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  • Writer's pictureGavin Jones

How To Use BI Reports In Microsoft Teams 📈

If you have ever struggled to get the right information when doing your job, then this is the video for you 🙌

In this video, we take a look at the best way to include your BI reports in Microsoft Teams, right in the flow of work with the award-winning (1st place in Microsoft Global hackathon) Beagle analytics AI assistant to surface your reports from PowerBI or Tableau right into Teams meetings, channels and tabs using natural language queries.

If you want to find out more about Beagle, please mention MeeTime to help support the channel: 👩‍💻 Website

- So if you've ever struggled to get the right information when you're doing your job, this is the video for you. Now, take a look at Beagle which is an AI assistant that's gonna give you reporting right at your fingertips, with natural language search, and right in the flow of work that it shows up in teams, chat, channels and meetings. It's award-winning from Microsoft and we're also gonna go through some tips about how you can use it to make your modern workplace or digital transformation a lot easier from normal people doing normal jobs. So stick around until the end for that. I've got new videos on Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 coming out every Tuesday. So make sure you hit subscribe button and the bell icon to get notified every time one of those comes out. I'm Gavin Jones, a former Transformation Manager for a Fortune 500 company, and I help organizations of any size with modern workplace transformations. If you need any help doing that or you wanna find out what's possible, then stick around until the end for some ways we might be able to connect.

- Here I'm leading sales for the organization, really leading the expansion.

- Currently, I'm the Product Leader of Beagle. I've been in this space for past nine years now.

- Currently I'm a Senior Team Lead right now. Helping all developers with all sort of new technologies.

- So people that never heard of Beagle, how would you describe it?

- I mean, if I have to describe Beagle in very simplest terms. So let's, we have two kinds of platforms. One is like a BA platform. Another is the chat box. These two exist in an organization. What we did with Beagle was we merge these two. So we actually brought down analytics platform within the chat platform. And that is what Beagle is.

- You're literally calling all data virtual analyst to your meeting. You can ask questions in natural language to the bot and they'll go off and find the information. Particularly useful for sales and marketing types of people who have, you know, very frequent weekly daily meetings, trying to access numbers and make sense of numbers. Make more informed decisions with data.

- Is there anything people seem to misunderstand about Beagle before they use it, or when they're just getting started?

- A lot of companies have made pretty big investments with Albeit Power BI or Tableau or something else. And so they want to really sort of understand how does Beagle fit with those investments. So this is really helping improve accessibility of their data in a more of a digestible palatable form. You just get snapshots of data, which are the most relevant to you.

- Could you show us what Beagle looks like and what people can expect to get when they use it?

