How to Create an Internal Knowledge Base

Break through knowledge silos and establish a culture of knowledge sharing in your organization.

Self-service knowledge bases, help centers, and FAQ sections for customers are commonplace. No one questions the importance of educating users about your product — it increases customer satisfaction, reduces customer support effort, and has a direct impact on the bottom line.

But what many companies don't realize is that creating a knowledge base for their own teams is just as important. Studies show that on average, employees spend 9.3 hours per week searching for information. It's not surprising — when company knowledge gets spread across Slack, archived email threads, and disconnected docs, finding what you need becomes a challenge.

An internal company knowledge base is a tool designed to solve this problem.

What is an internal knowledge base?

An internal knowledge base is a centralized knowledge repository created by a company for internal use. It works like an internal Wikipedia and allows your employees to easily find the information they need, when they need it.

Here's an example of an internal knowledge base created in Nuclino, a knowledge sharing and collaboration tool for teams.

Internal knowledge base software Nuclino

A company knowledge base can contain a variety of information, including:

This is by no means an exhaustive list. An internal knowledge base is a great place for any information that is valuable and is likely to be referenced in the future.

The benefits of an internal knowledge base

Setting up an internal knowledge base will certainly require some effort. You will also need to set aside some time to maintain it and keep the information accurate and up-to-date.

But it's a worthwhile investment. It has been estimated that Fortune 500 companies lose roughly $31.5 billion a year by failing to share knowledge — a knowledge base can not only make it easier for your employees to do their jobs, but also cut your business costs in the long run.

Here are just some of the benefits of having an internal knowledge base:

Of course, simply having an internal knowledge base is not enough to reap these benefits. To create real value, it needs to be a part of a comprehensive knowledge management strategy.

How to create an internal knowledge base

Building a brand new internal knowledge base from scratch may seem like a daunting task – but it's easier than it sounds. Here's how to get started.

Step 1. Select the right internal knowledge base software

Approach this decision with care. Choosing a platform that is too slow or complex will make it difficult for you to get your team on board.

Take some time to consider your requirements and evaluate your options. Ideally, your knowledge base software should:

One such internal knowledge base tool is Nuclinocreate an account to get started.

Internal knowledge base search

Step 2. Organize the topics you want to include

Start by creating a list of high-level topics you want to cover. In Nuclino, you can create a dedicated workspace for each high-level topic, for example, Engineering, Customer Support, HR Policies, Company Information, and so on. After you have the basic structure in place, you can go ahead and start creating the first pages of your knowledge base.

Related pages can be easily linked together using internal links. This will allow your team to explore your knowledge base in a more intuitive way and help them discover relevant information more quickly. Simply type "@" and the name of the page you want to link to.

Internal links between pages in a knowledge base

Step 3. Import or create content

If you are switching from another software, such as Confluence or Google Docs, you can easily import your content into Nuclino.

If you are building a new internal knowledge base from scratch, don't fret – the visual editor makes it easy to get started.

All content in Nuclino can be collaborated on in real time, automatically saving every change in version history and preventing version conflicts. Integrations with 25+ different apps allow you to bring your content to life with interactive media embeds, including videos, maps, slides, spreadsheets, and more.

Internal knowledge base

Step 4. Configure access rights

It's important to keep confidential information safe and prevent unauthorized team members from changing or deleting important documents in your internal knowledge base. To properly configure permissions and access rights for your team members, there are several questions you need to answer:

Step 5. Create a welcome page

Your knowledge base will only deliver value if you manage to get your team on board. Getting used to a new tool is not easy, and first impressions matter. Creating a beautiful welcome page is a perfect opportunity to provide some guidance on how to use it and where to find what.

Need some inspiration? Use our free welcome page template.

Step 6. Ask for feedback

For your new knowledge base to be adopted by your team, it needs to offer genuinely helpful and up-to-date information. Don't try to guess and do everything by yourself, invite your colleagues to contribute and share their feedback. Assign the comment-only role to users who should be able to comment on content without being able to modify it directly.

Feedback in a company knowledge base

At the end of the day, an internal knowledge base is only useful if people keep it up-to-date and consult it regularly. If your team has never used an internal knowledge base before, you may need to invest time into communicating its value to your colleagues. But once you get the buy-in, your efforts will pay off with higher employee productivity, improved communication, and faster onboarding.

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