Enterprise Knowledge Management

Enterprise knowledge management is the practice of managing knowledge resources to facilitate access and reuse of knowledge. A fairly broad term, it typically refers to advanced information technologies and solutions that deal with organizing data into structures that build knowledge within the enterprise. Put another way, enterprise knowledge management solutions create business knowledge out of existing assets. This glossary covers some of the most common terms used in enterprise knowledge management.

What is EKM?

The acronym used for enterprise knowledge management.

Community of Knowledge Management Practices

The people associated with the communication or knowledge network due to their shared interest or responsibility for one or more knowledge subject areas.

Enterprise Knowledge Base

The technology used to store complex structured and unstructured information used by a knowledge base software system. With the assumption that knowledge is power, an enterprise knowledge base captures, develops, and shares enterprise knowledge in order to help people solve problems, collaborate, and improve performance. By collecting the enterprise’s collective experiences, an enterprise knowledge base leverages the wisdom of seasoned employees and rewards old and new employees alike for sharing their gained knowledge.

Enterprise Knowledge Management System

Knowledge management systems allow agents to answer questions in real time, decrease support costs, enhance the employee experience, and improve the customer experience. Both self-service and agent-based enterprise knowledge management systems store and retrieve knowledge that makes it easier for customers and agents to get the answers they need when they need them from whatever device they’re using. The right enterprise knowledge management system can improve productivity and reduce repetitive activities. Employees can then spend more time focusing on high-priority, revenue-producing tasks. Enterprise knowledge management solutions include enterprise knowledge portals, enterprise knowledge graphs, and content management systems.


A taxonomy is a knowledge organization system; one of the most familiar is the Dewey Decimal System that libraries use. From the Greek word for taxis, it is the science of classification according to a pre-determined system. The resulting catalog is used to provide a framework for analysis, discussion, and/or information retrieval.

Enterprise Knowledge Graph

A valuable tool for relating structured and unstructured information and for discovering important facts about an enterprise, an enterprise knowledge graph is a collection of all references to an enterprise’s knowledge assets, data, and content. AI applications like chatbots as well as Natural Language Processing-based searches leverage enterprise knowledge graphs to extract, relate, and deliver insights, answers, and recommendations.

Knowledge Capture

Makes tacit knowledge explicit. Put another way, it turns knowledge that is contained in the mind of one individual into an explicit piece of information available to the entire enterprise.

Knowledge Assets

All information relevant to the enterprise’s business functions including data stored in highly-structured databases, captured and tacit knowledge of employees, managers, and customers, information stored in digital and physical documents, purchased and/or public content from the internet and other sources, and less structured data such as emails, spreadsheets, and workflow content.

Intellectual Capital

An enterprise’s intangible assets needed to achieve business goals. They can include employee knowledge, process data and information, experts, customers, competitors, products, and intellectual property such as regulatory licenses, trademarks, and patents.

Enterprise Knowledge Management Tools

Knowledge management software is designed to store, retrieve, and share information. Cloud-based knowledge management software can be easily accessed on any device, including mobile. Advanced intelligent search features make finding information quick and easy. It also facilitates the use of self-service options for both customers and employees.

Knowledge Management Architecture

The technology infrastructure that support the enterprise’s knowledge management initiatives. This typically includes physical means such as knowledge management tools and logical resources such as knowledge maps.

Knowledge Map

Also referred to as a K-Map, this navigational aid enables users to quickly find a topic from which they can then follow links to relevant knowledge sources.

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