What is Microsoft Copilot?

Microsoft Copilot is an AI-powered assistant that rapidly enhances productivity among businesses using 365 products. By handling the boring (like writing reports) or complex (like data analysis) day-to-day work, Copilot frees workers to focus on more creative and strategic tasks.
13.07.24 Charles Griffiths

How Does Copilot Work?

Microsoft Copilot integrates the power of Large Language Models (LLMs) with a user’s Microsoft Graph (all the meetings, files and other 365 data that a user can access in an organisation) to generate accurate, insightful content.

One of Copilot’s main benefits is that it can use all 365 data that a user has access to in an organisation. While this carries potential data security issues, if implemented correctly, Copilot is a powerful tool that lightens the load.

A typical output follows this process:

  • Open a 365 application (like Word or PowerPoint) and input a prompt.
  • Copilot gathers the relevant data from your Microsoft Graph, the web and other services. The information is sent to an LLM, which generates an output.
  • The output is sent back to Copilot for post-processing (including responsible AI checks, security, compliance and privacy reviews, amongst other checks).
  • Copilot returns the output to you for review and assessment.

How Does Copilot Help Businesses?

Copilot has a wide range of capabilities, from answering a query to generating detailed analysis of a data set. As users interact with Copilot through a conversational interface and the AI responds in kind, interactions feel intuitive and straightforward.

Integration with Microsoft 365 Suite: Copilot is integrated into Microsoft’s suite of applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams. It works within these applications to provide enhanced features and capabilities.

Data Analysis and Insight Generation: In applications like Excel, Copilot can analyse data and provide insights, summaries, or visual representations. It understands the context and content of the data to deliver meaningful analyses.

Content Creation and Summarisation: In Word or PowerPoint, Copilot can help create content based on prompts given by the user. This includes writing drafts, suggesting edits, or summarising long documents into concise points.

Email and Communication Assistance: In Outlook, Copilot can draft emails, suggest replies, or summarise email threads. It understands the context and intent of the communication to provide relevant responses.

WATCH: How to use Copilot in Microsoft Outlook

CoPilot on screen

Copilot is Applicable at Every Stage in a Workflow

Imagine you’re a marketing professional who wants to draft a market analysis report using Copilot. The workflow would look something like this:

Starting the Project:

User Action: Open a new document in Word and type a prompt to Copilot, asking for an outline for a market analysis report.

Copilot’s Assistance: Generates a structured outline including sections like Executive Summary, Market Overview, Competitive Landscape, Consumer Behaviour Analysis, SWOT Analysis, and Conclusions and Recommendations.

Drafting the Report:

User Action: Then you ask Copilot to draft a paragraph about recent trends in the market.

Copilot’s Assistance: Provides a paragraph detailing those market trends, utilising the latest data and reports available from internal data and web sources.

Data Analysis:

User Action: In Excel, you open a dataset of consumer feedback and ask Copilot to identify key sentiments and trends.

Copilot’s Assistance: Analyses the data and provides a summary of key sentiments while identifying significant trends. Depending on the prompt, Copilot could also generate charts or graphs for visual representation.

Creating a Presentation:

User Action: Now you need to prepare a presentation based on the report, so you ask Copilot in PowerPoint to create slides summarising the report.

Copilot’s Assistance: Generates a concise and visually appealing presentation, including key points and data visualisations from the Word document and Excel analysis.

WATCH: How to use Microsoft Copilot to create a Powerpoint

Emailing Stakeholders:

User Action: Wanting to share the initial findings with the team, you ask Copilot in Outlook to draft an email summarising the main points.

Copilot’s Assistance: Drafts a professional email summarising the key findings and attaching the relevant documents.

Preparing for a Meeting:

User Action: You need a brief for a forthcoming meeting, so you ask Copilot to prepare a meeting agenda based on the report.

Copilot’s Assistance: Generates a meeting agenda highlighting key discussion points and objectives derived from the report.

Minutes and Action Points from a Meeting:

User Action: At the start of the meeting, you allow Copilot for Teams to record, transcribe and analyse the dialogue to offer a summary at the end.

Copilot’s Assistance: Generates a summary of the meeting, complete with action points and who was discussed as owning the action point. Alongside providing a complete transcript.

WATCH: How to use Copilot to keep meeting minutes and action points

Review and Feedback:

User Action: You’ve received feedback on the draft report, so you ask Copilot to incorporate specific changes and suggestions.

Copilot’s Assistance: Edits the document according to the feedback, rephrasing sections and updating data as requested.

The New Assistant for Productive Work

Copilot is available now, offering businesses new avenues for productive work. Powered by Microsoft and able to draw on your 365 data, this AI assistant promises to transform the way teams interact with their data and manage their daily tasks.

With its intuitive interface and robust capabilities, Copilot is set to redefine productivity, offering a smarter, more collaborative, and adaptive workplace experience.

Get Copilot-Ready

Copilot’s powerful feature set makes it a great addition to any workforce. But setting up Copilot securely can feel daunting.

AAG’s comprehensive support helps you get the most out of Copilot. An initial consultation and readiness assessment ensures that the new services can be accessed securely, while customised training helps your team understand Copilot features and its applications in their workflows. We’ll even run regular updates based on your usage to keep your Copilot services optimised.

Contact us today to get your Copilot readiness assessment.

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