- So Beagle is just like any other app, which is available for you in Microsoft teams. You just have to go to your app library, select Beagle to interact with. And the interaction could be started in two forms. One is like, you can ask Beagle for a menu and then you can click on those menu options, and get started. Like in a natural form, you can just ask Beagle a question. It will reply to you with a pertinent card. So let's say in this particular setup, we all are sitting and reviewing an FMCG company's business performance across different categories. So, we start with like very simple set of information. How we are performing in terms of revenue, in terms of evaluation across the categories we operated. So at this, looking at this information, at first school, we saw that there is something wrong with snacks. We are losing a revenue as well as losing share in snacks. So natural instinct, we would want to do a deep dive on that. Now Beagle allows you to do that deep dive. According to like how the conversation is flowing within the meeting in Microsoft teams itself. So if you want to do a reasonably bad, or let's say you want to go deeper into the product itself, all that can be done on the fly within Microsoft interface Teams interfaces itself, you use Beagle filters to get your next set of cards. And this is something which Beagle list generating on the flight for you. It's not that something which is recreated. So there is a set of very limited analysis, which is pre-created, but Beagle gives you far more ability to go deeper on the flight because in meetings you don't know which direction it will take like today for this context site, let's say we are discussing a snacks and some other month, we could be discussing ready to eat drinks. Similarly, that the context might change. So the ability to do the filtering within MS Teams itself, provides you with that capability to go deeper and find the root cause, according to how the flow of meeting is going. So far, the example is we were looking at for a snacks when we went down by different regions and looked at which regions are basically dragging us down, we found that East Coast is something that we need to look at because that's mainly dragging the entire category performance down. Similarly, there are information configured to go deeper within this performance set itself. So you can ask maybe next set of questions, "show me levers of share gain loss." You would want to know if I'm losing share, let's say in east coast in snacks, actually like which of the products, why are we losing share, which are the operational levers, which are pulling it down? So, those drill downs can also be asked within Beagles. So for example, like we were going deeper in the snacks. Here, we find that one of our top brands, Bringles. The distribution is heavily impacted and that's the key the agent for the whole share loss. So, likewise like you can basically from a very top level looking at a top line analysis report to a bottom level where you can actually find something to act on. You can do all those within Beagle. So, for the users who mainly don't want go to this flow again and again, rather want to track this set of information on an ongoing basis. So, let's say there is a Bringles Brand Manager who wants to keep a track on Bringles' performance month on month. To see whether the situation is improving or deteriorating. They can just opt for "Notify Me" and they can choose their own frequency. Whether they want a weekly notification or a monthly notification. And, once that notification is set, they'll get a pop-up on Microsoft Teams, as well as they'll get this card via email at the set frequency. And that's basically like preempting a lot of steps and giving them direct information at a set frequency, to keep a track of their performance. Also, if you want to like collaborate on action points with some of your colleagues. So, let's say in this particular case, I want to collaborate with Bringles' team in East Coast, as to what are the next actions we should be taking. Now, you don't have to like download this report and send to them over an email. You can do them via Narrative Board. so you just like leave on the ready board and this particular card to your team. And they'll be able to then see this information as well as comment on it So, that's what it does. First of all, it saves you a lot of to and fraud emails. And second of all, it's like a snapshot of data with guests refresh also month on month. So you don't need to do a special trackings. If the next month's data come in, this data set on a narrative board, it will get refreshed, which set, so you have a past month view as well as you have a present month view to track how better or how worse we have gotten. Whether the action items, which we had defined previous month, they led to any positive results on.

- Yeah, that's great. I remember at my old corporate job, there's like a little side industry and, you know, creating reports and then send them out, getting people to comment on them and gathering all those comments back, and then getting certain those format and making a PowerPoint deck, and sending it to the management, and having calls and pre-calls, and pre-calls for the pre-calls to see just what was going on. And then now you can just type in exactly what's going on, but then also get people to just comment right in where they're working already. That seems to take away a lot of the stuff that everyone hates to do as part of their job, to explain what's going on. So have you ever struggled with finding reporting, let me know in the comments below, and also let me know what you think about Beagle.

- I think it's worth pointing out. One of the things that I was feeling stress about when I first saw it, was so you can be up and running with Beagle around about three weeks, which is super fast. And that's also, you know, connecting to multiple data sources as well.

- And backing also, we have tried to keep it very, very simple for even our power users who will be building the reports. So three workbenches where you basically first is data workbench, where you set up a connection. The connection could be the informal of just uploading an excel file, or you do an RDBMS connection. You do a set of operations on those connections. Like you can look at a set of data, like what exactly is in that table? Do one table, two other table mapping. Build some metrics or that table, which can then reflect into the report. Then, comes the analysis part where you actually build something which an end user sees. And so that we are calling virtual analyst Workday. The first step here is like to give it a personal avatar so that people feel something personal. They're not this interacting with a machine. So give it that kind of feed. Then, comes the most significant part is in terms of creating those reports. Now, in most of the BA tools, creating reports is a task which takes certain amount of expertise. But within Beagle, what we have done is the whole construct that says that everything is just a mere drag and drop. So a person who knows the data itself, they'll be able to create a report here without having to learn anything new in terms of learning like or like a DAX ready to write in Power BI, like a language which they can quote in tablet. Rather, it's just whole interface pace. And all you have to do is like pick a column, pick certain metrics, and drop them on the canvas. And simultaneously your reports start getting created. You can do a set of a formatting over here, also. You can apply certain filters, which you want all the filters, which you want to be visible to the end user. And then just give you a card a new name, and save. The moment you save it, and you publish it, the very next moment, it will be available for end users to consume. So this whole part of creating the reports as well as making it available to the end users. Their turnaround time could be somewhere between just a few hours. So I did normal BI tools. It takes somewhere around two to three weeks to even get a new report created. While in Beagle, you will be able to do it in just a matter of few hours. So that's why when at first I was mentioning that users need a tool, which is as highly enough to adopt to that changing pace of business. This whole concept of Beagle is in such a way, that it provides you that flexibility or that capability to build something new, to show to that business stakeholders. So they can relate to data. They can relate to the new analysis which they want. And then take actions based on that.

