Why Content Structure Is Important for Knowledge Management

by | Mar 25, 2024 | All, Knowledge Management

Organizations are only as good as the collective knowledge they own. Success and failure are based on how they store, capture, manage, and share the information according to their goals and needs.

When employees can freely access knowledge, they become more productive. The alternative is frustration, inefficiency, and errors.

Ultimately, knowledge management allows companies to capture, store, and share information and experiences with employees, increasing productivity and retaining critical data. 

Companies that efficiently store, gather, and share knowledge will encourage employees to become more curious and collaborate effectively with others. This will lead to more satisfaction and productivity at work.

Having an effective knowledge management system will streamline the process of getting information, allowing everyone access. Today, you’ll focus on content structure and why that’s important, as well.

The Problem with Unstructured Knowledge

Many times, organizations have knowledge that exists in various formats, such as videos, emails, and documents. They’re likely scattered across different platforms, which causes many problems. These include:

Difficulty in Finding Relevant Information

Using multiple platforms is great because each one does something different. Employees are trained on how to switch between them, but this does make it more challenging to find relevant information. When they have questions about their jobs, they must visit multiple areas to get answers.

Typically, unstructured knowledge is found across multiple sources and in vast quantities. Therefore, it’s overwhelming for most people and difficult to sift through. 

Imagine that you’re a marketing manager and receive roughly 100 emails per day. With the influx of information, you might lose details about upcoming campaigns, feedback from customers, and more. Now, consider how many documents your company creates daily. Sifting through all that data is simply impossible without organization.

Wasted Time and Resources Searching for Answers

When information is scattered throughout many platforms, employees will waste more time trying to find answers. They’ll have to switch between the programs and may end up helping fewer customers. On a similar note, the company must pay more people to do the job of one. 

There are no analytical techniques available because everything is all over the place. If your company doesn’t have machine learning algorithms or natural language processing options, the employee is left to skim through countless data to find what they need.

The biggest issue with unstructured knowledge is that there’s no organization. You won’t find labels or defined categories, so it’s challenging to retrieve the information or classify it.

Let’s say a sales representative wants to find specific information from unstructured reports. Each one contains helpful data, but there’s no standardized formatting, so it’s time-consuming to locate the relevant details.

Inconsistency and Duplication of Information

Having unstructured knowledge is a risk. You may duplicate the information multiple times, meaning it shows up in more than one location. This can lead to confusion. Likewise, inconsistency is a big issue. One article might have different or incorrect steps, making it harder for employees to get the answers they need.

Because there are no verification methods in place, it’s easy for duplicates, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies to creep in. For example, a professional wants to collect feedback from their customers using social media, email, and surveys. They could encounter redundant or conflicting information.


Benefits of Structured Content

Having unstructured content can be detrimental, as you saw above. However, a well-structured knowledge base will help you overcome those struggles. The benefits include:

Improved Findability of Information

Whether employees are searching for something specific or researching things, they will easily find the information they require. Most knowledge bases allow users to sort and filter the content based on particular keywords or modules, making it effortless to locate data and complete their work.

Increased Efficiency and Productivity for Employees

When employees can easily search for information, they will be more efficient and productive. Instead of spending hours looking for something, it’s in front of them with a few clicks.

Ultimately, structured content could be published anywhere, so the creation process would be simpler. This will likely mean less searching, duplication, updating, and maintenance of the information. Likewise, you’ll gain control over all the working parts, helping your company focus on what matters – the customers.

Consistency and Reliability of Knowledge within the Organization

Having a knowledge base to store information means that all the content of a specific type is stored the same way. Likewise, the data is reliable and correct, allowing people to get the correct answers when they need them.

Ability to Collaborate and Share Knowledge Quickly

Establishing your company’s knowledge management system will help your employees develop and learn. It’s wise to create a standardized process so that users feel confident in sharing their successes and expertise. Allowing everyone to contribute ensures that they are all on the same page.

When you allow employees to participate in idea exchanges, they’ll build their decision-making skills and solve problems much easier. Likewise, everyone will feel like they belong and connect with others, learning together to complete their tasks.

Strategies for Structuring Content

Understanding the benefits of structuring your knowledge base content is the first step. Now, you need to understand the strategies and approaches out there, choosing those that meet your requirements the best.

Options include:

Using Categories and Tags for Organization

Tags and categories help you organize the information for your knowledge base. Here is a breakdown of the two:

  • Categories – These are at the higher level and will organize information based on topics. For example, you may have a section for learning about your CRM, one for feedback from customers, and another for how to complete an order. 
  • Tags – These are the keywords to help you organize your assets. You can be as specific as possible, including as many tags as needed to ensure people know where to go. For example, you may use terms like “dishwasher safe,” “glass,” and “cleaning tips” for kitchenware you sell. 

Leveraging Metadata for Richer Information Retrieval

Metadata is simply data used to describe other information. You can use it for images, computer files, spreadsheets, web pages, audio files, and videos.

In most cases, you will create the content first and then categorize it with appropriate labels and tags. Once you’ve done that, you’ll add the metadata, allowing it to be found and used more easily.

There are many things you can use as metadata, such as the creation date, the author’s name, and how/where the content will be used. 

Implementing Taxonomies for a Hierarchical Structure

Imagine that your information is made of Lego blocks, and each one represents a type of content, such as videos or documents. You may group them together with categories, letting all the yellow ones be for FAQs.

Though they might be relatively related, you won’t have a detailed system. You’ll then use subcategories of the blocks for other features, which is the metadata.

The grouping system you use to contain your subcategories and categories (metadata) is called taxonomy. This is a classification scheme used to categorize and organize your content, which helps improve functionality and discoverability.

Designing User-friendly Interfaces for Easy Navigation

While tags and categories can help people find information, it might become too tedious after you have more content uploaded. Therefore, it’s crucial to create a user-friendly interface for easier navigation.

The goal is to have an efficient and clean design. Make sure there’s no clutter because users will waste time getting the information they need. Instead, draw their eyes to the category list, search bar, FAQs, or popular articles. It can also be helpful to use color coding and different font sizes to highlight data.


Ultimately, content structure is crucial if you plan to have a knowledge base for your employees. You’ll experience better findability, productivity, and efficiency while enjoying reliable and consistent information.

Likewise, you will encourage employees to share information with each other, which ensures that everyone contributes. While building their decision-making skills, they’re also becoming more independent. 

Are you ready to experience the difference content structure makes? Use Klutch to streamline all your knowledge base needs!


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