Teams App Dev Challenge winners bring data and dashboards into Teams chats
Learn from the community is a series of articles to highlight real-life project scenarios covered in Show & Tell interviews at Microsoft 365 Developer YouTube. It’s a great opportunity for me to inspire you with the end-to-end solutions built upon Microsoft Cloud and help you for your next project with useful resources.
While many companies have invested in data analytics solutions, there’s often a challenge getting people to adopt and use them. As the global business environment becomes more and more dynamic, tools like dashboards often don’t keep up with user needs. And there is a high cost associated with keeping them up to date. Decision Point’s Beagle addresses these issues with an interactive bot that provides data analysis where users work and collaborate every day: in Microsoft Teams.
According to Decision Point CEO Ravi Shankar, the pandemic turned priorities upside down. When Microsoft Teams became the “defacto operating system of the remote workforce,” the Beagle team had the idea to deliver data analytics through Microsoft Teams. According to Shankar, this is a game changer in terms of driving data analytics adoption. Users can easily engage with the data through a conversational bot right in the area where they’re collaborating with others. This can drive decisions faster than with a traditional dashboard.
Decision Point is a global analytics and AI company based in New Delhi, India, and is a Microsoft Gold Partner for Data and AI. In this video, we hear from Decision Point CEO Ravi Shankar, Beagle development lead Hitesh Kaushal, and Beagle product lead Abhishek Raghupungav. Beagle is not industry specific. Anyone who uses BI solutions can benefit. They’re currently working with sales and marketing teams within global consumer goods companies and are rapidly expanding into other industries and job functions.
Beagle provides a “virtual analyst” bot which responds to questions about business data. It displays the data in the form of adaptive cards that appear right in the conversation. Team members can comment on these cards and discuss them using the collaboration features built into Microsoft Teams. To drill down on the data, Beagle uses Teams task modules, which are pop-up dialog windows where users can interact without leaving the Teams UI.
Before considering a Microsoft Teams application, Decision Point had already started working on a conversational approach to data analytics. They had figured out how to provide a uniform view across all sorts of data sources like Data Lake, RDBMS, and Excel spreadsheets, and the ability to do natural language queries across them.
The Teams integration project began with a pilot program in which some existing Decision Point customers were able to access their data In Teams, and the response was fantastic. The Beagle development team kept iterating and developing the idea based on user feedback. For example, users requested the ability to download the cards. The Beagle team discovered they were using this to manually share the data, so they devised a way to share directly within Teams itself, saving steps for all participants. They found that exposing data where users are already working – in Microsoft Teams – drives adoption. Teams also supplies other facilities like tabs and task modules, which helped to create something new.
In the future, Decision Point is exploring the addition of voice-based search through Microsoft Teams. They are also working on providing enriched insights through a domain AI layer as they expand into more industries and situations. Decision Point is collaborating with the Microsoft India Partner Technology team on these projects.
For more information on Decision Point Beagle, visit https://beagleanalytics.ai, and please do watch the video to meet the development team and to see Beagle in action.
🔗 Useful links
- Microsoft Learn
- Microsoft Teams Development
- Microsoft Teams App Development Challenge (registration is open through May 23, 2022!)
📖 More articles in Learn from the Community series
- Microsoft MVPs digitize knowledge in a Community Bot for OneDrive
- Low code bot onboards members to Microsoft Teams channel
- Employee survey solution built with Microsoft Teams and Power Platform
- Low-code Q&A bot for Microsoft Teams helps communities provide better onboarding process
- Microsoft AI MVP designs a Microsoft Teams bot to centralize tools for employees
- Chatbot for Microsoft Teams personal and group chats
- React web app and Azure QnA bot to centralize learning resources
- Microsoft Teams and Moodle online learning solution