5 Tips for Using Copilot Studio Effectively

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How to get the most out of Microsoft AI-powered assistant

Have you been looking at Microsoft's new generative AI tool for Microsoft 365, Copilot, but you also felt underwhelmed by the output quality? No worries, we have some handy tips for you to enhance your Copilot for Microsoft 365's experience and make the most of its features. Here are five easy steps to get you started.

1. Enable Web Searching

One of the most useful features of Copilot is its ability to search the web for relevant information and sources. Out of the box, you might find that that Copilot is limited to only internal information. Enabling the ability to search the web can significantly improve its usability when dealing with complex or new workflows.

To enable web searching, open your chat window, select plugins, and then push the "Web Content" Slider to highlight in blue. 

Your Copilot should now be empowered to search both internal content as well as content it can find on the web.

2. Use / to Insert Object Content

Copilot can also help you quickly insert various types of content, such as people, files, emails, and meetings. These references can help you quickly add context and additional detail to Copilots generated responses. To insert an object, simply type / followed by the name of the object, such as /people, /files, /emails, or /meetings. You will see a list of options that you can choose from. For example, if you type /files, you can select a document from the quick select menu. 

Coupling the object reference with an action, "Summarize" we can get the following generation.

3. Try Using Prompts

Prompts are predefined commands that can help you perform various tasks with Copilot without the need to re-type the input prompt each time. For example, you can use prompts to summarize team messages from a colleague, generate a table of your upcoming meetings, help you quickly understand referenced documents. To use a prompt, simply click the "View prompts" item above the chat bar on the left-hand side. A, a few quick select prompts will be displayed on the new chat window. 

At the time of writing (14/05/2024), you can't currently create your own prompts to be available from this menu. However! We can get a bit creative if we marry this tip with tip 3. In the below example, I have created a excel spreadsheet filled with a few of my favourite prompts. Using the Object Reference command /, I can get a list of my prompts for each reference.

I can now quickly access my prompts without needing to leave the chat window.

4. Check Out the Teams App Store

Copilot can also integrate with 3rd party apps and services that you can expose to your assistant even more data and context. You can find these apps in the Teams App Store, under the category "Works with Copilot". These apps can help you connect your assistant with different software, such as Jira, Trello, Microsoft Sales, Dropbox, and the list is growing! To access the Teams App Store, simply click on the Apps icon in the left sidebar of Copilot Studio. You can then browse, install, and manage the apps that you want to use.

Once installed, you will be able to enable them from the Plugins tab within Microsoft Copilot. 

5. Use Chat History

Finally, Copilot for Microsoft 365 will keep a history of your conversations so that you can easily go back and reference or continue with conversations you have had in the past. To access the history pane, Click the [...] icon at the top corner of the chat window and select Copilot chats.


You will see a timeline of your chat history, where you can select any conversation continue from where you left off. 

These are some of the tips that can help you use Copilot for Microsoft 365 more effectively. Copilot is a smart and versatile tool that can AI Assistant that can help you create, understand, and better plan for different elements of your work. Try it out and see how it can help you become more efficient.

Looking to the Future

If you are hungry for more methods that you can deploy to empower Copilot for Micrsoft 365, Microsoft have you covered, here are two more complex techniques that are currently in preview that your organization look to deploy to order to extend Copilot even further.

6. Semantic Indexes & Semantic Labelling

Microsoft is rolling out Copilot's semantic Index / Mapping, a feature designed to enhance documents with Microsoft's Knowledge graph insights. This includes adding context, definitions, synonyms, examples, or related topics to your data. For users, this means that Copilot will be enabled to deliver more personalized and organization specific responses. Looking ahead, your organization would want to refine data tagging strategies in SharePoint and other knowledge stores if they want to further improve Copilot's response accuracy. This initiative is part of our commitment to providing a smarter, more intuitive user experience across our platforms. Please see the attached link to read more about it and keep an eye out for the upcoming rollout in your region

Link: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftsearch/semantic-index-for-copilot

7. Copilot Studio | AI Plugins

Finally, your organization can look towards Copilot Studio, a parallel tool that provides even more functionality to extend or create your organizational Copilots. Whilst this framework offers a lot, one area that may be of particular interest are Copilot Plugins. 

These are customizable building blocks that can be deployed across Microsoft's Copilot different offerings; these connectors will allow you to use your plugins in Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 and use data across Dynamics 365, Power Platform, they can also be deployed between environments.

For example, below is a conversational AI plugin built within Copilot studio that is designed to be an expert on our methodologies and case studies. Building a conversational prompt in this manner can provide copilot pre-defined prompt and context about the type of information it will receive and the type of information it expects to retrieve. 

Link: Create copilot plugins - overview (preview) - Microsoft Copilot Studio | Microsoft Learn