NLQ Chat Bot (Present)

When a Present dashboard is running you can use the Natural Language Query (NLQ) Chat Bot to interact with visualizations in an intuitive way with plain English. The ease and fluidity afforded by the Chat Bot facilitates data exploration by encouraging spontaneity, helping allows users to quickly explore the data in an organic and unrestricted way using English.

Note: this feature is available with the Enterprise Edition license only.

Chat Bot Querying

The Chat Bot employs almost identical techniques to simple NLQ questions. This includes time intelligence, geographic intelligence, pro-noun intelligence as well as tools for handling syntax, like word stemming and a thesaurus. Users can also drive filtering and sorting. The Chat Bot supports specialized wildcard searches on the current data model and support for several special keyword commands.

Accessing the Chat Bot in Present

To open the Chat Bot, launch your presentation in runtime. From the visual's panel, click the NLQ Chat Bot button when you hover over it.

The chat panel will appear and you can begin chatting to interact with the visual. Simply enter your request into the chat's text box, and the relevant interactive function will be performed.

Navigating the NLQ Chat Bot

The Chat Bot is primarily a window that allows users to write a sequence of questions into a text box (black arrow below) and trigger the changes to the currently selected visual. After typing in text, users can hit the ENTER key on their keyboard or click the Go button (green arrow).


Click the Reset button (yellow arrow above) to reset the chat session and the visual back to its original state.

New Query

Click the New Query button (red arrow above) to restart the chat and the new blank query. All hierarchies and measures will be removed from the visual, allowing you to build a new query from scratch.

Entity Prompt

As you type, you will be prompted with key elements from the data model (blue arrow above). You can select these instead of having to type or guess these items. Use of wildcards can also make accessing these items easier.


Click the Suggestions button (purple arrow above) to see a list of the most popular questions for the current model that match the types of questions you are asking in the session. This can give you a good sense of what sort of information people commonly look for in the model where the selected visual is located. This will not show up if there is not enough question history in the system or there are no matches to your line of questioning.

Chat Bot Querying

The Chat Bot employs almost identical techniques to simple NLQ questions. This includes time intelligence, geographic intelligence, pro-noun intelligence as well as tools for handling syntax, like word stemming and a thesaurus. Users can also drive filtering and sorting.

"Getting Chatty"

The Chat Bot extends beyond the standard NLQ capabilities by allowing users to ask subsequent questions to adjust the original query (regardless of how it was generated). In this way, the Chat Bot is mostly cumulative, so that you can enter a series of follow up questions and the previous stage will be updated accordingly, without a reset or undo of anything. This allows you to explore your data in an intuitive and spontaneous way, quickly adding, adjusting or and removing items as required.

Importantly, the Chat Bot does not change the selected visualization. It will draw the results of the changes using the currently selected visual, unless a new chat session is triggered.

The following guide provides suggestions on how to "chat" with the "bot".

Additive Effect

If users supply a new question to an existing visual, the question is treated as additive to the existing logic. This applies to every question - rather than "resetting" the visual after each take.

Adding, Replacing and Removing Entities

Being able to add, replace or remove content is a key capability needed when an existing query is presented:

  • ADD: To add hierarchies and measures, you can simply write "add net profit" to add a measure called "net profit" or "show gender" to add a hierarchy called "gender".
  • REMOVE: To remove a hierarchy or measure, write "remove sales", "hide sales" or "remove promotions".
  • REPLACE: To replace or swap a hierarchy or measure, write "replace sales with expenses", "replace product category with promotions".

You can also build a composite sentence like "Remove sales and net profit, add cost and promotions"

Changing the Visual

As described above, the Chat Bot uses the currently selected visual for subsequent adjustments. However, visualizations can be changed.

The normal NLQ allows users to specify their preferred visual as part of the question: "Show sales by gender in a grid" . With the Chat Bot, the same technique can be used to switch visuals. For example "change to pie chart", "Switch to a grid" , "Show as column chart" or you could just write "pie chart", or even just "pie".

Wildcards and Keywords

While typing, after first 2 characters, the Chat Bot will automatically show a list of hierarchies and measures that match the word currently being typed (blue arrow above) . You can use the wildcard character to show hierarchies and measures in the current model in the event you don't know what to type.

  • Show Hierarchies and Measures: * is used to show a list of all measures and hierarchies in the model where the given query was built. This can help you to quickly find hierarchies and measures, which is especially useful if you don't know the exact name of the item you're looking for. It can also help you to spot items that might be of interest.
  • Show Hierarchies: *h is used to show a list of all hierarchies in the model.
  • Show Measures:*m is used to show a list of all measures in the model.

Keyboard Shortcuts

While in the chat text box, different shortcuts are available using the arrow keys:

  • Arrow left and right - will move the cursor between the current text in the text box.
  • Arrow down - will be effective when the entity prompt is when (blue arrow above). Keying arrow down will allow you to select one of the items from the list.
  • Arrow up - when in the text box, this will allow users to cycle to previously written questions in the Chat session.

The key words reset/ restart/ start over can be used to reset the NLQ Chat session and the query. The same function can be performed by clicking the Restart button in the chat panel.