Understand Knowledge Skills

Knowledge skills enable users, such as employees and customers, to ask Alexa questions about an organization's spreadsheet data without invoking a skill name. Users can ask Alexa about different types of data – org charts, building information, events, FAQs, glossaries, product catalogs, and more – in a knowledge skill by saying, "Alexa" and then asking their question. Building knowledge skills requires no coding and no AWS infrastructure, only a spreadsheet of data and Alexa for Business or Alexa for Hospitality.

Knowledge skill features

Knowledge skills offer the following features:

  • Spreadsheet data input – Upload and refresh your tabular data in bulk by using spreadsheet files.
  • Flexible understanding – Knowledge skills use Alexa's intelligence to enable users to ask the same question in different ways. For example, the Events template enables users to ask questions about "next" and "last" events, as well as events happening "last week", "next month", or "this year".
  • No code or infrastructure – Building a knowledge skill requires no coding or AWS infrastructure. Anyone who is familiar with spreadsheets can build one.
  • No skill invocation – Users do not need to remember and state your knowledge skill's name before interacting with it. They can simply say, "Alexa" and then ask their question.

How knowledge skills work

Knowledge skills enable users to ask questions and get answers from spreadsheet data that you upload and map to templates. These templates correspond to different use cases. The following are a few examples:

  • How To template"Alexa, how do I log on to the Wi-Fi?"
  • Events template"Alexa, when is the next keynote?"
  • In-Store Assistant template"Alexa, where can I find the pasta?"

For a complete list of templates, see Knowledge Skill Data Template Requirements. If you have data that fits into one of these templates, you can create a knowledge skill.

Example

The following example shows a portion of the People Directory data template. Each row is an employee, and each column is an attribute of an employee.

Alexa knowledge skill data screenshot.

If you use the People Directory template for your knowledge skill, then your skill can answer questions such as the following, and many others:

  • Single fact"Alexa, when did Mary Major start?"
  • Multiple facts"Alexa, what’s John Public's start date and phone number?"
  • Counts"Alexa, how many software developers are in New York?"
  • Lists"Alexa, what employees are located in New York?"
  • Statistics"Alexa, what's the average tenure for software developers?"
  • Superlatives"Alexa, who are the newest employees in New York?"
  • Reasoning"Alexa, is Jane Doe a software developer?"

Get started

To get started, sign up for the knowledge skills preview at Alexa Knowledge Skills Public Preview. After you have access, see Steps to Create a Knowledge Skill.