Knowledge, information and data are extremely important for any organization. One needs to keep track of knowledge about their organization and share it in the correct way to ensure better customer support, better knowledge sharing and collaboration. There are some knowledge management software companies that are easy to use and offer open source software for their clients. To understand it better keep reading this article. In the blog, we have answered various questions that will help you clear your doubts, a list of features necessary in software and also 4 best knowledge management software for your consideration.
Table of Contents
What is the knowledge base?
A knowledge base is a centralized database that serves as an online library of information and data. It lets the users collect, organize, retrieve and also share knowledge with others.
The data that you put in your web based knowledge base open source platform can be from anywhere. Usually, the data is collected and organized by the users who are experts in the subject of a particular topic in the knowledge base. This ensures that all the data or information is relevant and accurate. The admin or contributor also needs to ensure that they constantly update the data or information in the knowledge base software freeware to ensure that it is accurate.
The content in a knowledge base software open source can be from the HR or legal department in an organization, or it could be about a particular topic/product by an organization to help with customer service. There are several methods and models for turning data into knowledge, and we have a blog that might help you understand the topic better, take a look at it here: What is the knowledge management process?
What is a knowledge base software?
Knowledge base software is a part of a knowledge management system. It usually works to save data and provide it to the users online. This is rather helpful because if you are handling the knowledge base, you can simply upload all the information on the cloud and everyone with access to it will be able to get that information with a simple search.
Knowledge base software includes various types of data in the form of FAQs, tables, documents, video, images, audio content, and other forms. Usually, there is a search bar in the software that helps you find the content or information that you are looking for by functioning as a search engine.
Some knowledge bases are integrated with artificial intelligence for more interactive and responsive software. But most knowledge bases are nothing but indexable knowledge repositories. The software is a search engine that shows results from the content that the contributors submit in it. It basically helps narrow down the solutions and information whenever a user enters a query.
Best Open Source Knowledge Base Software In The Market
1. Exo - Knowledge Management Open Source Software
eXo is an open source knowledge management software for businesses that aim to increase the engagement of their workforce. It helps growing companies and large enterprises for overriding traditional intranets so they can connect employees and provide them information from a single platform.
This fully functional platform for intra-team requires the employees to login with the correct credentials and only then allows them to collaborate with each other. It also has document collaboration that you can easily set up with permissions for access and version control. You can also integrate other features in this open source knowledge management software such as a forum, chat for collaborating, your team’s wiki page, and other documents.
- In eXo, users can store information in the form of Wiki pages which could be in the form of procedures, reports, manuals, plans or other types of documents.
- It allows the customers to collect, store and share the information through this open source knowledge base systems.
- You can easily share the knowledge internally and externally in the organization via forums or chat discussions.
- It also sends automatic notifications as soon as the contributors or admins create or capture any new content.
- It is easy to find information by using dynamic search functionality
- Gain full control of content visibility by setting up permissions for the customers
2. Documize - Knowledge Management Software
Documize is an open source knowledge base that makes use of wiki open source software in combination with proprietary tools.
It is a powerful knowledge management system open source that allows the customers to centralize and manage internal documents. It also has the capability that allows you to give external parties the permission to view or access any documents that you store on Documize’s knowledge management software open source. Moreover, there is another option that lets you create knowledge base tools for products, services or other processes.
For easy, real-time collaboration, Documize's knowledge management software allows the users to assign tasks or secure approvals within the documents. It also allows them to communicate about the same to the interested parties so they get immediate updates. This eradicates the need to continuously update and review documents because the customers get updates and can see the progress in real-time.
- Documize helps capture and centralize the information or data necessary.
- You can use it to organize the information with proper formatting and categorization.
- This open source knowledge base has a library of reusable templates and snippets catalog.
- User-friendly UX design.
- Helps control workflow and seek approvals as per the hierarchy of the organization.
- The knowledge base has clutter-free and simple content management that allows archiving of old content and saving new content in the drafts.
- It also allows access to different versions of each document.
- You get reports and analytics for the content that the users are consuming.
- It lets you provide permission-based access of the content to external customers such as customers or clients.
3. phpMyFAQ - Open Source Software
Being one of the top open source knowledge base software, phpMyFAQ is mainly used by companies for FAQ content management system. It enables the customers in creating and managing FAQ with the ability to collaborate and discuss the same.
This knowledge management open source wiki software also lets you assign user or group based permissions to teams and individuals for viewing, editing or creating content. The search functionality is also strong in this knowledge base enterprise wiki software that allows the users to easily find questions and answers in various languages and different categories too. Other than that, you also get to see the analytics of the most popular search terms in the knowledge base.
- It gives the admin complete control over the contributors, categories, records, comments, file uploads, navigation and hierarchy.
- Allows you to provide permission-based access to individuals and teams
- Powerful search engine
- High-end security with LDAP and HTTP authentication with SSO support and certification.
- You can use multiple AD servers for configuration.
- Allows you to integrate with social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and ensure that your client outreach is more successful
- Customers are allowed to ask or answer questions
- Generates analysis reports of the content performance
- Supports various SEO plugins so your FAQ gets ranked higher
- If one question has been asked before and some new user asks the same question again, then the knowledge base has the capability of answering it automatically.
- Customers are allowed to export content in various formats like PDF, JSON, XHTML and others
4 OpenKM - Knowledge Management Software
OpenKM launched its knowledge base especially for businesses that were seeking document and records management solutions. Organizations are able to build a controlled and seamless knowledge base repository of information to help facilitate knowledge creation and sharing amongst the employees, or between you and your client.
