While we see customers use knowledge bases for a variety of purposes, a knowledge base at its core is basically an online, self-serve collection of information. You can think of this like a library or repository, and it usually contains information about your company, product, policies, procedures, services, departments, or so on.
Knowledge bases can be:
- Internal: referenced only by your employees or contractors
- External: referenced by your customers, clients, or students
- Combination of internal + external: referenced by both your employees and your customers
We like to think of knowledge bases as serving a few purposes:
- Capturing/sharing knowledge from subject matter experts to everyone else
- Making that knowledge available in some kind of structure and searchable
- Collecting knowledge that might otherwise be stored in a bunch of different places
Beyond that, they're quite flexible. You can use knowledge bases for a variety of things, including:
- Internal policies or procedures
- Internal product or service support information
- Customer-facing software, product, or service documentation
- Educational materials like lesson plans, job briefs, exercises, activities
- Personal or company blogs
- Marketing materials
- Presentation templates
- And more!
We always use the two-word form of knowledge base, rather than knowledgebase. You can read Chief Executive Owl Marybeth Alexander's explanation of this choice on our blog: Is it “knowledge base” or “knowledgebase”?