Conversational Business Intelligence with Cortana and Power BI

Published on November 21, 2017 - by Softcrylic under analytics

Research reports quote that more than 50% of all searches will be voice searches and about 30% of all the searches will be done without a screen by the year 2020. These facts reassure that voice search/command is growing at a rapid pace, giving the power of business intelligence on the go.

Cortana is Microsoft’s personal digital assistant and an integral part of any device that runs Windows 10. As per this data, Cortana already has 133 million monthly active users.

Cortana is become increasingly smarter and reliable with three key things.

  1. Supports Natural Language Processing (NLP)
    • Voice
  2. Supports Multi-Tier Search Queries
    • Criteria + Duration + Geography etc.
  3. Cortana is Extensible
    • Cortana API can be easily integrated with tons of Web, Mobile Applications

What users can do with Cortana?

As a standalone module, Cortana is capable of doing these three things in a smart manner.

  • Time based reminders (Waking up every day at 5:00 AM)
  • Location based reminders (Pick up grocery while leave from office basement)
  • Photo reminders (Add photos from gallery or camera to remind on specific time)

What users can do with Power BI and Cortana?

Once you integrate Cortana and Microsoft Power BI, you can do fantastic stuff with Business Intelligence in a voice based, self-service manner.

You can query your data, reports and dashboards Directly with Cortana.

Let’s say you want to analyse a particular day’s users traffic on Desktops versus Mobile devices, you won’t have to navigate to the correct Power BI dashboard or create a new Dashboard to get the Insights you want.

Instead, you just say it out loud or type in your questions to get desired results within seconds. The voice controls are available for both Mobile and Desktop users to ask questions anytime on the go. Cortana has become the first voice interface for Microsoft Power BI.

Right now Cortana is good at answering “what” questions.

For example:

You may ask “Hey Cortana, What is the most sold product category as on today?” or “What is the growth of Mobile traffic from last week?”. You are given accurate responses within seconds in voice and visual data.

Cortana is also answering some of the basic Why Questions.

For example:

You might be able to ask “Will I need to take umbrella this evening?” Here you are not asking for the weather update. But it is understanding your question in the right context and may say “That won’t be necessary!” and display the weather automatically.

As we speak, talented engineers at Microsoft are working hard to make Cortana answer the “why” questions. In coming days Cortana should be able to answer Multi-tier logical questions.

For example:

“Why there was a huge increase in Sales last Friday?”

How to integrate Cortana and Power BI

Assuming that your computer or organization runs on Windows 10 and have subscribed to Microsoft Power BI license, here is an easy step-by-step guide to integrate Cortana and Power BI. Follow these steps to enable conversational business intelligence.

What to expect next?

Technology businesses and App store vendors are integrating Cortana with their applications to fuel voice based search across all spectrums. Industries like Retail, Utilities, Healthcare, Media, Game, Education, Finance and Telecom have tons of business use cases and applications for Cortana. CXOs and Line of business executives will transform their businesses with this power of business intelligence on the go.

Look forward to our very own example of Cortana and Power BI integration in a Mobile App!

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Softcrylic helps organizations navigate and execute the path of Digital Transformation through IT solutions and services. Since 2000, Softcrylic has worked with both start-ups and Fortune 500 organizations to help make their company goals a reality.

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