• 09 Nov 2022
  • 4 Minutes to read
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Article summary

Explore Queries

Find out what queries you can ask using the Explore Queries feature. 

To use this feature, begin by clicking the Explore Queries button from the home/default area of the Add-In window. After you’ve clicked the button, the “view” will change to the Explore Queries view: 

In this view, you can type in a topic/word that relates to your data to find out what kind of natural language questions you can ask. 

You’ll receive a list of natural language queries that contain the term you entered. Scroll through the returned queries to find a query you’d like to ask. Once you’ve found a query that suits what you’re looking for, simply click on that query, and you will receive a data response in just seconds.

Return to Home View

To return to the home/default screen of the Add-In task pane from the Explore Queries view, simply click on the “home” button on the left-hand side of the top header area. 

Once clicked, you will see the same initial Welcome screen you saw when you initially connected to AutoQL. Here, you can ask other queries or select the Explore Queries option to explore topics that you can ask questions about.

Query Input Bar

To receive an answer to your data-related question, navigate to the “Query Input Bar” at the top of the Task Pane (search bar contains text that reads “Type a query here”):

Home/default view of the AutoQL Add-In


Next, simply type a question or a natural language statement in the query input bar. See an example below:

Example of natural language query asked by a user


Click “enter” to execute/run the query. A data response will be returned, as shown in the example below:

Natural language query followed by a data response preview

Receive Data Responses

After entering a query, the data you have requested will be returned in just seconds.

How it works: When a user enters a query, AutoQL receives the query, understands what the user is asking for, and automatically translates the natural language query to a language that the corresponding database can understand. The relevant data response is then retrieved directly from the source (the database) and returned to the user in real time.

“Answers” or “Data Responses” appear beneath the Query Input Bar and additional features/functionality also become visible/accessible in the Data Preview area.

Preview Data Response

After entering a natural language query in the Query Input Bar, a preview of the data response you will receive based on your query will be displayed. 

The preview includes the following elements: 

  • A snippet of the data response (a snapshot of the data that has been returned from the query); 
  • A summary of the number of rows that have been returned by your query; 
  • An “Interpreted as” / Interpretation statement that summarizes how the query was understood by AutoQL. 
  • Query Toolbar containing a set of features/tools (in top right corner of the Data Preview) 
    • This Toolbar contains additional tools/functionality that can be leveraged to further explore or analyze your data. The tools available are explained in detail later in this document.

An example of a data response preview is shown below:

Query response - Excel(1)

Populate Data

Once you've received a preview of your data response, you have the option to populate the data in a New Sheet, in your Current Sheet, or continue asking other queries.

In Current Sheet

To populate data in the current sheet, enter a query in the Query Input Bar, review the Preview to make sure you’re seeing the data you expect, then click “Populate data”, followed by “Current sheet”. Your data will populate in your current sheet in your workbook.

Data response populated in current/existing worksheet in Excel


Note: If you attempt to populate data in a sheet where data already exists, you must select a cell that does not contain any data. This prevents previously-populated data from being overwritten by the new data.

In New Sheet

To populate data in a new sheet, enter a query in the Query Input Bar, review the Preview to make sure you’re seeing the data you expect, then click “Populate data, followed by “New sheet”. Your data will populate in a new sheet in your workbook/new worksheet.
Data response populated in a new worksheet in Excel

Query Toolbar

The Query Toolbar contains tools that enable you to filter results and export your query responses as needed.

Learn about all the tools available to you in the Query Toolbar:

Report a Problem

Click on the “warning” icon to report a problem.  

When querying data with AutoQL, you can “report a problem” if you believe an issue has occurred (I.e. if the data returned was inaccurate or not what you were expecting).  

From the data response view, click on the “Report a problem” icon, then select the option that most-closely suits the problem you are experiencing.  

Selecting either of the first two options will report the problem automatically without providing additional context.  

Select “other” to provide helpful context about the issue you are experiencing, then click Submit. Your feedback will be sent to our team for review.  

Show/Hide Columns

Click on the “eye” icon to show/hide columns.  

Opt to only display the columns in a table that contain the data most relevant for your unique purposes. To show or hide individual columns, select the “Show/Hide Columns” icon. Simply select which columns you would like to view and click “Apply”.    

Filter Table

Filtering is a useful way to see only the data that you want returned/displayed. To filter a data response, select the “Filter” icon.   

Underneath each column header, you can filter by name, number, and enter criteria such as less than and greater than (</>) to filter numerical values.  

More options

View additional features/available actions by clicking on the triple dot icon in the toolbar menu on the far left-hand side.  

Copy Table to Clipboard

To copy a data response and move it to an external spreadsheet, presentation, report, or other, just select the “Copy to Clipboard” icon, and paste the data response into your desired spreadsheet or other location.  

Note: This feature is only available when viewing a data response in tabular format (not as a graphical response).

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