knowledge-management

Should You Hire a Technical Writer For Your Knowledge Base?

4 min read
Jan 4, 2023
A woman sitting in front of a laptop at a couch

A technical writer for a knowledge base is an invaluable resource, especially for teams looking to create high-quality content quickly. Not only do these professionals have a deep understanding of the subject matter, but they know how to communicate complex concepts in an understandable way that is easy for users to comprehend. In addition, their specialized skills and background can help ensure accuracy and consistency across the database.

The question is: do you actually need a technical writer?

It depends

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

It really depends on the knowledge base, how user-friendly it needs to be, and how important it is for a tech writer to frame information in a way that makes sense to people with different levels of understanding.

There are certainly cases when a technical writer's expertise would come in handy when creating a knowledge base - for example, if complex topics need to be broken down into readily understandable chunks or if there is lots of jargon that needs simplifying.

At the same time, there are other scenarios where a tech writer may not be needed – particularly if the knowledge base holds easy-to-understand material.

Ultimately, it comes down to the particular requirements of your project, and whether you have the resources to hire a technical writer.

What skills are required by tech writers?

Technical writers need to be experts in documentation who are up-to-date with the current tools and technology used in the documentation process. They should be creative, organized professionals with a high aptitude for detail and accuracy. Given that technical documentation often provides self service content, strong communication skills are critical in order to ensure complex information can be communicated as simply as possible. Technical writers must also have knowledge of both written and visual media in order to integrate several sources into one consistent documentation piece. Additionally, they must stay on top of industry trends and best practices while also adhering to any organizational style and brand standards.

Benefits of hiring a technical writer

Knowledge engineering

Knowledge engineering is a fascinating field that involves the process of gathering, storing, and using knowledge to create computer-based problem-solving systems.

It combines elements from artificial intelligence and the management of large databases to provide effective solutions for complex problems. Through knowledge engineering, we can solve organizational problems, enhance decision-making processes, and improve communication among stakeholders.

Ultimately, it allows us to bridge the gap between knowledge and action by providing us with powerful tools for understanding how humans think and how to make better decisions.

As businesses continue to increase the complexity of their operations and prioritize customer experience, knowledge engineers play an ever-expanding role.

They help organizations transform raw data into business insights, making them an essential part of any IT or development department. A technical writer can be a powerful ally for knowledge engineers in this process by creating clear, concise content that will inform and educate those relying on the data. With well-crafted user guides, white papers, and other forms of technical writing, they can bridge the gap between tech professionals and stakeholders who need to make sense of the data.

The clearer and more meaningful the content creation by a technical writer, the easier it becomes for knowledge engineers to drive innovative outcomes.

Demand-driven knowledge

Demand-driven knowledge base management is a revolutionary new approach to managing knowledge within an organization. By making use of emerging technologies, this approach helps optimize knowledge sharing by suggesting resources related to particular tasks based on the demand of employees. It focuses on increasing the value of information within the organization by ensuring that only those resources that are truly valuable are made available to end users. 

Technical writers can be instrumental in helping businesses become demand-driven with their knowledge. They are experts at breaking down complex information into an easily consumable format. Technical writers can take all of the research, trends and technical data a company has gathered on demand-driven topics and turn it into content that is easy to digest. They can help create training materials, manuals and other resources that can be used in business processes to better serve customer needs.

Additionally, by using modern tools and technologies, technical writers can make sure information is kept up-to-date, accurate and organized for fast recall, allowing businesses to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to responding swiftly and effectively to customer demands.

Both

Combining both approaches can often be the most advantageous solution. Have your technical writer create customer-facing articles and have your support team own and manage an internal database of knowledge.