Knowledge Base vs Knowledge Management System: What is the Difference?
When I first started researching knowledge management systems, I was confused.
Working for ScreenSteps — a knowledge base software and training solution company — I was trying to understand the differences between knowledge base software and knowledge management systems.
At first, it seemed like a tomato-tomato situation. “They are the same thing,” I nearly concluded. “We are all just using different words to explain software that serves the same purpose." But, then I kept reading.
Every article I read on the internet had a different definition of knowledge management systems. Some were contradictory. Ultimately, I concluded that each informational blog was written in a way that pointed people back to the writer’s software.
So, I’m trying to clear the air. There are differences between knowledge management systems and knowledge base software.
In this article, I provide clear definitions and distinctive features so you can figure out whether your company needs a knowledge base or a knowledge management system.
A knowledge base is a one-stop shop for all of your company’s procedural information. It is a repository where you can create, store, and share documents across your company.
It centralizes your policies, procedures, help guides, etc. so that your employees can easily access them. It is a cloud-based application.
Some examples of a knowledge base include Confluence, Helpjuice, and SharePoint.
Knowledge management system
While a knowledge base fits under the umbrella of knowledge management systems, a knowledge management system covers a wider range of organizing information for your company.
A knowledge management system is primarily viewed in two ways:
- It is one specific cloud-based IT software that handles a particular aspect of managing company information.
- It can also reference a company’s plan of how they will handle information, resources, and communication. In this case, they use a technology stack. A technology stack is a collection of software services used to organize and handle all the knowledge collaboration a company needs.
For example, some knowledge management systems a company needs for operations include:
- Knowledge base
- Project management software
- Chat channel
Create a one-stop shop that helps employees make fewer mistakes
There are many ways to handle your company’s knowledge. Before purchasing software, you need to understand what problem you are trying to solve with the software. This will help you decide which software is the right solution for your company.
Knowledge base software is best if you are trying to align your company and enable your employees by providing answers at their fingertips.
With a ScreenSteps knowledge base, you have one location where your end-users can access your guides in as few as two clicks. Employees make fewer mistakes and increase productivity.
Of course, there are many different knowledge base services out there. Check out our list of some of the top knowledge base services around to compare your options.