What are knowledge management tools?
Knowledge management tools ensure your organization can capture information and apply that knowledge for maximum value to your business. Different knowledge management tools focus on different knowledge types and are designed to improve efficiency in specific parts of your business.
Learn more about how knowledge management and knowledge sharing can help your company’s bottom line.
Why are knowledge management tools important?
- Improve your profitability and efficiency
- Organize critical company information in a single source of truth
- Facilitate collaboration across teams, wherever they are
- Promote continuous learning
Types of knowledge management tools
Knowledge management tools are essential for businesses seeking to improve organizational efficiency, streamline communication, and foster innovation. These tools come in various types, each designed to serve different purposes. Document management systems, one of the key knowledge management tools, enable easy storage, organization, and retrieval of crucial files and documents. Collaboration platforms facilitate seamless teamwork and knowledge sharing among employees, while content management systems provide a central repository for creating, editing, and distributing digital content.
Additionally, decision support systems help with data analysis and problem-solving, while social networking tools promote informal knowledge sharing and relationship building. Implementing the right knowledge management tools can significantly enhance a company's productivity and overall performance.
Here’s a helpful list of knowledge management tool types:
1. Knowledge bases
A knowledge base is a searchable information repository that stores your company’s data for internal or external access. It serves to capture, manage, and organize key organizational information in order to help your teams or customers find the information they need, when they need it. There are two types of knowledge bases. A machine-readable knowledge base stores data that can only be analyzed by artificial intelligence systems. A human-readable knowledge base stores documents and physical texts that are accessible to people. Human-readable knowledge bases are more interactive, but searches are often more time-consuming.
2. Learning management systems (LMS)
Learning management systems help businesses build a strong foundation of knowledge management by allowing them to create customized training and educational programs. Through this system, company leaders can design and manage lessons, courses, quizzes, and other training materials and deliver those resources to employees, students, or partners.
3. Knowledge-Centered Service® (KCS)
These tools support knowledge centered service, also known as knowledge-centered support, which describes how customer service and support teams access and use knowledge to deliver greater value to customers, employees, and stakeholders. Each time a problem is solved in a KCS organization, that knowledge is stored in a way that is easily accessible to others. KCS empowers everyone in the organization to share collective responsibility for maintaining the knowledge base and informs how people in the organization solve problems.
4. AI knowledge management
AI knowledge management tools can capture, filter, represent, or apply knowledge. They include applications that can select, analyze, and classify text; conduct automated reasoning; and create visualizations – all of which can enhance decision-making capabilities. AI can help organizations process human input, such as handwriting and voice recognition, using natural language processing. These systems can also deal with “big data,” traditionally deemed unwieldy and difficult to maintain, by using new methods for data storing such as decentralized blockchain.
5. Customer relationship management (CRM)
Designed to help all teams involved in marketing, sales, and customer service, CRM systems track prospect and customer information over the course of customer relationships. Using a CRM, your company can track everything from the first contact with a prospect and how they came to you, to interactions they have with your sales team throughout the buying process, to repeated purchases. This customer data is stored in the CRM tool, which your team can now access at any time to understand the context of the relationship and respond appropriately to any issues that may arise. This translates to a better customer experience.
6. Content management
Content management systems encompass the creation, management, and distribution of your organizational content on your company’s intranet or website. An effective content management system provides templates for publishing content, enables easy editing and metadata tagging, tracks changes and allows access to various versions of content, allows for collaborative work and parallel content development, integrates document management systems, and provides extensions and plug-ins for enhanced functionality.