- Yeah, it looks really quick the way that you can just create something and get it out to the guys that presumably not technical. So they get the sales guys they're just going to want to type. Show me the thing that you've just built. And fact, you can just do it straight away once the analysts sorted it is it's pretty good, I think.

- The fact that there's very little training required. And I think that's one of the big differentiators of Beagle versus a lot of the other tools which even friend users I think, Happy Shack alluded to earlier. It does require, you know, weeks. You know, we're talking days and weeks of training versus what we have here. Where, you, know, it's very, very intuitive and user-friendly. And it just requires very, very light training. And also, the way it's been designed is all very native to Microsoft Teams. So it's all gonna look very familiar. I think, that's quite important as well.

- Is there anything that Beagle did for a client that you maybe didn't expect?

- And one of our clients of Beagles is being used for Factory Managers, which we had never thought of. So they're using Beagle to give a defects report to the Factory Managers, people who are actually managing the manufacturing lines. So that they can control the defects on a time basis and keep it below the threshold, which is set by the company. So for example, this and the narrative board that we talk about, you know, it's a big feature now in Beagle. How it came about was that one of our clients said, "You know, we've seen this card, but we want the option to download it. There's no download button in that card that we see." So, we thought about it, and said "Okay, we can give a download buttons. It's not a big thing." But then we thought about, what they're going to do with that downloaded data. What they're going to do is they're going to download it and put it on the mail, right? And the data will be now be inside the mail trail, somewhere. And the next weekly meeting, they'll be looking out, you know what, you know what all the comments, you know, what decision did we make out of that? You know, basically they want to go back to their traditional way of working, right? And if you do a new feature, we want to make it better, right? We want to move forward, not just go back to the traditional way and to have a new tool that does basically the same thing. So, there's a bit of behavior change that we want to bring in the organization itself, right? So, don't stick to the mail, you know, put the data where it belongs. So we created a specific space called Narrative Board. You add your comments over there. You can see all of your data It gets auto-refresh. You don't have to go around to a mail.

- Yeah, that's great. Yeah. I mean, if you did everything that everyone asks for it, and they were like an absolute monster in it. Cause a lot of times they don't realize why they need it.

- Yeah. We tried to understand that, you know, what you're already doing is actually inefficient. So we have to drive them to, you know, use the new method, which are more efficient.

- After seeing a lot of organizations use Beagle, what's your best tip for making a better workplace for employees?

- So there's a distance between, let's say the Executives, who are going to make the decisions on like what's spinning up new ideas, and want to see if that's gonna work or not. So they need access to data that supports the claims or hypothesis. Now you don't have to get that data. The bridge is pretty big now. They say, okay, this is what I want to do. And they'll go to the IT, and they'll say, you know, okay, now wait for a month or maybe two months, right? We'll build a report or whatever, give you a dashboard. Then you think over it. So I mean, time to action is just like them very is pretty low. Right? And that's something that you want to reduce, right? So if you have something that you want to try out or you're debugging some issue in your organization, something, and you know, anybody in any department. You want that, you know, access to data and also the insights. And that's the bridge that you need to, you know, narrow down. And that's exactly what we want to do in Beagle. Right? We don't want to outright another tool, we'll say, okay, you're going to give it as, you know, you can ask questions in natural language and you don't have to go to another tool itself. You just do it in Teams itself. So like you're conversing with your colleague, like give me this data, instead of asking that particular question, just ask it with Beagle. Right? And get the data, and get your stuff done. So yeah, that's what I think every organization needs to do is bridge that gap. And I think our product does that pretty well.

