Knowledge at Your Fingertips

It’s becoming a lot easier to find the answers to fix IT problems thanks to the Technology Services KnowledgeBase. Serving as a storehouse for support documentation, the KnowledgeBase allows students, faculty, and staff to troubleshoot problems on their own before requesting assistance.

Officially launched in the summer of 2015, the Tech Services KnowledgeBase has already been referenced many times. Tech Services KnowledgeBase articles were viewed a total of 841,395 times in 2015. And in just the first two months of 2016, KnowledgeBase articles have already received 394,835 views.

The Technology Services KnowledgeBase can be found at http://answers.illinois.edu/illinois

In addition, an upgrade to the search function on the Technology Services main website (techservices.illinois.edu) means that searches on the Tech Services site will now display KnowledgeBase articles next to content from the Tech Services site.

Ryan Sharpe, Lead Technical Service Analyst for Tech Services, notes the benefit of using the KnowledgeBase compared to the way Tech Services used to share documentation.

“Before the information was scattered over a lot of different web pages, or they couldn’t access it at all because it was internal to our Help Desk,” Sharpe said. “But now we have a living breathing KB that IT professionals can use and that the general public can use. The information is no longer just used by our Help Desk.”

Another part of the KnowledgeBase’s power comes from its collaborative features. Individual departments can upload their documentation to their own KB, and then also share that documentation with other departments who are also using the KnowledgeBase. These shared articles then take on the branding of the departments that choose to display the articles. Sharing information helps improve the accuracy of documentation, as well as eliminates the need for individual departments to each create their own version of the same documentation. 

At the University of Illinois, the KnowledgeBase is currently being used by Technology Services, AITS, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS), and the College of Education. UIS and UIC are both starting to use the KnowledgeBase as well. Other departments at the University of Illinois are exploring the KnowledgeBase as a solution to house their own documentation. 

The KnowledgeBase service was developed for use by colleges and universities by the University of Wisconsin. The service is being used by higher education institutions around the country, including SIU-Edwardsville, the University of Chicago, and the University of California-Berkeley. The University of Wisconsin hosts and maintains the KnowledgeBase services for all of its partners.

You can learn more about the KnowledgeBase service by visiting https://answers.uillinois.edu/page.php?id=59801. If your department is interested in setting up a KnowledgeBase instance, please email: knowledgebase@uillinois.edu