It also lets you create, receive, maintain, share or dispose of records of business activities as well as transactions. It is especially beneficial if you are looking for your business to comply with data regulations and provide accountability. With the help of this knowledge base, you will be able to maintain authentic and reliable records.
- User-friendly and speedy user interface and design
- Multiple global languages available for translation
- Scans uploaded files and documents for virus and other malware
- Elaborate dashboard for obtaining in-depth information
- Includes Microsoft office support for various versions
- It has a feature for collecting emails from IMAP, Pop3, etc
- Can also import text directly from HTML format or attachments
- Has the option to allow for bulk uploading, password-protected documents, for emailing documents and more.
- Allows the customers to define the workflow, create or assign the tasks to their teammates
- Lets you configure mail notifications
- Permits digital signature on documents
- You can integrate multiple 3rd party applications
- Lets the customers search using query and stores the query too
- Has several other high-security features like permission and access restriction for various users.
Features Of An Open Source Knowledge Base
The knowledge base needs to have a feature for integrations of various types. Social networking platforms, CRM, helpdesk, company website, third party applications - these are some of the more crucial things that will allow for better and smoother functionality. It will give your organization more power and seamless operations, leading you to better growth of your business.
2 Search engine
This feature is one of the most useful in any knowledge base. It helps the customers find the content and knowledge that they are looking for easily. It works exactly like a search engine and searches for accurate results in the knowledge base. Strong search functionality is what makes the knowledge base strong and more capable.
3 Content compilation
Users should be able to contribute to the open source software knowledge base from internal and external sources. It could be by the way of comments, file uploads, knowledge sharing or other means. There also needs to be a way in which the content is easy to categorize and it becomes available when required.
4 Knowledge distribution
If there is no scope of knowledge-sharing, then the value of a knowledge management software diminishes. The knowledge base needs a feature that lets the customers distribute the content through emails, texts, notifications and other means.
5 Classification of the information
The content should be classified and categorized correctly and make it easier for users to find it. By setting up various categories and making a certain format that makes the tasks of the users easy and simpler.
6 Permission settings
The users of a knowledge base open management software don’t hold an equal position when they are accessing the content available. Moreover, many might not even require all the content. Hence, the knowledge base should provide permissions to users accordingly so that there is no compromise on data security and confidentiality. Hence, the software should be able to facilitate permissions on the basis of their requirements as well as positions.
The knowledge base needs to have a dashboard that provides information in a glance. This helps the users to understand and get updates on any new information quickly to catch up on the same.
8 Analytics and reports
Reports help in making better and more informed decisions. The analytics section usually help you determine which search term has the most number of searches by the users, which content has more number of interactions, what information is not being looked at and other data. This will help you in removing irrelevant content or maybe explain the popular terms with more details. Easy to understand reports are the best way to understand this analysis and hence, analytics and reports play an important role in any knowledge base.
Businesses grow with time and your tools also need to keep upgrading in order to handle the requirement. The knowledge base software needs to be scalable enough for meeting your organization and business requirements in the longer run.
10 User feedback
Undoubtedly, a knowledge base is rather important for the users and helps them the most. Hence, for it to keep improving, there needs to be a system in which users can submit feedback for updates and bugs. Since the users will be using the knowledge base, they will be the best people to suggest how the platform can be made better.
How Businesses Can Benefit From Open Source Knowledge Base
Employees might sometimes need to take urgent leaves on short notice. What if they forget to share the data with someone else? It will vastly affect the working of the organization and also hamper productivity. The company will suffer and all the blame will fall on that employee’s head. This really is not the right way to work.
Hence, to curb this issue and some others like it, a knowledge base comes in handy. With excellent and efficient knowledge sharing, it becomes possible for businesses to easily transfer data with each other.
A good knowledge base has several benefits for your business, let us take a look at them below:
- Keeps the customers happy - When you provide better customer support by answering all their queries, it makes the customers happy.
- Increases customer retention - When the customers get the answers to their questions, it makes them feel that you care more about them and they will continue to be your clients even in the coming future
- Helps you deliver better customer support - With efficient customer service, your clients and customers will be more satisfied with your company.
- Helps manage problems more practically - An employee leaving on short notice, a customer being erratic for no reason, suppliers not delivering on time or some other issues can cause hindrance in the workflow. A systematic database will have all the information in one place and help you solve any issues practically.
- Can reduce the number of phone calls in the customer service segment - When people get the information they need directly from the database, they often don't call the customer support center. This will reduce the number of calls and let you employ those resources elsewhere.
- Helps you become an authority in your industry - When you are satisfying the customers and solving all issues easily, it will be easy for you to get ahead of all your competitors.
- You can keep all the important and useful information in one place
1. What are some examples of a simple knowledge management system?
Answer: Some examples of a simple knowledge management system are Amazon, Canva and Evernote. You can check out their pros and cons in our blog on the topic Examples Of Knowledge Management System.
2. What is the process of knowledge management?
Answer: The process of knowledge management includes various steps like collecting data, organizing it, analyzing, storing and sharing.
3. What would you look for in knowledge management software?
Answer: There are some things that you need to keep in mind while looking for knowledge management software. Some of the questions are as following:
- Is the software cloud-based or on-site?
- Is the UI easy to understand?
- What is the search functionality?
- Does it offer external knowledge sharing?
4. How do you manage knowledge bases?
Answer: Here are some of the steps that you should take to ensure that the knowledge base in your organization is managed properly:
- Keep updating it with new data and information
- Maintain relevancy by deleting data that is not useful anymore
- Give access to senior-level or trustworthy employees only
- Make sure that the hierarchy of the information is proper so that it is easy for the users to navigate
All in all, it is important to have a data hub or an information center for your organization. It will not only help you become more efficient but also allow you to serve your customers better.
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