As organizations start to use Copilot for Microsoft 365, preparing your data is a must. This process includes sorting and labeling your data, training AI classifiers, setting up strong data rules and upkeep routines. For this reason, we will focus on key concepts like Azure Information Protection. AND we will place emphasis on data hygiene habits, and focus on data governance in this article.

Essentials of Data Preparation for Copilot

1. Azure Information Protection Labels:

First off, assess and set up these labels. They’re key for sorting and keeping your documents and emails safe based on how sensitive their content is. Think of this as the main way to protect your organization’s data.

2. Trainable Classifiers:

Use AI to automatically sort your data. While these classifiers get better as they go, spotting sensitive info that needs to be handled carefully, like Social Security Numbers or medical terms. Getting your data sorted and secure is a must before bringing in Copilot to further enhance your capabilities.

3. Making Your Data Ready for Copilot:

  • Clear Out Old Data: Start by getting rid of old or unused files. This not only makes searches better but also helps train the AI to understand your organization’s language and culture better.
  • Archiving and Deleting: Set up rules to keep your digital space clean and up-to-date by regularly removing unnecessary data.
  • Set Retention Labels and Policies: These are crucial for keeping the data you need and meeting legal requirements.

4. Organizing SharePoint:

  • Create a Clear Structure: Making a well-organized system for your documents is a requirement for Copilot, yet it also makes it easier to find what you need. Set up specific sites for departments like HR and Finance, also organize them further into subfolders for things like policies or project documents.
  • Standardize Naming: Use a clear naming system for your files to help everyone find them easily. Keep up with regular checks to make sure everyone is following the rules.
  • Use Metadata and Tags: Adding extra details and tags to your files makes them even easier to find. Tagging customer support tickets or adding product details as metadata can make a big difference.
  • Version Control: Keep only the most important versions of each document to avoid confusion and clutter. To put it simply, focus on data hygiene.
  • Monitor Your Data: Keep an eye on how secure and compliant your data is, especially when it comes to personal information, to make sure it’s used correctly in Copilot for Microsoft 365.

5. Setting Up Data Governance:

  • Assign a Data Specialist: Have someone in charge of getting your data ready and keeping it in good shape.
  • Review Policies Regularly: Keep your data labels, loss prevention rules, and access controls up to date with your organization’s needs and legal requirements.
  • Manage Access Wisely: Make sure people have just enough access to do their jobs, and also ensure you recheck these permissions as things change.

6. Keeping Up with Maintenance:

  • Regular Checks: Perform monthly, quarterly, and also yearly reviews to adjust to new data needs, permission changes, and updates in regulations. This helps you stay on track and keep your data practices top-notch.

In Summary

By focusing on Azure Information Protection, data hygiene habits, and data governance, you lay a strong foundation for using Copilot in Microsoft 365. Getting your data in shape makes Copilot more useful while also keeping your organization’s information safe. Furthermore this careful approach to managing data is a key step in digital transformation, helping your organization deal with today’s data challenges confidently and effectively.

Learn more about Copilot here:

To learn more about Zero Trust, what it is, and why you should have it before Copilot, you can find my article here: