🛠️ How to optimize your assistants

Optimizing your Dust assistants can enhance efficiency and accuracy in your workspace.

Think of your assistant as an intern who improves as you provide more specific and clear instructions. Here’s a guide on how to diagnose issues and adjust settings to improve your assistant’s performance.

Common Issues

Below are some key types of issues you may encounter with your Dust assistant.

"It is not finding the right source"

  • Focus on Specific Sources: Limit the assistant's access to the most relevant sources. For example, if you have a ProcessSupport assistant, ensure it only has access to the “Process” pages.
  • Prompting: Provide hints in your prompts, such as “look for documents titled X or that refer to Y.”
  • Knowledge Base Hygiene: You may sometimes decide to organize your documents or create dedicated channels for specific topics to make information easier to find.

"It’s making things up" (’hallucinating)

  • Select the Right Model: If your tasks involve complex information, choose a model that is better suited for intricate queries. Check our blog post on this!
  • Adjust Creativity Settings: In the advanced settings, you can adjust the creativity level to “factual” or “balanced” to minimize fabrications (note: we don’t recommend using “deterministic” as it tends to generate sub-par answers).
  • Use ‘Chain of Thought’ Prompting: Direct the assistant to approach tasks step-by-step (“first do this, then do that”) to ensure clarity in reasoning.
  • Specific Prompting:
    • Include instructions on what to avoid, such as “do not speculate” or “steer clear of assumptions.”
    • Tell the model it’s okay not to know: models are designed to try and provide an answer even if they don’t have it. Adding “if you don’t have the answer, just say “I don’t know””
    • Check the tips at the bottom of the instructions!
Tweaking the models

Tweaking the models


It’s not getting Consistent Output formats

  • Prompt the Format: Clearly state how you want the information presented, e.g., “present the data in a table with columns A, B, C.”
  • Provide Examples: Share examples of the desired outputs to guide the assistant’s responses.

How Dust can help you

Make sure you check what we have built for you!

  • Our Library , which contains useful guides and examples from other Dust builders
  • Our Templates Gallery, which you can find when building an assistant
  • The promptCoach template which you can transform into an assistant to help people craft their prompts
  • The ‘Tips’ which will give you ideas on how to improve the prompt
Our Templates

The templates gallery