Low-code app builders offer users with minimal coding knowledge or experience to create apps. This helps smaller teams and businesses build custom apps that solve unique problems and challenges.
Microsoft Power Apps is one such low-code app builder that offers a drag-and-drop interface and pre-built templates. But what sets Power Apps apart is its integration with artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which can help businesses automate their workflows, gain insights into data, and improve productivity.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the things you can do with Power Apps and its AI integration.
1. Streamline Data Collection
Power Apps work seamlessly with other Office 365 programs, including OneDrive, Excel, and Power BI, as well as more than 200 non-Microsoft programs like Salesforce. This makes data collection and analysis quicker and more efficient.
For example, JourneyTEAM, a Microsoft Partner offering consulting and assistance building apps through Power Apps, was asked to help a university scale and streamline its grading process.
Originally, teachers’ grading data was pulled from Canvas by Instructure into a Google Sheet via API. JourneyTEAM used Power Apps and other Power Platform tools to build a canvas app for graders.
The app lists all submissions that need grading and then launches Canvas when the Grade button is clicked. The Power App also includes automation that pulls the grading data, updates it, and calculates how long it takes a grader to finish grading a submission.
Additionally, the custom app connects to a Power BI tile so graders can see up-to-date submission statuses, as well as a model-driven app that allows university admins to view and edit grading data.
2. Build Customized Apps
The Power Apps AI builder, pre-built templates, and drag-and-drop interface make it easy to build customized apps, even for very specific needs. The ability to personalize apps ensures any unique needs and preferences are met, which further boosts productivity and efficiency. A custom app also helps centralize info and simplify workflows.
And, last but not least, learning how to use Power Apps to build custom applications is a great way to learn about the software development process.
Reza Dorrani, a Microsoft Power Apps community contributor, has created multiple customized apps. One is a site inspection app that allows users to view all inspection statuses, details, images, and locations on a live map. Other custom Power Apps built by Dorrani include an expense submission app, a desk booking app for offices, and more.
3. Automate Business Processes
With Power Apps, you can automate those repetitive and time-consuming tasks you dread each day, including data entry, approvals, and notifications. Power Apps can also be connected to Power Automate (formerly Microsoft Flow) to build entirely automated workflows.
The benefits of automation are numerous. The elimination of repetitive tasks frees up employees’ time so they can focus on more strategic tasks and projects. Automation can also reduce errors and improve quality, as well as provide real-time data.
An example of how Power Apps can be used to streamline business processes features a California agricultural company. The business contacted JourneyTEAM to build an application to collect and track field data. The app was used to ensure safe working conditions for employees and collected data on weather and overall conditions for each field.
Originally, this data was written down on paper and faxed to the headquarters. With the new Power App, data reports were filled out on an electronic device and automatically added to a database, allowing anyone to access the up-to-date data at any time.
4. Enable Collaboration
Along with automation, collaboration tools can greatly improve efficiency and productivity. Power Apps can help you streamline communication as well as collaborate with others at your company thanks to features including shared data sources, real-time updates, chat, and comments.
Collaborative Controls allows you to create Power Apps for Office 365 that enable real-time communications within Microsoft Teams and other programs.
As an example, a maintenance Power App built into Teams allows a plant supervisor to spot a problem with equipment on the plant floor. The supervisor can then create and assign an inspection task that triggers a Teams notification for the assignee. As the assignee works on the task, the supervisor can track live updates within Teams.
Additionally, Power Apps includes collaboration tools like Comments that can tag coworkers and communicate in real-time. This can be helpful if teammates need help while building or using a Power App.
5. Team Up with AI
AI is changing tech as we know it, and Power Apps is no exception. In fact, the integration between Power Apps and AI is one of its strengths. For example, Power Apps AI Builder uses customizable AI models to automate processes and analyze data to uncover insights.
For example, Dorrani built an app using Microsoft AI Builder to batch-process invoices. Along with customizable fields used to tag each invoice’s data points such as date, number, and total, Dorrani adds tables that fetch information from each invoice and calculate values.
He then adds collections of invoice document types that the AI model will use for training. After that, Dorrani clicks a button to show all words the AI detected in each document and tags the words that correspond to the fields and tables he defined in an earlier step. Once tagging and training are complete, the AI model can be published and used in an app or a Power Automate flow.
P.S. You can also use AI with Microsoft Power Virtual Agent to create AI-powered chatbots to assist your customers.
Let JourneyTEAM Power Up Your Workday with Custom Power Apps
As you can see, Power Apps is a powerful way to streamline data collection, automate processes, and enable collaboration across teams. Thanks to its low-code approach, Power Apps is a versatile tool for any business of any size.
And while Power Apps’ way of building custom apps is approachable even for those with no coding experience, JourneyTEAM can help you get set up for success. Our team of knowledgeable Power Platform experts can build custom apps for you and guide you and your business through the adoption and deployment process.
Contact JourneyTEAM to find out more about our support services and Power Apps SHERPA program.