Live Now! Q&A with your Data

Live Now! Q&A with your Data

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We are excited to announce that any Power BI customer can now preview Q&A with their own data!  In August we launched Q&A over a set of samples workbooks.  Since then we’ve evaluated over 500,000 requests with the Q&A natural language engine. From your feedback, it’s clear that Q&A can fundamentally change how and when data is used: From meeting rooms to casual conversations, you have been impressed with the promise Q&A brings to making decisions faster with data.  Since that release, the resounding ask has been to explore your own data with Q&A’s natural language capabilities. We’ve also known that our next update to Q&A would be targeted at enabling usage over custom data. With that in mind, we’ve been working with a set of customers, both internal and external, on using Q&A against custom data models. The feedback from that group has been positive: They’ve found success in using Q&A with their data and find it simple and powerful for identifying and visualizing insights in their data. 

Adding your models to Q&A is easy.  First you need to upload your workbook to your Power BI Site by clicking on the add link and selecting “Upload file”:


This will upload and enable your workbook for use in the Power BI site.  After your workbook has been enabled, click on the three dots on the thumbnail for your workbook and select “Add to Q&A”: 


One you’ve completed these steps you can navigate to the Q&A question by clicking the “Search with Power BI Q&A” link in the upper right hand corner of your Power BI site: 


That’s it!  Once you click on this link, you can begin to ask questions and discover insights in your workbook.

Optimizing your models for Q&A

Once you’ve added your model for Q&A, you can begin to ask questions.  The quality of answers that Q&A provides to your questions can be improved by following a set of guidelines and modeling suggestions.  Chris Hays, the Program Manager on Q&A responsible for the Natural Language capabilities, has written a detailed set of guidelines on how to optimize your models for Q&A. These model optimizations target four high-level areas:

  1.       Data quality
  2.       Visualization hints
  3.       Synonym modeling
  4.       Clarifying ambiguous questions

Today, you can perform the optimizations described in the first three areas. As we’ve discovered with our early adopters, these three areas enable a great experience with Q&A. One thing we considered was to delay Q&A on your data until we added modeling support for the fourth area. However, based on feedback from our early adopters and to accelerate usage and feedback from all Power BI customers, we wanted to enable all customers to begin using Q&A as quickly as possible. 

This release is just the beginning for Q&A on your data. In the coming months we’ll be focusing on improving the system along a number of fronts. We’ll increase the variety of phrases and terms that Q&A innately understands based on your usage of the system, which will directly improve the answers to the questions your users pose to Q&A. We’ll add the ability to augment your models to answer ambiguous questions, addressing the fourth item above. We’ll add reporting on the questions your users are asking with Q&A, enabling you to identify the most popular questions, the ones returning no answers, and a number of other insights. These are just a few of the improvements we’re planning to make in the coming months. We’ll be monitoring the forum and looking for your feedback on Q&A, so go there to post your experiences, questions, and feedback.  

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  • So excited. THE feature we all have been waiting for!

  • Boom!  Can finally demo this to clients using some of their data :)

  • Is this something that I can download for use on premise?

  • It would be good if we have a version for on standalone excel as well.

  • The Synonym modelling will be fun - I remember developing an automated system for English Query which used WordNet to handle synonyms for me

  • Is this going to available for onprmesis sharepoint installation. We are one of the fortune 500 company and uses on premises sharepoint Bi

  • Will definitely add alot of value to customers,was wondering if it can support more languages? - or there is a plan to address this issue.


  • Examples of PowerBI features in this video:

  • Need to have the ability to refresh connections to other excel files that reside on sharepoint online.

  • It would be great to add a description to the featured questions. Now the questions txt is displayed!

  • Hi, I noticed the decimal point and group separator as . and , as results in the Q&A. In the Netherlands we use it the other way around ;-)

    In the workbooks we use, the numbers are correctly shown ( 1.002.345,01 ) in the Q&A result it is in another format ( 1,002,345.01 )

    Is it possible to change the format anywhere?

  • I wanted to read "detailed set of guidelines" by Chris Hays from the above link,, but it is not found. Can someone suggest where I may find. Thanks.

  • Hi I have added my model to Power BI but the button the right hand side of the screen Search with Q&A is not functioning. Can any one help me to fix this ?


  • I'm a huge fan. Well done ! The more I play with it the more I find its scope of use is infinite.

    Could you check the link ?

    Can't seem to reach it (404).

  • The feature looks so good..

    But when I tried my data model with classification of various products based on year and quarter, and Q&A is showing the products by addition of year and quarter like any numeric field. Suppose if a year (2012) is present in 3 rows, instead of showing 2012, it displays as 6036 in all the rows. Same is the case with Quarter as well.

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