Spreadsheet junkies rejoice! Expert chatbot now integrates Google Sheets

What does the Expert chatbot spreadsheet integration feature mean for your organization? Spreadsheets have empowered business users for decades. But their popularity is also their downfall. It’s easy to succumb to information overload from spreadsheets. Spreadsheets hold a lot of data, and it can be difficult to quickly find the information you’re looking for. It can also be difficult to find the right spreadsheet that has the information you want. The solution? Ask a business analyst for the information.

Asking others to answer questions is a huge distraction. It’s well known that each distraction has a 20-30 minute recovery rate to re-establish concentration. All that lost productivity can be re-claimed with the latest chatbot spreadsheet integration feature.

Use spreadsheets for knowledge sharing and coordination

Spreadsheets are mini databases that collect and aggregate data. They are used as low-cost temporary solutions for many common operational tasks. For instance, spreadsheets can act as timesheets, work, and support schedules, vacation trackers, performance reviews, task lists, etc. Information is often tied to specific employees and can be organized in a tabular format. The data captured in these spreadsheets can answer questions about themselves or others.

Some workers may have an upper limit on the number of hours they can work per week. Near the end of the week, an employee may ask “how many hours have I worked this week?” Smaller businesses that don’t have HRM software to manage workers will likely track in a spreadsheet. To answer the question, a manager has to stop what they are doing and look up the information. Similarly, an employee may want to know “how many vacation days do I have left?” Even in large organizations, it’s useful to track this at the group level because it’s difficult to remember where to find this information.

For coordination purposes, other employees may want to look up information about a colleague. In large organizations, it’s hard to find out other people’s vacation schedules, even though it is critical for coordination. When someone covers for a colleague on vacation, she may want to know “when is Alice back from vacation?”

Deadlines and due dates are little pieces of information that are routinely forgotten. Employees are not wholly at fault. Deadlines often change, but not everyone hears about the new date. When there’s confusion about a deadline, people start asking each other questions, which wastes a lot of time and adds unnecessary stress. It would be better if there was a single source of truth that knows the due dates. Usually, that’s a manager who routinely fields questions like “when is project X due?” or “has the deadline for X changed?” Project management tools are supposed to capture and communicate this information, but they aren’t always up to date. It may also require expertise to configure the tool that people may not have.

Automatically personalize answers from spreadsheets

It may seem arcane to promote spreadsheets as a mini database, but the reality is that spreadsheets have democratized data collection and analysis for decades. And let’s face it: databases are expensive to build and maintain. For smaller companies that don’t have big IT departments, it enables data integration without databases. Even at bigger companies, spreadsheets provide tactical solutions because it’s difficult and slow to get budget for IT projects. That usually means a lot of “low hanging fruit” is never harvested! The Expert chatbot spreadsheet integration feature makes sure you harvest all there is and maximize data usage by making it accessible.

The magic of VLOOKUP

Spreadsheet junkies know how powerful VLOOKUP is. With VLOOKUP, a spreadsheet acts like a miniature database table. Spreadsheets must be organized using rows for records and columns as attributes. VLOOKUP will find the value of an attribute based on some search criteria. For example, a spreadsheet can contain employee information like employee ID, date of birth and address. An employee’s address can be retrieved by looking up their employee ID and then getting the address for the matching record.

Expert chatbot spreadsheet Integration VLOOKUP Query

The Google Sheet URL is part of the formula that’s unique to the distinct function.

Expert chatbot spreadsheet Integration VLOOKUP Interaction

A fulfilled VLOOKUP Query about Channing’s nickname.

Now imagine the power of VLOOKUP straight from a chatbot. That’s exactly what the Expert chatbot spreadsheet integration can do. With our bot, you can embed a VLOOKUP formula in a bot response. The content in the response will be driven by the data in the spreadsheet! That means all the power of a spreadsheet behind your bot’s responses. Imagine looking up the status of an order from a spreadsheet, the results of an analysis, the next item in a to-do list, all via chatbot. That’s VLOOKUP and Expert.

Personalization with ULOOKUP

Sometimes an employee or customer wants information specific to them. They expect the bot to know who they are and retrieve the relevant information. For example, when an employee asks “how many vacation days do I have?” they expect the chatbot to know who they are and look up the vacation days for them. We’ve introduced ULOOKUP as a user-specific counterpart to VLOOKUP. Expert automatically gets a user id from the channel it’s connected to and uses that ID as the key in a VLOOKUP operation.

Expert chatbot spreadsheet Integration ULOOKUP Query

The database and the formula your Expertbot uses to fulfill the query.

Expert chatbot spreadsheet Integration ULOOKUP Interaction

A fulfilled query by Expertbot for Aquaman.

ULOOKUP is a manager’s dream because she can balance two competing needs: information organization and privacy. All data related to her team can be kept in a single spreadsheet. Access to the spreadsheet is user-specific, so team members can only access their information and not a colleague’s.

Ways to use the Expert chatbot spreadsheet integration

HR and Operations

Questions about employment status, time off waste time when information is difficult to find. Portals are notoriously difficult to navigate. Expert simplifies the process by being a single point of contact to handle all inquiries.

  • How many remaining vacation days do I have?
  • How many sick leaves do I have?
  • What’s my current employment status?
  • When is my next review?
  • When am I next due for a promotion?

It is said that the quality of an employee’s onboarding experience is a big factor in whether a new employee will stay or leave. You don’t need a big HCM (human capital management) tool to have an organized and efficient onboarding process. All you need is a spreadsheet and Expert.

  • What is my next onboarding task?
  • What forms do I need to submit?
  • When do I need to complete my drug test?

Reviews are essential to a company but they can also be a huge distraction. Expert can provide the information employees need to meet deadlines and also get feedback on their performance.

  • Who do I need to review?
  • When do I need to complete reviews?
  • What was my feedback?
  • What was my performance this quarter?

Team Coordination

How much time do you waste coordinating? Even though people communicate their travel plans and schedules, it’s easy to forget. Usually, we don’t retain those details until they are needed for something urgent. And that’s when the searching begins. It’s a lot easier to manage these details in a spreadsheet and ask Expert for the answer.

  • When is @tina usually in the office?
  • When is @alex usually working?
  • When is @nina going on vacation?
  • When does @olga return from vacation?

Similarly, accessing colleagues’ contact information always seems harder than it should be. It’s a lot easier when Expert is your single point of contact to answer these questions.

  • What is the phone number of my supervisor?
  • Where does @yael sit?
  • When is @jane‘s start date?

Support Schedules

Small software teams often need to support the software they built. Most teams have a support schedule, but they often change due to unforeseen circumstances. When this information is captured in a spreadsheet, it’s easy for a manager to update the information. Expert makes it easy to disseminate the information on demand.

  • Who is on support tonight?
  • When is @faye on support?
  • Who is covering for @mimi?
  • What is @lina‘s phone number?

 

Expert works for almost any situation. Get in touch to find out how Expert can help streamline your organization. Leave your details here, and we’ll get back to you ASAP. 🤖

Expert chatbot spreadsheet integration

A chatbot with built-in spreadsheet capabilities?

February 06, 2020 brian artificial-intelligence, blog, data-science, data-driven
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