Research & Opinions

The Best AI Chatbots For Searching Company Data

The Best AI Chatbots For Searching Company Data
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With your company data spread out across lots of different systems, without any one person knowing where to find what they need, your team can spend hours, if not days, searching for the right snippet of information they need to answer a question that comes up during their day. Multiplied by all your team members and all the questions that come up across a week or a month and you'll find yourself facing a lot of wasted time and mentally fatigued employees. And without a single search tool that plugs into all your data sources — wiki, documents, spreadsheets, internal APIs, databases — you're left with siloed information and frustrated workers wasting far too much time trying to find answers.

But it doesn't have to be this way. Fortunately, massive improvements in AI make it easy to build a custom AI chatbot that can scan all your data and provide on-demand answers to any question you might have where the answer is stored somewhere in the data sources and apps you already use. With the right software, an AI chatbot can connect directly into the systems you already use every day — Google Drive, Slack, Salesforce — making your data searchable in a way your team can actually use.

An AI chatbot is an app that can chat with your team, employees, customers, and other users to provide them answers to their questions in a simple, chat-based interface. The best AI chatbots have access to your company data so that they can answer your team's questions knowledgably with citations and trusted information.

In the rest of this post, we'll review the best chatbots for helping your team search your internal data, conduct internal research, and get quick answers to their questions.

1. Locusive's chatbot for Slack

Price: Free to start, pay as you go after

Locusive's chatbot helps businesses search their data by providing a simple chat interface where they can ask a question and get a cited answer back using information from their knowledge base. You can add data from the apps and tools you're already using, like Salesforce, Google Sheets, Google Drive, etc., and ask questions about your data using a simple, intuitive chat interface. When the bot finds an answer from your data, it will provide a short and simple response and link you back to its source. You can even set it up to use a search engine to find an answer if it can't find what it needs in your existing knowledge base.

Pros
  • Answers are provided with a link back to the source document so you can verify the information or conduct additional research
  • Plugs into your existing Slack workspace so you can use it to collaborate with your team in the same chat app that you already use
  • Can connect to tools like Google Drive, Google Sheets, Salesforce, public webpages, PDFs, etc.
  • Provides the ability to have a search engine look up an answer to a question that it couldn't answer using your internal data
  • Data connected from apps like Google Drive or Sheets can be used as a knowledge base for all team member's queries
  • Data is automatically refreshed daily
  • Slash commands and "@ messages" allow users to communicate and collaborate easily
  • Data is not used to train any models
  • Also provides an API to query and chat with your data programmatically
Cons
  • Small but growing number of integrations
  • Questions must be asked in a way that provides enough information for the bot to find relevant context from your data
  • Currently only available for Slack
  • Non-streaming response makes it feel like the answer takes longer than when using an LLM on a website
Setup process
  • Sign up for a free account
  • Connect the data sources you want using a standard OAuth process
  • Add the chatbot to your Slack workspace
  • Start chatting

Try it free

2. ChatGPT with plugins

Price: $20 monthly with a pay-as-you-go component

ChatGPT revolutionized the world when it came out with its revolutionary large language model. As the leader in Generative AI, OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT, have created a simple, easy-to-use, chat-based application that can produce content nearly immediately. While it doesn't have access to your internal data by default, ChatGPT Plus users ($20/mo) get the ability to add in plugins that can support file uploads, and if you specify the exact URL for the files you want in Google Drive (and set those files up to be viewed publicly), can also search through your Google Drive data, along with any other apps that have created plugins.

Pros
  • Available in the standard ChatGPT chat website, which is easy to use and provides a familiar interface
  • Streaming text makes the initial response fast
Cons
  • Your data may be used to train OpenAI's ChatGPT model
  • May require you to upload the exact files you need to query, which defeats the purpose of searching through your data
  • You need to provide the exact URLs of the files you want to query on Google Drive, again, defeating the purpose of searching through your data
  • Not directly integrated into your existing chat apps
  • Requires a ChatGPT Plus subscription
  • Data and insights are hard to share across your team
  • Requires you to make internal data publicly viewable
  • Not connected to a search engine (unless you have an applicable plugin)
Setup process
  • Sign up for OpenAI
  • Subscribe to ChatGPT Plus
  • Go to the chat page and activate plugins
  • Select the plugins you want to use
  • Start chatting, following the instructions provided by each plugin to provide further access to your data

3. Claude 2.0 with file uploads

Price: Free

Anthropic created an LLM, named Claude 2, that competes with ChatGPT. It provides a simple chat interface that makes it easy for you to generate content, including answers to your questions, and with their file upload ability, you can also provide source information that you can use to query your documents. While Claude won't let you search your entire knowledge base, you can upload files that contain information that you want to query, and use Claude's large context window (number of words you can send) to do more in-depth Q&A about the files that you give it.

Pros
  • Free to use
  • Large context window enables you to add longer documents than other LLMs
  • Available from the web
  • Streaming answers make it seem like answers are coming in quickly
Cons
  • Cannot search across all of your data sources and apps
  • Does not let you ask generic questions, you have to upload files directly to the website
  • No access controls, permissions, or data security
  • Data and insights are difficult to share across your team
  • Not connected to a search engine
Setup process
  • Sign up for a free account
  • Go to the website
  • Upload any files you want to add by clicking the paperclip icon
  • Start chatting

4. Chatbase

Price: Free to start

Chatbase is an AI-powered chatbot that's designed to sit on your website, but you can also chat with your bots directly from their web app. They let you plug in files, website URLs, and your Notion account and start asking questions of any of the content in those sources. You can also integrate it with Slack if you select a paid subscription plan.

Pros
  • A web-based, streaming interface makes it fast to interact with
  • You can integrate a selection of data sources, like files or Notion
  • It can crawl websites for you, allowing you to use data from an entire site as part of your knowledge base
  • Integrate it on a website or provide a direct link to the bot
  • You can share a link directly to your chatbot, allowing anyone to chat with it within the context of the data you integrate
  • Ability to export conversations
  • Data is not used to train models
Cons
  • Does not integrate with third-party apps like Google or other APIs
  • Not connected to a search engine
  • No integrated permissions or data sharing
Setup process
  • Sign up for Chatbase
  • Upload files, select websites, or connect your Notion accounts to use for your knowledge base
  • Start chatting

5. ChatSpot

Price: Free with a HubSpot subscription

Image source

ChatSpot is HubSpot's custom chat tool, which integrates with your HubSpot account and allows you to chat with data stored in your HubSpot CRM. It's free to use with a HubSpot subscription, and while they claim they do have connections to your existing data, it appears to be limited to what's available in your CRM.

Pros
  • Free to use for HubSpot users
  • Able to interact with your data in your CRM, including both querying and writing/report generation
  • Data is not used to train models
Cons
  • Does not allow you to search data outside of HubSpot
Setup process
  • Sign up for HubSpot
  • Subscribe to the HubSpot account you want
  • Go to the ChatSpot homepage
  • Select your HubSpot account
  • Start chatting