What Are the Tools Needed for Effective Knowledge Management?

Knowledge management (KM) tools help companies ensure they have the right processes, procedures, or systems in place to create, manage, store and share organizational knowledge – and can put that knowledge to good use in line with their business strategy.
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Company knowledge management tools store and retrieve knowledge, information or data; aggregate content; locate knowledge sources; and streamline informational flow. Effective knowledge management tools improve collaboration, save time and resources, and help employees and executives make better business decisions.

There are a wide variety of KM tools available, including more comprehensive paid versions for corporate or small businesses and more basic free versions. Commonly used tools include a content library or knowledge sharing databases.  

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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. Here’s a helpful list of knowledge management tool types:

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.

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. 

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. See the top 3 signs your support team needs Knowledge-Centered Service.

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. Learn more about how AI empowers knowledge management for reps and customers.

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. 

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.

A doodle of various shapes representing bits of knowledgeA doodle of pointing arrows

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