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Ask Copilot questions against your semantic model (Preview)

Headshot of article author Rien Hu

We are pleased to announce that you can now ask Copilot for data from your entire semantic model! Just tell Copilot what you’re looking for, and Copilot will query your model to answer your question with a visual.

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Getting Started

To enable the feature, make sure your model meets the appropriate requirements, then simply toggle on the preview mode in the top right corner of the Copilot pane.

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What kinds of questions does the feature support?

This new capability supports a wide range of different types of analysis. While the exact questions which Copilot can answer will depend on the specifics of your model, here are some examples:

  • Show me sales amount and profit for the last 2 years.
  • What are the top 3 product lines by customer rating?
  • Which dairy product has the most profit in Australia?

You can also ask follow up questions, such as “what are the total sales for 2016?” and then follow up with “can you show me this for Europe?” Copilot makes it easy to have a natural conversation about your data, like having a business analyst at your fingertips.

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If you happen to ask a question that can be answered by an existing visual within the report, Power BI will search and pinpoint you to that exact visual to help you quickly navigate and get immediate insights.

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To learn more about the current limitations on the type of supported questions, find more details in our documentation here.

Understanding the answer

Once you receive the answer, you can expand the “show reasoning” dropdown to learn more about how Copilot understood your question to build transparency between you and Copilot. You can also expand the visual to see it in more detail, and as a report author, you can even add these visuals directly to your report page simplifying the report creation process – just click the “add to page” button underneath the visual.

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Improving Copilot answer quality

There may be occasions where Copilot misunderstands your question. This could either be because it was not able to find the right data field or it misunderstood your intention. In order to improve Copilot’s understanding, here are some suggestions and tips to get better results:

  • Use descriptive column names – Try and avoid using columns which are not spaced or camel case
  • Use synonyms – if a column can have more than one meaning, use copilot synonyms found in the Q&A settings to automatically add business domain terms
  • If you have a very specific type of question that needs answering, create a visual on a report and use the title field to describe the question it answers. Then copilot will find this visual and use this as its basis for answering.

You can learn more about ways to improve Copilot answer quality here.

Looking forward

We’re excited for you to try out this new capability! We’re still hard at work on improving every aspect of the feature, from answer quality to the clarity of “show reasoning” to the queries the Q&A engine can support. There’s so much we need to do, and we’ll be relying on your feedback to guide our efforts! What kinds of questions are you asking? How are you asking them? When are answers unclear, or where does Copilot misunderstand you? Try it out and let us know!