Query the data using Arria Answers

Arria Answers supports numerous query types. Only simple aggregation queries are used in this tutorial. See Query types for a detailed overview of the different types of query.

  1. Click on the Arria add-in to select it.

    AA-PBI click-add-in.png
  2. In the Fields pane, click the checkboxes to select all fields.

    AA-PBI field-selected.png

    You are presented with the Welcome screen and prompted to sign in to your Arria account.

    AA-PBI login-screen (new).png

    Note

    If you don't yet have an Arria account, in the add-in click Sign up here to create an Arria for Power BI account.

    See Arria accounts and supported features for more information.

  3. Enter your email address and password and click Sign in to my Arria account.

    Note

    You will automatically be signed out of your account after 1 hour of inactivity.

  4. Select Arria Answers.

    Note

    To configure the Arria Answers feature, you must have an Arria NLG Studio account, or an Arria for Power BI account with, at a minimum, a Standard subscription. See Arria accounts and supported features for more information.

  5. Enter the query What are my Sales? and hit Enter or click Ask.

    AA-PBI query-1 (new).png

    The total sales figure for the current month is returned. This is because the data includes a month field and the default time filter for Arria Answers is Latest month. You'll change this default value later in the tutorial. Also, note that the answer above uses February 2022 because that's when this tutorial was created. Expect a different answer if you do the tutorial during a different month.

    Note

    A query must include at least one measure. A measure is something calculable such as Sales or Profit. The measures in the sample dataset are COGS, Units Sold, Sales, Sales Target, and Profit.

    Tip

    All queries in this tutorial (and the reference documentation) are written in full, but in practice you do not need to include a question mark and queries can often be written in truncated form. For example, the query What are my Sales? can be entered simply as Sales.

  6. Enter the query What are my Sales of Retine?

    AA-PBI query-2 (new).png

    The total sales of Retine for the current month is returned. Here you made your query more precise by specifying the product Retine. This is an example of filtering a query by adding a dimension instance.

  7. Enter the query What are my Sales of Retine in Canada?

    AA-PBI query-3 (new).png

    The total sales of Retine in Canada for the current month is returned. Here you made your query even more precise by adding an additional dimension instance. Canada is an instance of the Country dimension.

  8. Enter the query What were my Sales of Retine in Canada last month?

    AA-PBI query-4 (new).png

    The total sales of Retine in Canada is returned but this time for the previous month rather than the current month (the default setting). This is an example of applying a deictic time filter to a query. See Time filters for further guidance.

Tip

In this step, you have used sum-aggregation queries only, but Arria Answers supports many other query types (top queries, group-by queries, variance queries, etc.). Please see Query types for guidance and examples.

So far, you have worked with the add in's default settings. The next stage of the tutorial will demonstrate how to change the default settings using the Arria Answers configuration panel.