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Power BI: Natural Language Q&A–reality or hype?

by Avichal Singh

Now that Rob has acquainted us all with the Power BI family, I wanted to take a closer look at one of the relatively new members: Natural Language Question & Answer or simply Q&A.

Rob pointed out in his last post how Microsoft seems to be targeting large enterprises; perhaps as a result we have seen many an impressive demo (watch Amir Netz at WPC 2013 and James Phillips at WPC 2014). But you have to pause and consider whether the features demonstrated are eye-candy or are indeed useful in practical settings.

Q&A is one such feature, which after my first look I had labeled as eye-candy and set aside (speaking with others, I find many are in the same place). All that changed for me when I attended Adam Wilson’s Q&A session at the PASS BACON. Adam not only outlined the workings of Q&A, but also shared tips and tricks and real world implementation stories. After my change of heart, I rushed back to work and cobbled together our first Q&A workbook. Q&A articles on the Power BI MSDN Blog were an immense help as well. Here is what I learnt from implementing Q&A:

  1. One Q&A workbook per subject area
  2. Eat your own dog food
  3. Optimize for Q&A (Cloud Modeling)

Read on or watch the video version.

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