with an organized knowledge base.

Most powerful Knowledge base plugin

Most powerful and advanced WordPress knowledge base plugin is the Helpie. All the features mentioned above are met entirely by Helpie, and much more features are also available. It is a is a simple and powerful plugin for you to organize documentation/knowledge of any kind for your WordPress website.

You can try Helpie for free with the 7 day free trial option. Try Helpie Now!

You can also try a demo of how a Knowledge base works. Try KB Demo!

Knowledge Base vs Knowledge management

The efficiency of a Knowledge base highly depends on how the system manages the knowledge. Hence, a range of strategies known as Knowledge management which enables you to create, curate, share and manage knowledge across the whole company is the crucial factor for a Knowledge base .

Knowledge management focuses on improving self-service, i.e., a person tries to find information by themselves without other person’s help. It gives faster access to the relevant articles without having to go through irrelevant ones, thereby providing competitive advantages in terms of time and energy and improves the performance of a person or a company to a great extent.

Know more about Knowledge management (KM)

Is knowledge base same as a database?

A database is an organized body of related information. It behaves like an adequate storeroom in which can store all things in the house. It can store everything and will give everything it has on the matter, and one has to search what he/she wants within the massive pile of data. Inventory systems, and library software etc., are examples of databases.

Knowledge base on the other hand, is precise, like getting an expert opinion on a specific problem or a query. It is smarter than a database and has a logic behind all of the data it contains and understands the rationale behind each question and provides only the relevant results. In short, Knowledge base gives easy access to accurate and consistent information.

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