What is a knowledge base?

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”?