SQLBITS: Unlocking Power BI’s Potential with Conversational AI for the Neurodivergent

Writen by: Carole McNally

On March 20th, I had the privilege of presenting at the renowned SQLBits event, where I shared my insights on leveraging conversational AI to enhance the Power BI experience, especially for neurodivergent individuals. Despite being quite nervous for my first time speaking in front of a live audience, the session went well, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to connect with fellow data enthusiasts.

As someone passionate about making data and analytics more accessible, I’ve long been intrigued by the potential of conversational AI to bridge gaps and empower users of all backgrounds. Power BI, Microsoft’s powerful business intelligence tool, offers a wealth of features and capabilities, but its interface and complexity can sometimes pose challenges for neurodivergent users.

During my session, I explored how integrating conversational AI assistants into Power BI can revolutionise the way we interact with data and visualisations. By enabling users to ask questions in natural language and receive dynamic, contextual responses, conversational AI can simplify the analysis process, making it more intuitive and inclusive.

One of the key benefits I highlighted was the ability for neurodivergent individuals to engage with data on their own terms, without feeling overwhelmed by traditional interfaces or navigational structures. Conversational AI can act as a digital companion, guiding users through complex tasks, explaining concepts, and providing personalised support tailored to their unique needs and learning styles.

Throughout the session, I shared practical examples and demos, illustrating how conversational AI can be integrated into Power BI reports and dashboards. From natural language querying to interactive data exploration and explanation generation, the possibilities are vast and exciting.

Beyond the technical aspects, I also emphasised the importance of inclusive design and considering the diverse needs of our audience. By embracing conversational AI, we can create more accessible and empowering data experiences, fostering a culture of inclusivity and enabling everyone to derive insights and make data-driven decisions more effectively.

Overall, the session was a success, even with my autistic shutdown at times, sparking insightful discussions and generating significant interest from attendees eager to explore this cutting-edge technology further. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my passion and contribute to the ongoing dialogue around making data and analytics more accessible and inclusive for all.

As always, SQLBits provided a fantastic platform for connecting with like-minded individuals, catching up with old friends, and forging new connections within the vibrant data community. The wealth of knowledge shared during the other sessions was truly inspiring, and I left the event feeling energised and motivated to continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with data and technology.

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Carole’s session at new stars of data

Carole emphasises the vital role of including the neurodiverse community in our conversational experiences. Embracing neurodiversity is not just a choice but a necessity for digital inclusivity. Discover how Carole’s insights go beyond the basics, offering a step-by-step guide to elevate your chatbot with multimodality—from text to voice and visuals.

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