Power BI Q&A – How to use with examples

In this power bi tutorial, we learn power bi q&a. And also we will discuss the below points:

  • Components of power bi q&a visual
  • Power bi q&a visual
  • Power bi q&a feature
  • Power bi q&a language support
  • Power bi q&a suggestions
  • Power bi q&a suggestions in power bi service
  • Power bi q&a filter
  • Power bi q&a best practice
  • Power bi q&a limitations

Introduction to Power Bi Q&A

  • The Power bi q&a is the fastest way to get the answer from your data, by performing a search over your data using natural language.
  • The power bi q&a feature lets you explore your data in your own words using the natural language
  • Power bi Q&a is free and available to all users.

Components of power bi q&a visual

Here we will see the components of power bi q&a visual. The power bi q&a visual contains four components these are:

  • The power bi Question box, where users type in there question and shown suggestion to help them to complete their question.
  • The power bi q&a having pre-populated list of suggested question
  • Icon to convert the power bi q&a visual into a standard visual.
  • Icon to open power bi q&a tooling, which allow designer to configure the underlying natural language engine.

Power bi q&a visual

Here we will see how to create a power bi q&a visual in power bi desktop using sample data.

And also we will see two different ways to create power bi q&a visual.

  • Power bi q&a visual using a suggested question.
  • Power bi q&a visual using a natural query language.

Create power bi q&a visual using a suggested question

  • Open your Power bi desktop. Then Load the data using get data.
  • Select the Q&A visual from the visualization pane.
  • Now Q&A visualization in the canvas will open. And drag the border to resize the Q&A visual.
  • To create the Q&A visual in power bi desktop, select one of the suggested question under Try one of these to get started, or you can type in the question box.
Power bi q&a visual
Power bi q&a visual
  • Here i have selected average profit, in the below screenshot you can see the power bi Q&A visuals
Microsoft Power bi q&a visual
Microsoft Power bi q&a visual

Create Power bi q&a visual using a natural query language

Now, we will type our own question, power bi help us with autocomplete, suggestion and feedback.

  • In the blank power bi report, select the power bi Q&A visual from the visualization pane.
  • If you don’t know what type of question to ask, then click on the Show all suggestion in the visual, you will get an idea what type of question you can ask .
how to create a power bi q&a visual
how to create a power bi q&a visual
  • Now in the Question box, start typing the question.
  • If power bi cannot recognize the words, it will add a red underline to the word.
  • Selectng any of the suggestion shown by power bi, will work for us.
microsoft power bi Q&A
Microsoft power bi Q&A
  • Power bi Q&A display the result in bar chart.
microsoft power bi Q&A
microsoft power bi Q&A
  • Lets change the bar chart visualization to column chart. To change the visualization to column, just write at the end as column.
 how to create a power bi q&a visual
how to create a power bi q&a visual

Read How to Embed Power BI Report in SharePoint Online

Power bi q&a feature

Here we will see the Power bi Q&A advanced feature. The power bi q&a advanced feature are

  • Field synonyms
  • Review questions
  • Teach Q&A
  • Manage Terms
  • Suggests Question

To see the advanced feature in Power bi Q&A visual, click on the setting icon/ gear icon.

Power bi q&a feature
Power bi q&a feature

Now getting started page open, here you can teach Q&A terms it does not recognize, manage those teams, and manage suggested questions for these datasets and reports.

