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Unlocking Microsoft 365 Copilot’s AI Productivity: Preparing Your Business Data

Microsoft’s Copilot is a welcome addition, introducing sophisticated AI into the Microsoft application ecosystem, but is your business ready to make the most of Microsoft 365 Copilot? Learn how you can prepare your business data to unleash the power of AI-productivity.

Unlocking Microsoft 365 Copilot’s AI Productivity: Preparing Your Business Data

Microsoft’s Copilot rollout in 2023 made waves in the AI and productivity tools category. The platform continues to be in the limelight with Microsoft’s latest notification regarding the general availability of Copilot for Microsoft 365 across all sales channels, including Cloud Solution Provider for new commerce. Since the introduction of GitHub Copilot in 2021, Microsoft has announced the integration of AI productivity across its technology stack – Copilot for Dynamics 365, Security, Power Platform, Windows, and Microsoft 365. It is now empowering organizations, regardless of their size, to leverage AI-powered technology.

Microsoft 365 Copilot seamlessly integrates with every application in the Microsoft 365 environment, offering real-time assistance and contextually relevant suggestions. The possibilities of this tool are magnified when coupled with the ingenuity of the people utilizing it:

  • Copilot in PowerPoint: Organizations can turn text-heavy slides into concise bullet points for greater clarity.
  • Copilot in Outlook: Businesses can utilize Copilot to coach and deliver sensitive information in the most effective way possible.
  • Copilot in Excel: Professionals can analyze trends and create professional-looking data visualizations leveraging Copilot.
  • Copilot in Microsoft Teams: Organizations can summarize key discussion points and get suggested action items from Copilot.

Microsoft 365 Copilot can help businesses achieve this level of productivity and much more across Microsoft 365 applications.

To fully leverage this tool, it is crucial to ensure that your business data is well-prepared, organized, and secure. Most organizations focus on day-to-day business operations and often lack the opportunity to establish taxonomy, labelling, and proactive access management. All these gaps will only be exacerbated once you link your Microsoft 365 applications to a productivity tool, like Copilot. To avoid missteps, data breaches, unauthorized sharing, content sprawl, and other efficiency-hindering challenges, you must organize your business data to unleash Microsoft 365 Copilot’s true potential while maintaining data integrity and security.

Assess Your Data BEFORE using Microsoft 365 Copilot

To ensure an effective integration of Microsoft’s Copilot with your Microsoft 365 productivity tools, it is essential to prepare your data. Investing time in performing a comprehensive data inventory to identify distinct types of data, including documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and emails, is critical to successfully leveraging Copilot. This inventory will help you understand the scope and volume of data that Copilot can analyze to provide insights and intelligence.

Organize & Optimize Your Data for Microsoft 365 Copilot

To fully leverage this AI-powered tool, you must optimize your data to be leveraged accurately while maximizing its potential. Start the process by ensuring your information is meticulously organized and accessible to the relevant stakeholders. Creating a taxonomy and metadata model that aligns with your organization’s specific needs provides additional context and enables Microsoft 365 Copilot to understand the relationships between different data points. One thing you can put into practice is standardized naming conventions and metadata tags to improve discoverability.

Once you are clear on the structure of your data, categorize it based on content and sensitivity, using classifications such as public, confidential, and sensitive. This manages how stakeholders interact with the data and further enables Microsoft 365 Copilot to understand the context and importance of the information, providing more accurate and relevant assistance. Once labelled, it is important to review the labelling periodically to maintain accuracy.

Microsoft 365 Copilot becomes more effective and valuable to your organization when employees are educated on how your digital workplace is configured to leverage AI to yield deeper insights and intelligence from your data. By providing a knowledge base and accessible training on data organization, classification, labeling, and company best practices you can facilitate a seamless transition to getting the most out of Microsoft 365 Copilot.

