Power BI and Copilot — Here’s What Happens When Two Smart Resources Collide

Discover how Copilot, Microsoft's generative AI tool, supercharges Power BI, making data analysis more accessible and informative for users.

Table of Content

    Microsoft is weaving its revolutionary generative AI tool, Copilot, throughout its entire suite of business applications. We’ve been covering this rollout extensively and will continue to do so. In this article, we kick off a series delving into the capabilities and benefits of Copilot in Power Platform, starting with Power BI. In upcoming posts, we’ll highlight Copilot’s flight plan through Power Apps, Power Pages, Power Virtual Agents, and Power Automate.

    The Power of Power BI

    Before we navigate into the capabilities of Copilot, let’s take a moment to understand the power of Power BI itself. Microsoft’s Power Platform is a suite of tools and services designed to empower your organization to create custom business applications, automate processes, analyze data, and more without extensive coding skills.

    Power BI, one of its key components, is a powerful data visualization and business intelligence tool. It allows users to connect to various data sources, transform and model data, and create interactive reports and dashboards for data analysis and decision-making.

    Copilot is Power BI’s Superpower

    Copilot for Power BI Advantages

    Integrating generative AI capabilities, like Copilot, within Power BI, extends the power of the application and offers several significant advantages for users and organizations, including:

    Natural Language Interaction

    With Copilot, users can interact with Power BI using natural language queries and conversations. Instead of navigating complex menus and options, they can simply ask questions or make requests in plain language, making the tool more accessible to a broader audience.

    For example, you could simply ask Copilot to “show me the sales by state and product category” or “create a pie chart representing opportunities by salesperson.”

    Assisted Report Creation

    Users can get assistance in creating reports and dashboards. Copilot can automatically (and instantly) generate descriptions, summaries, or explanations for visualizations, making reports more informative and understandable.

    Once your fully interactive Power BI report is generated, it’s ready for you to slice and dice, ask additional questions, make other tweaks, and more. Copilot can even assemble the citations showing where the data is coming from.

    For example, Copilot can help you generate an inventory management report. You can describe your requirements, such as the products, stock levels, reorder points, and suppliers you want to include in the report. Copilot will create the report with visuals like inventory turnover ratios, stock level trends, and supplier performance metrics. It can highlight products that are overstocked or understocked, recommend reorder quantities, and even suggest strategies for optimizing your inventory management. Then, you can also ask questions like, “Which suppliers have the most reliable delivery times?” to gain further details.

    Improved Data Discovery

    Copilot could assist users in discovering relevant data sources and insights. It could suggest data sources, visualizations, or analyses based on your questions and preferences, helping you find the most valuable information.

    Let’s say you asked Copilot to create a marketing campaign effectiveness report. Now, you’ve got a full report and refined it to suit your company’s needs. However, you want to explore the data even further. So, you ask Copilot more detailed questions about the data, and in turn, you receive in-depth insights to further support your ideas and strategies to help the business grow. It transforms your data into easy-to-understand narratives that make your insights truly shine.

    Reduced Learning Curve

    A common complaint about business intelligence tools is that they are difficult for non-technical users to use. But suppose the user interface is a text box where we can ask for specific insights, trends, or anomalies. In that case, it can help more people within the organization uncover hidden patterns and make informed decisions.

    Integrating generative AI capabilities with Copilot will reduce the learning curve for Power BI. New users may find it less intimidating to get started with data analysis and reporting when they can ask questions and receive guidance in plain language.

    Data Analysis Expressions (DAX)

    It takes time and effort to learn to build DAX calculations. Copilot will generate and edit these complex formulas for you, saving your staff time and eliminating the potential for errors.

    For example, if you’re tasked with creating financial models for your organization’s data using complex code, you can have Copilot generate the code. Simply describe what you want, and it will generate code designed to address your request.

    The Future of Data Analytics

    Artificial intelligence and AI-powered tools have become integral to business operations in recent years. Copilot in Power BI represents the latest addition to this AI revolution. Its key features, including automated report generation, a conversational interface, and real-time analytics, are set to enhance your data analysis experience and transform the way you make critical business decisions. Power BI is already a powerful tool, and with Copilot as part of the mix, it just got a whole lot more powerful.

    While most of the capabilities of Copilot for Microsoft Power BI are currently in private preview*, its possibilities are revolutionary. Keep an eye out for updates, as Copilot promises to be a game-changer in data analytics.

     


    Daryl Moll

    Principal Cloud Architect

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