Power bi q&a feature
Power bi q&a feature

Field Synonyms

  • In Q&A setup window select the Field synonym, to see all the tables and column that belong to the power bi model.
  • The field synonym allows you to add alternative names to match the column, which will help user
  • We can also choose wheather or not a column or table hidden from power bi Q&A.
  • In the below screenshot you can see the order table, which is present in my model.
Power bi q&a feature
Power bi q&a feature
  • Click on the table to expand, the dialog will show all the columns and tables and their respective terms or synonyms, that user can use while asking the question.
  • Now you can see all the synonyms or terms in one place and also you can add or remove terms for multiple columns.
  • You can add terms by clicking on Add icon. For example if your column name is sales you can add new synonyms as revenue.
  • By toggling the option off, it will omit the table or column from Q&A, that means it will not shown the result can be displayed with this column.
  • Power bi Q&A also recommended suggested terms retrived from our suggestion engine to help you quickly add terms or synonyms.
  • If you don’t add the suggestion, they will still function but will give the user an orange dotted line indicating Q&A thinks, it has an answer but it is not sure.
Power bi q&a feature
Power bi q&a feature

Review Questions

  • To see this feature select the Review Questions, it will show the list of datasets being used in the power bi service for your tenant.
  • The review question page also display the power bi datasets owner, workspace and last refreshed date.
  • Here you can choose a power bi datasets, and see what users are asking.
  • It will show the words that are not recognized.
  • The data shown here is last 28 days.
Power bi q&a feature
Power bi q&a feature

Teach Q&A

  • Select the Teach Q&A section, this feature allows you to train Q&A to recognise words.
  • To see, type a question that contains a word, that Q&A doesn’t recognize.
  • The power bi Q&A prompts the defination of that terms.
  • You can enter the field name that correspnd to what the word represent.
  • Then Power bi Q&A reinterpret the original questions.
Microsoft Power bi q&a feature
Microsoft Power bi q&a feature

Manage Terms

  • Select this section, to see anything you have saved from the teach Q&A section shows up here.
  • So here you can review or delete the terms you have defined.
  • And currently you can edit an existing defination, to redefine the term or synonyms you must delete and recreate that term.
Microsoft Power bi q&a feature
Microsoft Power bi q&a feature

Suggests Question

  • The power bi Q&A visual will suggest several question to get started with, without doing any setup.
  • Based on your data model questions are automatically generated.
  • You can overwrite the autogenerated question with your own questions. Write a question in text box.
Microsoft Power bi q&a feature
Microsoft Power bi q&a feature
  • Then click on Add, to add this question to your suggested questions.
  • Every question added to the end of this list.
  • In the Q&A visual the question will show up in the same order as they do in the list.
  • Then click on save to show suggested question in power bi Q&A visual.
Microsoft Power bi q&a feature
Microsoft Power bi q&a feature

Read Power BI Pie Chart

Power bi q&a language support

Here we will see power bi Q&A language support.

  • The power bi q&a visual allows user to ask natural language questions and get answer in the form of a visual
  • In power bi q&a, using natural language which is the fastest way to get an answer from your data is to perform a search over your data.
  • The power bi Q&A feature, lets you explore your data in your own words using natural language.

Power bi q&a suggestions

Here we will see power bi q&a suggestions in power bi desktop.

  • The power bi q&a suggest some questions about your data.
  • You can customize the suggestion as per your requirement.
  • You can place own set of question based on your requirement.
Power bi q&a suggestions
Power bi q&a suggestions
  • The suggested question will show for all instance of the Q&A visual.
  • And it is not possible to create a set of suggestion for each power bi Q&A visual.
  • Without doing any setup, the power bi Q&A visual will suggest serveral question to get started with in power bi desktop and power bi service.
  • To add customize suggestion question to the power bi Q&A, click on the setting icon in power bi Q&A.
  • In suggestion question section, you can overwrite the autogenerated question with your own questions in power bi desktop.
  • In power bi Q&A suggestion page, type the question in the text box and then click on Add.
  • Now it will added to the suggested question.
  • Then click on Save to show in the Q&A visual.
Power bi q&a suggestions
Power bi q&a suggestions

In the below screenshot you can see the power bi Q&A suggestion.

Power bi q&a suggestions
Power bi q&a suggestions

Read Power Bi line chart

Power bi q&a suggestions in power bi service

Here we will see power bi Q&A suggestions in power bi service.