Microsoft 365 Copilot in the Microsoft 365 ecosystem

Update Security & Access for Microsoft 365 Copilot

Microsoft 365 Copilot follows the security, privacy, data governance, and data sensitivity policies set up within your organization, just like the rest of the Microsoft 365 application suite. However, conducting a security audit prior to utilizing the productivity tools is critical to tackling unforeseen vulnerabilities.

To maximize the benefits of Microsoft 365 Copilot while maintaining data security, consider the following practices:

  • Utilize tools like Microsoft Purview for data classification and data loss prevention (DLP), ensuring sensitive data is appropriately protected to refine your document management, security, and privacy policies.
  • Strengthen the security of your organization and its members by enforcing multi-factor authentication (MFA), risk-based conditional access, and other security measures to manage unauthorized access.
  • Speak to your Microsoft Certified Partner, like Big Cloud Consultants, about a funded workshop that covers security, privacy, and user training to help employees understand the importance of data security and train them on best practices for utilizing Microsoft 365 Copilot securely.
  • Develop a governance framework that outlines roles and responsibilities, data access controls, and data lifecycle management practices. In tandem to a good governance model, promote the use of encryption, password policies, and secure file sharing practices across your organization.
  • Leverage Microsoft Entra ID (formerly Azure Active Directory (Azure AD)) to centralize identity and access management, enabling you to control who has access to Copilot and ensuring data is only seen by authorized individuals.

Unleash the power of Microsoft 365 Copilot by preparing and aligning your business data. To optimize Copilot’s AI-powered assistance and enhance productivity across your organization is an easier road when engaging with a Microsoft Partner with expertise.

Work with the Cloud Solutions Experts to Gain the Great Advantage with Microsoft 365 Copilot

Collaborating with Microsoft Cloud Solutions Experts can help you get the most out of your integration of Microsoft 365 Copilot into your suite of Microsoft 365 applications/tools. Big Cloud Consultants can provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the implementation process, and more importantly, help with pre-planning and enforcing best practices prior to the integration of the AI productivity platform.

Our expertise across the complete Microsoft 365 suite makes us the right Microsoft Partner to help you organize and prepare your information to be leveraged to its full potential to output the best insights and actions. Setting up your digital workplace for success is a daunting affair given the large pools of data a business manages regularly. Our Microsoft Cloud Experts understand the capabilities and limitations of Microsoft 365 Copilot to help you align your business goals with the capabilities of this AI-tool.

Having worked with organizations across industries from SMBs to Enterprise, we have found commonality in the form of a fearful security perspective with which many organizations approach innovative technology adoption and integration. Our team works alongside you, offering recommendations on best practices for data preparation, security, and governance, ensuring that your data is optimized for Microsoft’s Copilot’s AI-powered assistance. We can conduct a thorough security audit to identify existing vulnerabilities and provide solutions to mitigate risks. We also help your organization establish a taxonomy, better categories, and define tags to enable Microsoft 365 Copilot to surface the most appropriate data without compromising sensitive data.

In addition to that, user empowerment and client satisfaction are crucial to technology adoption and engagement. Big Cloud Consultants provides training sessions tailored to your organization’s needs, empowering employees to effectively utilize Microsoft 365 Copilot in line with what intelligence, insights, and actions you want to get from your data and technologies.

As an experienced Microsoft Cloud Partner, IAMCP member, and winner of the IAMCP P2P Award, and member of the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, we help you stay updated with the latest advancements and features in Microsoft 365 Copilot, ensuring that your organization continues to benefit from the evolving capabilities of this cutting-edge AI productivity tool. Get in touch today to discuss how we can help your business get the most out of the availability of Microsoft 365 Copilot in your Microsoft 365 environment to better leverage your data into actionable intelligence.

Picture of Matt Jacobson - Product Operations Manager

Matt Jacobson - Product Operations Manager

Matt Jacobson is an accomplished project manager adept at navigating the Microsoft Cloud landscape. Driven by challenges and committed to excellence, he thrives on overcoming challenges, solving problems, and delivering innovative solutions.

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