The Growing Role of Analytics in Business Knowledge Management

Analytics technology is rapidly transforming the future of business knowledge management.
analytics in business knowledge management
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By ImageFlow | stock photo ID: 221662603

In the current economic turbulent times, showing business stakeholders that your knowledge sharing and reusing brings business value works as a driving force for investing in a knowledge management tool. 

But, how do you convince stakeholders about the importance of knowledge management?

Simple!

Use data and analytics to back your claims.

The simplest way is to measure the performance of your knowledge management. But it’s easier said than done. Unlike marketing metrics, knowledge management is challenging to measure. For example, how many articles should a company write to provide a comprehensive and exhaustive knowledge base? ‘

If you have experience using a knowledge base, you know that more is not always better. It’s the quality that matters.

While there is no magic wand that you can swish and flick, there are certain metrics that you can track to measure the success of your knowledge base. 

Top 6 Knowledge Management Metrics to Measure Employee Engagement

Knowledge management metrics help you monitor the performance and ROI of your tech investment. As knowledge management software helps share information internally and externally, many businesses use it as their business’s brain because it houses all information. That’s why it’s essential to measure the impact of such software on employee engagement and productivity.

Let’s get started!

1. Contributions

An excellent way to understand the success of your knowledge base (KB) is by analyzing contributions from your employees. It’s helpful to track the number of employees who are contributing and the frequency of such posts. This helps you determine whether your workforce is actively engaging with your knowledge base and how much they’re helping to grow it.

To further increase employee engagement, identify employees who regularly contribute to your knowledge base and use them as role models for others to learn how to use a knowledge base correctly.

If you witness a lack of contributions from your employees, it may mean that your knowledge management is lacking something. You need to empower and encourage your workforce to share more information. To motivate employees to create high-quality posts for your knowledge base, provide them with examples of your best-written posts.

2. Knowledge base adoption

The usage rate or adoption of your knowledge base is a critical metric that measures the success of your knowledge management strategy. When the percentage of customers using your knowledge base out of the total number of users is high, it implies that your employees accept and trust your KB.

However, don’t get overwhelmed by seeing a high adoption rate as it may change over time.

Usually, when a company sets up its knowledge base, its adoption rate is high, but as its content goes stale over time, it starts decreasing.

So, regularly monitor these metrics. 

3. Number of active and daily users

Continuing your investment in a knowledge management tool makes sense only when your employees use your KB regularly to resolve workplace issues and find business-related documents.

With a knowledge worker spending 2.5 hours per day searching for information, understanding your KB’s active and daily users can help you measure the effectiveness of your efforts.

The higher your number of active and daily users, the more your organization accepts and trusts your KB. If your workforce is not using your KB to search for information, consider surveying them to determine the reasons behind it.

Encourage them and list all benefits a KB can have on their productivity and engagement. 

4. Response time

Another crucial metric for determining your knowledge management success is how long it takes for someone to respond to their queries. And how long does it take for that answer to be liked or accepted by your workforce?

Response time is an important metric because it helps you understand your engagement rate throughout the day. So, regularly assess your response time and determine if your team is witnessing any changes after implementing knowledge management software.

If questions are unanswered for a long time, it could indicate that your workforce isn’t comfortable with your KB, or they’re simply not checking it regularly for updates. Either way, it’s the productivity and employee engagement that go for a toss. 

5. Utilization of account

For knowledge management software, employees require an account to log in and access company-related information. So, monitoring and tracking how many employees have created a login and how actively they use their account can help determine the usefulness of your KB.

However, employees who create an account don’t need to contribute and use your KB to search for information actively.

The rule here is simple: even if all your employees create an account and only a fraction of them are active, your knowledge management requires some work.

So, when you witness a drop in your account utilization rate, your employees are probably finding it difficult to access or navigate through the material, or your content isn’t relevant, or it’s not providing enough information to solve a potential problem.

6. Age of submitted knowledge

Whether internal or external, no employee prefers wasting their time on an outdated KB. So, it’s essential to refresh your KB once in a while to remain updated.

Usually, a knowledge base where the age of submitted posts or articles is greater than a year is not considered trustworthy. Why?

Certain information like slide deck templates and benefit documentation may require yearly updates, whereas documents like team structure, client requirement, or sales quota may require monthly or quarterly updates.

So, make it a point to constantly verify and update outdated information to prevent your KB from entering the “stale mode.”

How to improve your business knowledge management

Use the following strategies to improve your business knowledge management.

1. Solicit questions and feedback

The adage “there is no such thing as the bad question” rings true when it comes to managing your knowledge management. So, to gather some qualitative data to improve your KB, ask your employees these questions:

  • Was a particular document easy to find?
  • Do you find knowledge management helpful software? If so, why?
  • What’s preventing you from using this software?
  • How can we improve your experience with this software?

Asking employees for their opinion and feedback is a great way to exchange insights and improve your knowledge management system. 

2. Focus on using a content creation framework

Employees find it challenging to work with a KB because they don’t know whether the information is current or stale. So, to encourage employee participation, build a content framework.

Your framework should provide an answer to: ‘Why, Who, Where, When and What’ questions an employee asks. 

3. Have experts share their knowledge

One good way to inculcate a knowledge-sharing culture across your organization is to ask subject-matter experts to write some useful content.

Expert knowledge is critical for an organization’s success. So, you need to identify organization-wide experts and take their help to create content for your KB.

To motivate experts to share their knowledge, show them quantifiable data of what their contribution means to your company. 

4. Use effective tools

While effective for communication, different communication tools like video conferencing and messaging apps don’t provide knowledge sharing. The limitations can leave employees less productive. 

So, the need of the hour is using an AI-powered sharing platform. According to research, 70% of organizations can save 6.2 billion hours by implementing AI in their workplace.

You can even use other workplace tools like project management or productivity software to bring the knowledge directly to your employees.

It not only increases knowledge sharing but enhances the productivity of your employees. 

The power of knowledge management

Your knowledge management software is like a 24-hour restaurant where your workforce doesn’t require in-depth knowledge of their favorite food recipes as long as they can access the finished product.

By measuring the effectiveness of your KB, you can ensure that all efforts you put to amass and process information are put to good use.

As rightly said by Peter Drucker, “What gets measured gets managed.”, measuring the success of your knowledge management isn’t only about how many employees use it. It encompasses every minute detail that gives a holistic overview of your KB’s impact on employee productivity and engagement.

Without a doubt, your knowledge management software can make your team prepare to become the best in their respective field, but often, business stakeholders require data to back this claim.

That’s why businesses today cannot afford to overlook the importance of measuring these performance metrics.

How are you measuring and tracking the success of your knowledge management software?

Please share your views with us!

Kayla Matthews
Kayla Matthews has been writing about smart tech, big data and AI for five years. Her work has appeared on VICE, VentureBeat, The Week and Houzz. To read more posts from Kayla, please support her tech blog, Productivity Bytes.