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Using the Q&A Visual in Power BI

Gauri Mahajan tries out the Q&A visual:

The speed at which the options for data hosting, data processing and data management keep growing, the options for data consumption have also been growing at the same pace. Traditionally, applications and reports used to be the most common and most frequent means of consuming data. As data consumption means matured with time, chatbots, analytics engines, machine learning and artificial intelligence tools and many others. Traditionally, to explore the data, some of the common mechanisms have been using database query languages, preparation of reports by report designers and data exploration in a self-service manner by power users. With the evolution of capabilities like machine learning, artificial intelligence, natural language processing and others, some of the popular and modern methods of data exploration includes natural language-based data analysis, voice-enabled data exploration using smart devices, computer vision-based data analysis, etc. While many of these methods are highly sophisticated and need user training for a user to employ these data exploration methods, natural language-based data exploration is one of the most popular data exploration methods. This method is offered out-of-box by many reporting tools including Tableau and Power BI as well.

The Q&A visual is a really cool concept which works a surprising amount of the time. The problem is that when it doesn’t work, it feels like pushing a string: no matter what you do, it just doesn’t quite do what you need it to.