Jonathan DeVore

By: Jonathan DeVore on October 25th, 2022

Print/Save as PDF

3 Ways to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Your Knowledge Base

What grade would you give your knowledge base?

I'm sure, like most of us, you wish you could say A+. However, the reality is that knowledge bases are always a work in progress. 

Because policies and procedures are constantly changing, your knowledge base articles become outdated and inaccurate. And with your busy workload, it is difficult to keep up with the needed edits. 

As the Director of Transformational Services at ScreenSteps — a knowledge base software and training solution company — I've taught many companies how to incorporate best practices for maintaining their knowledge bases. 

One of those best practices is to perform a regular gap analysis on your knowledge base.

Watch the 3-minute video for three steps to perform a simple gap analysis. This will help you identify where your knowledge base is doing well and where it could improve.

HubSpot Video

1. Review your reports

Take time to review your knowledge base analytics and reports. With ScreenSteps, you have four different types of reports:

  1. Article reports
  2. User reports
  3. Course reports
  4. Search reports

These reports provide you with insights into how your end-users are using your knowledge base. Specifically, it shows who is looking at articles, which articles they’re viewing, what they’re searching for, and whether those search results are coming up empty.

Most knowledge base software has some sort of analytics. However, not all have the same insights.

Use these insights to determine if any of your articles are outdated, confusing, or need updating for another reason.

🔎 Related: Knowledge Base Management: 8 Questions to Evaluate Your Knowledge Base

2. Write down all the questions people are asking

What questions do your employees ask you? What customers do your customers ask your employees?

Whether you get these questions in chat, messaging apps, in person, or by email, write down all the questions people are asking you.

Then you can search your knowledge base to see if the answer exists in an article. If it does, you may need to optimize your article title or tags so it is easier for end-users to find. If not, now you know a help guide you need to write.

Remember: The #1 reason people use your knowledge base is that they need answers to their questions. If they can’t find them in your knowledge base, they won’t use them.

3. Perform a user acceptance test

Watch your end-users actually use your knowledge base to perform tasks and get answers.

As you do this, you are looking to see if your users can find the guides they need as well as how they are using the guide.

How well do they follow your guides? Do they get stuck as they use them? Can your end-users navigate your knowledge base? 

Take notes on where your guides trip people up and where you could make things more clear.

Know what information to include in your knowledge base

You want your knowledge base to have answers to all the questions your end-users have. But, knowing what articles you need to write is challenging. 

If you already have a knowledge base, a gap analysis is a great way to start. If your knowledge base isn't producing the results you want or you are just starting with a knowledge base, you may want a deeper planning session.

Learn how to plan the content for your knowledge base as well as your new hire training program, with a single workshop. The Find & Follow Planning Workshop helps you align your teams and determine which resources you need to create for your knowledge base. 

Want to learn how proper content planning can cut your training time in half?

Join us for a free webinar to learn a better way to plan the content for your knowledge base.

Find & Follow Planning Workshop Webinar

About Jonathan DeVore

Customer Success