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As vendors we are always eager to support customers with our know-how, but often we learn just as much from them! Tyler Technologies, software and service providers for the public sector, recently developed their own client-facing Confluence knowledge base. Here are just a few insights we gained from working with them on the project.

Write articles that answer real customer questions

“Technical documentation is great – unless you’re having a problem; it doesn’t give you solutions,” Libby Healy, the architect of their knowledge base, told us. Instead, Tyler uses their KB to deliver actionable support. “We take a client question, pair it with the context, and then we write the answer.” We’ve heard the same thing from another client, the Port of Antwerp, who break their internal knowledge base into pages based on specific tasks. These can be as granular as, ‘How to rename a page in Confluence’. One advantage of both knowledge bases is that they’re easy for users to search and find the exact solution to their problem.

Knowledge bases can inform development

Documentation and knowledge base articles are often the last thought in the release cycle. But Tyler proved that the right set up can give you valuable data that feeds back into future development. In their knowledge base, a single page is created for an issue, and support is able to attach that page to other tickets with the same problem. By tracking the number of times an article has been attached to tickets, and the time each ticket takes to resolve, they can calculate the cost of the issue. This helps developers prioritize their issues and feature requests.

Almost anyone can build a sophisticated KB

We love our software engineers, but we also know how very busy they are; not every team has the bandwidth for internal projects. But, pairing Confluence with an app like Comala Document Management allows people with a little bit of tech savvy to create sophisticated knowledge bases. “I’m not a developer but I’ve coded our solution,” Libby explains. “It’s about 100 lines. You don’t need to be an engineer. You do need to understand the Document Management markup language and that takes a bit of time, but I was able to engineer this solution without waiting for a developer. I can jump on and get the solution in real time.” For prospects considering Confluence for their knowledge base, this combo of ease-of-use and powerful customization is a major selling point.

Want the full run-down of how Tyler Technologies built their knowledge base? Check out our case study.