- Well, someone that used to work in finance that used to be the, the end point of some random senior executive's web is like, can you just have a look at so-and-so? And it like goes all the way down the tree. It was like done a report. IT can't make it. The guy that does the reporting is going to take two months and then falls to let the lowest person in finance. Like what can you just like knock? So make up and in Excel. And that's usually why everything ends up in Excel in a big organization, because like, it's just so slow to change stuff. So, all Beagle did, it was just give like the sales directors whims, you can just ask Beagle. And instead of asking, you know, all the way down the tree, I think that'd be a massive, massive benefit. Especially for the, for the junior finance that are listed in the world.

- I think as Hitesh said, and as you alluded to governing, you know, it lends itself to much more rapid and agile decision-making. We're trying to help IT deliver a lot quicker without compromising on whatever their strategies are around prefer, you know, other data tools. So this is kind of seamlessly integrated as Hitesh said into the, into the Teams environments. So they're not having to dip in and out of different applications to get the information out the need.

- And what's the best compliment you've ever received about Beagle?

- The validation that we've had has actually come from Microsoft themselves. So we just won this award back in April on the Microsoft, on a Microsoft Teams Hackathons. So I think there was over a thousand participants in that competition and we secured gold place as the best Microsoft Teams productivity tool. So that's a great accolade and a great endorsement. Now, I mean, yeah, that was quite a moment for the entire team, and the product team. Having that, winning that competition, and it was a Global one. It was on the domestic money. And yeah, it was just brilliant feeling to have you know, we are in the right track.

- How can organizations use Beagles to help with like a modern workplace transformation, or just getting more into modern working?

- Just take the example of MS Teams. It's capable of doing so many things, but primarily how it is being used is jacking on maybe sharing a file with someone. And that's it. The evaluation of modern workspace needs to happen that rather than just portraying a very nice messaging tool for having video calls, having meetings, you bring actually your action points, also the things on which generally you act within those meetings. So you bring that data and analytics in the accurate sense.

- I think also the, I think the natural language queries is super valuable as well. You know, with myself, you know, predominantly from a sales background, you know, we like things pretty laid out for us and pretty simple. I'm sure all the sales people would relate to that. So you don't need to be technical either to access these analytics harbors, have a sheet put it. So I think that's really powerful. I think one of the things that we didn't really quite touch upon is, you know, so if, for example, you have a consumer goods company, or any companies selling a product, and they're about to attend a sales call at a store or with a client, you can actually through WhatsApp access your, your Beagle as well. And ask questions pretty much on the fly, just almost as a prep before you go into that meeting. I think, I think that's super powerful as well. And being able to have those more informed, intelligent conversations and moving, you know, that sales call from a transactional sales call to more of a consultative approach because you have data. I think that's incredibly powerful.

- Where should people go? If they want to find out more information about Beagle? Or even if they're ready to sign up and get started straight away? What's the best next step?

- There are couple of ways. They can contact you Gavin and you can put us in touch with them. Or they can reach us through the website through a contact us form at So, we'd be happy to, to get in touch.

- So you've just been through how Beagle can fit into a modern workplace strategy. If you need help with that strategy, then probably the best next step is to book on a free strategy call with me using the link in the description below. So if you want any more details on Beagle, there's a link in the description below. You can go to their website or contact me in a DM on one of my social channels. There's links to those in the description below, and I'll be sure to pass you on to the right person. Should you go directly to the Beagle guys from their website, then please make sure to mention me time when you chat to them. So check out these videos next. And if you'd like this video, give it a thumbs up before you leave. Click the subscribe and the bell icon before you go. And if you really like the video, consider it, buy me a beer. Using the link in the description below. It really does help support the channel and keep free content coming out on YouTube. Thanks for watching so far. And we'll see you in the next video.

If you want to find out how to change the culture or organization to make your employees lives easier and more engaging with more wellbeing, then book a free strategy call with me. I'd love to have a chat and see if I can help you out at all.

So check out these videos next, remember to give the video a like, subscribe and if you really like the video, consider supporting the channel by buying me a beer. It really does help support the channel. But thanks for watching so far and we'll see you in the next video.

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