Microsoft Copilot Intro

AI-powered Assistant

Microsoft Copilot is an AI-powered assistant that helps users improve their productivity and experience with M365 applications. Copilot can be used to provide suggestions, summarise information, answer questions, and assist with tasks. Copilot is designed to act like a knowledgeable assistant, providing users with the information and guidance they need to work more efficiently.

Our Board member, Hannah Gibbons, has been exploring Copilot for the past few weeks and shares her experience with us.

Exploring Microsoft Copilot

When I first heard about Microsoft Copilot from Simon Singh at the 2023 AdmiNZ conference, I eagerly awaited the launch. As a lifelong lover of technology (for fun), I was excited to test out the tool designed to act like a knowledgeable assistant, providing users with the information and guidance they need to work more efficiently.

When exploring Copilot, I wanted to find ways that Copilot could help me be more efficient in my daily work. I was looking for time gains, more productive meetings, quick access to information and something that would make me go “WOW!”. I wasn’t disappointed.

Having really enjoyed using Copilot to date, I am looking forward to seeing the growth in technology and the evolution of administrative and business support.

Should we fear AI? No. Embrace AI and learning new technology – get involved and have a go! Remember, this is Copilot, not autopilot.

After using Copilot for a variety of tasks over the past few weeks, I wanted to share my top tips with you.

Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert; this is from my personal experience and exploration.

If you want to know more, check out the Microsoft resources below. I encourage you to give Copilot a go so you can see how Copilot could add value to you and your workday.

Microsoft Copilot Overview

  • Copilot works alongside you to unleash your creativity and help you perform tasks faster!
  • This is Copilot, not autopilot.
  • There are endless possibilities with Copilot, and some of my go-to functions have been create, write, and catch up. Bringing content together from Teams, Outlook and Files was invaluable in terms of saving time. Viva is helpful for managing time and tasks, Copilot helps elevate this by bringing in additional functionality.
  • To get the best out of Copilot, the requests and prompts need to be clear, include context and desired outcome. Microsoft has created prompt ingredients and guidance, along with Copilot Do’s and Don’ts to give you the best chance of getting the outcome you want. I found at times that I got a literal response from Copilot because my prompt lacked the detail and direction. If the first response isn’t quite what you want, refine the criteria, and try again.
    • Some of the prompts I found helpful to get started with Copilot include:
        • “List the main items discussed in the meeting so far”, from a Teams meeting.
        • “What interactions have I had with Jane, John or Jo over the past week”, using M365 Chat, collating information from Teams and Outlook.
        • “Provide a summary of conversations from today, identifying main points, action items and decisions”, using M365 Chat, collating information from Teams and Outlook.
        • “Create a FAQ document based off our ABC Policy”, using Word and referencing a linked document.
        • “Create a SWOT table, and provide guidance on how to complete this”, in Word without content provided. Copilot refers to information available online.
        • “Generate a formula suggestion” in Excel which is helpful when you can’t recall the name of a formula you want, or you want complex formulas.

How can you use this exciting new tool?

  • Copilot is compatible with the new version of Outlook only at this stage – check this out if you haven’t already! Don’t panic, you can change it back if it isn’t for you.
  • In the meantime, Loop components are available in the original Outlook desktop application in case you aren’t ready to change to the new Outlook just yet.
  • In Word, Copilot can summarise content from text within a document, or a referenced/linked document, rewrite content, transform text, assist in finding additional details that can enhance documents and this is just the beginning.
  • Copilot in Teams has some great time-saving functionality that I really enjoyed using. From summarising meeting discussion points and actions/outcomes, to creating content and catching up on chats and channel updates – I loved it all.
  • M365 Chat brings you an easy-to-digest summary of your projects, people, meetings, which is just the start. I use M365 Chat to brainstorm and draft content, find files from meetings, files, chats and emails and catch up on content from Teams and Outlook.
  • Copilot helps elevate presentations in PowerPoint with ease. Copilot can take your ideas and inspiration and turn it into stunning and professional presentations. I used Copilot to help with design elements and slide content.
  • There are templates and content built in for when you don’t know where to start.
  • When using PowerPoint with built in branded styles and assets, Copilot uses these components for on-brand presentations with ease.
  • Copilot can also organise your presentation, generate images and slides. Copilot can also summarise the content from a prepared presentation too.
  • No more death by PowerPoint.
  • When using Excel, Copilot can be used to generate formula suggestions or guidance, apply formatting, easily highlight, filter and sort data, use Copilot to help analyse trends and visualise data. I found the formula generator helpful when working with workbooks and multiple sheets, along understanding large volumes of data better with the data analysis capability.
  • Bing Chat is built into Edge and is Microsoft’s AI-powered copilot for the web. Bing Chat collects information from the internet to respond to queries. Bing Chat can help you get information, compare or analyse content, write content and create unique images.
  • If you use OneNote, Copilot is there to help you too by summarising content, creating plans, preparing page templates and even tips on how to manage to do lists and time.
  • Not sure where to start? The “give me ideas” prompt in any Copilot window will result in some helpful pointers and ideas to get you started.