The term "knowledge base" refers to a database in which information is collected, organized, shared, searched and used. Knowledge bases are intended to act as a resource for the reader, such as a customer or a customer service representative. Many knowledge bases offer answers to frequently asked questions, detailed procedures and tutorials. Knowledge bases may also offer user manuals or articles on a specific subject.
Knowledge Bases: Designed for Easy Use
Knowledge bases appeal to various styles of learners. Good introductions help readers to understand what they will learn by accessing the knowledge base. The knowledge base may use conversational tones and provide hands on activities for users to better apply their newly-acquired knowledge. Some offer repetition in order to help users to learn. Others use video and images to help visual learners successfully acquire the desired knowledge.
Examples of Knowledge Bases
Some examples of knowledge bases include:
- http://www.shopshelfthai.com/faqs/ (Thai)
- http://www.ladylingua.org/E-Library/ (Arabic - RTL)
Creating a Knowledge Base
The basic design of a knowledge base requires a software provider that makes it easy and effective to provide the knowledge that is intended to be delivered. These software-based solutions may include:
- Applications that are driven by process-oriented tasks
- Automated systems that allow for data to be integrated
- Solutions for capturing data
- Solutions for organizing, planning and monitoring work flow
- Databases built to serve a specific purpose or goal
- Programs intended to manage the life-cycle of the content
- Solutions that organize and automatically classify documents
- Solutions that allow for document storage and imaging
- Programs and systems that allow for files to be shared securely
- A program or tool to recognize characters
A knowledge base may contain some or all of these different services and solutions depending upon why the knowledge base was created. Some examples of the way a program might be structured include:
- A billing and document management system used by a law firm. The law firm would be able to use the system for attorneys to keep track of their time spent on a case. All people working on the case at the firm could access and upload information. Documents relevant to the case from both sides could be imaged and uploaded into the database.
- A product research system used by a company that sells an electronic product. The system could keep track of returns, sales figures and complaint calls from all their stores and online websites and from their customer service centers. Different people working on different aspects of product sales and service could all access the management system and retrieve relevant information. The information could be used by the product development team to make product upgrades and changes.
- A universal database used by insurance companies. The database could keep track of claims, insured members, policies and procedures and could be accessed and changed by those in customer service, claims handling and sales.
In each case, the knowledge base should contain as much relevant information as possible to be useful to those accessing and making use of the database.