  • Open power bi service by clicking here.
  • Click on the My workspace from the Quick launch.
  • In the my workspace page, right click on the report you want to open, then select open in new tab.
  • It will open the report in the new tab of your browser.
  • If you are using the published report, then click on edit icon present in navigation bar.
Power bi q&a suggestions in power bi service
Power bi q&a suggestions in power bi service
  • And then add a Q&A visual from the visualization pane in power bi service.
Power bi q&a suggestions in power bi service
Power bi q&a suggestions in power bi service
  • Now go back to the previous power bi site. Click on the home icon present in the Quick launch.
  • Then click on More icon -> setting -> setting.
Microsoft Power bi q&a suggestions in power bi service
Microsoft Power bi q&a suggestions in power bi service
  • Now click on the dataset tab, then select the dataset from the list for which report you have opened in another tab in browser.
  • Expand Featured Q&A question section.
  • Then click on Add a question.
Microsoft Power bi q&a suggestions in power bi service
Microsoft Power bi q&a suggestions in power bi service
  • Then write a question which you want show in a suggestion, for example: total sales by segment. And you can add many more question by clicking on Add a question icon.
  • Then click on Apply.
Microsoft Power bi q&a suggestions in power bi service
Microsoft Power bi q&a suggestions in power bi service
  • Now, navigate back to the dashboard which is opened in a new tab.
  • And place your cursor in the Q&A visual.
  • And you can see the newely featured question as suggestion.
Microsoft Power bi q&a suggestions in power bi service
Microsoft Power bi q&a suggestions in power bi service
  • Click on the Suggestion to see the result.
Microsoft Power bi q&a suggestions in power bi service
Microsoft Power bi q&a suggestions in power bi service

Read Power Bi Bar Chart

Power bi q&a filter

Here we will see how power bi Q&A filters in power bi desktop by using sample data.

Now we will filter the total sales up to a certain date.

  • In power bi desktop, select Q&A from the visualization pane.
  • In power bi Q&A text area write total sales by segment since 30 March 2016
  • It will show you the total sales till 30 march 2016 .
  • And also you can see the result total sales with segment.
Power bi q&a filter
Power bi q&a filter

Power bi q&a best practice

Here we will see Power bi q&a best practice. By using common phases and natural language to ask questions of your data in power bi is powerful. It is more powerful when your data get the answer by power bi q&a.

Let’s see best practices to optimize Q&A in power bi.

Automatic adjustment power bi Q&A do

Measure Table

  • Previous version of power bi Q&A, measures tables are confuse power bi Q&A as the underlying table as disconnected. But now power bi Q&A works just fine with fine measure table now.

Power bi table names conflict with column name

  • In the power bi Q&A, if the power bi table and column had the same name, whereas table would take preference.

Manual steps to improve power bi Q&A

  1. Use the new power bi Q&A tooling to fix your question
  • By using power bi Q&A tooling, you can teach your business terms to Q&A and fix question end user ask.
  • Sometimes, some questions still cannot be adressed by q&a, because the data is shaped incorrectly or data is missing.

2. Add missing relationship

  • If your power bi model having missing relationship between tables, neither report nor Q&A can interpret how to join the two table.
  • Because Relationship are the cornerstone of good model. So the relationship must be defined by the two table.
  • Once the relationship is defined between two table it is ready for Q&A.

Rename power bi tables and columns

  • In power bi Q&A the choices of table and column is important.
  • For example if the table name ” CustomerSummary” that contains a list of you customer. If you ask question like ” List the customer summaries in Chicago” rather than “List the customer in chicago”
  • In this case, Q&A do some basic word breaking and detecting plural, Power bi Q&A assumes that table and column name accurately reflect their content.
  • It would be better to rename the power bi table, to truly reflect what those table really contain.

Fix incorrect data types

  • In power bi imported data types can have incorrect data types.
  • Particularly date and number columns that are imported as strings, which aren’t interpreted by power bi Q&A as date and number.
  • Ensure that you are using correct data type in power bi Q&A.

Mark year and identifier column in power bi

  • Sometimes power bi aggregates numeric column by default.
  • So questions like ‘total sales by year’ in power bi Q&A, can some time results like grand total of sales alongside grand totals of year.
  • You don’t want power bi to exhibits this behaviour, in the modelling tab set the default summarization property on the column as don’t summarize.

Choose a data category for each date and geography column in power bi

  • In power bi the data category provides additional semantic knowledge about the content of a column beyond its data type.
  • For eg. if you mark an integer column as zip code and a string column as city or country/ region and so on.
  • Power bi Q&A use this information in two ways i.e for visualization selection and for language basis
  • First, power bi Q&A uses the data category information to make choices about what kind of visual display to use.
  • Second, Power bi Q&A makes some educated guesses about how users are likely to talk about date and geographic column, which help it to understand the certain question.

In power bi choose a sort by column for the relevant column

  • In power bi sort by column feature allows sorting in one column to automatically sort a different column instead.
  • For e.g. If you ask question like ‘sort customer by shirt size’, then you probably want shirt size column sort by the underlying size number rather than alphabatically.

Normalize your power bi model

  • In power bi, certain structure are so difficult that Q&A doen’t handle them well.
  • If you perform some basic normalization of the structure of power bi model. After that the usabilty reports increases significantly, along with the accuracy power bi q&a result.
  • Follow this rule: Each unique ‘thing’ the user talk about should be represented by exactly one power bi model object( table or column).
  • For e.g. if the user talk about the customer, there should be one customer object.
  • So there are rich data shaping capabelities available in query editor
  • If you have multiple column in power bi model, that act as a single distinct unit within a larger table. Those column in power bi should be split it out into their own table.
  • In power bi if you have property bags in your model they should be restructed to have a single column per property.
  • Property bags, convinent for managing large number of properies.
  • Which suffers from number of inherent limitations that neither power bi report nor power bi q&a are designed to work around.
  • If you have pivoted values across multiple column, a number of column operations are difficult or impossible for your user to achive.
  • For this union the data into a single power bi model

Read Power bi calculated column vs measure

Power bi q&a limitations

Here we will see the power bi Q&A limitations. The power bi Q&A has some limitations for

  • Data sources
  • Tooling limitations
  • Review question limitations
  • Teach Q&A limitations

Data source limitations in power bi Q&A

The power bi Q&A data source does not support:

  • Power bi object level security with any type of data source.
  • The power bi composite models are not supported
  • Power bi reporting services.

Tooling limitations

  • The new tooling dialog in Q&A allows users to customize.
  • And also it allows to improve the natural language in Q&A.

Review Question limitations

  • The review question only stores questions asked against your power bi data model for up to 28 days.
  • When using the new review question in power bi Q&A, you may notice some questions aren’t recorded.
  • As the natural language engine performs a series of data cleansing steps to ensure every key stroke from a user is not recorded. So they are not recorded by design.
  • Whereas the power bi administrator can use the tenant setting to manage the ability to store question
  • And the permissions are based on security group.

Teach Q&A limitations

  • Power bi teach Q&A allow you to fix two types of error.
    • In Q&A assign a word to a field.
    • Assign a word/ term a filter condition.
  • Currently teach Q&A don’t support redifining a recognized term or defining other types of condition or phases.
  • When defining filtering condition, we can only use a limited subset of language, which includes:
    • Country which is UK
    • Country which is not UK
    • product > 50
    • product < 50
    • product = 50
    • product is 50
    • product smaller than 50

You may like the following Power bi tutorials:

In this Power bi tutorial, we discussed Power bi Q&A. And also we discuss the below points:

  • Components of power bi q&a visual
  • Power bi q&a visual
  • Power bi q&a feature
  • Power bi q&a language support
  • Power bi q&a suggestions
  • Power bi q&a suggestions in power bi service
  • Power bi q&a filter
  • Power bi q&a best practice
  • Power bi q&a limitations
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