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Increase your Excel productivity with insights

The new feature is based on Machine learning and provide you with recommendations based on your data

When it comes to data, Microsoft Excel is probably the most popular application in almost every office in the world, and for good reason. Microsoft have been working hard in the recent years to bring more and more intelligent features to their products. The Excel insights are a result of this effort and can help you to accelerate your end-to-end workflow, from connecting and shaping data to understanding, analysing, visualising, and forecasting intricate information.

The feature Insights is an artificial intelligence-powered capability available for Office 365 subscribers. The feature works well alongside existing intelligent, results-oriented features like Flash Fill, Chart Recommendations, and PivotTable Recommendations, all of which are long time user favourites.

How it works?

Firstly, if the tool is not appearing automatically in your Excel spreadsheet, just search for insights in the task bar. Because you are using it for the very first time Excel will ask you if you wish to TURN ON the feature. Once, it is turned on and you have your spreadsheet opened it will appear on the right side of your work.

Insights automatically highlights patterns detected in your data, helping you discover and analyse new insights such as trends, outliers, and other useful analyses and visualisations. It will look for interesting trends in your data and provide quick summaries with PivotTables and charts. Because this feature is powered by machine learning, it will provide increasingly advanced analysis as usage grows. So, more you use it, the better it gets.

If you aren’t a master in Excel this feature will probably catch your attention, it can save you time and improve your productivity.

Below you can see a selection of Excel intelligence capabilities, some of them aren’t new, but sometimes they are hidden, and we don’t realise their existence when we most need it.

Recommended PivotTables

Is a perfect tool for users who have limited experience with PivotTables. When you use this feature, Excel determines a meaningful layout by matching your data with the most suitable areas in the PivotTable. After you create a recommended, you can explore different orientations and rearrange fields to achieve your specific results.

Quick Analysis

This tool provides access to a gallery of formatting styles and visualisations, including charts, tables, formulas, and sparklines. It automatically recommends the best approach for analysing your selected range of data, and then produces a preview so you can quickly have a look at different options. It’s a time saver if you aren’t an Excel professional.

Conditional Formatting

As the name says, this feature gives you the flexibility to write rules and format data sets in a specific way according to your needs.  For example, it can highlight duplicates, add color scales, and incorporate icons to help you quickly identify anomalies and patterns.

AutoFill and Flash Fill

Those tools were particularly designed to save time entering and manipulating data. AutoFill allows you to quickly populate an entire column with sequential data, like dates, for example. Flash Fill works similarly, but recommends inputs based on data in adjacent cells.

One-click forecasting

This feature helps you to predict things like future sales, inventory requirements, and consumer trends. To use the tool, you must have historical time-based data. The one-click forecasting will create a new worksheet that contains both a table of the historical and predicted values and a chart that expresses this data. Additionally, several partners have built Azure-enabled Excel tools that incorporate machine learning into the forecasting feature for more robust, customised insights.

Get & Transform

It is a tool to help you to connect with different data hosts, such as Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL and data providers like Exchange, Sales Force, Dynamics and Facebook. With this feature you can connect, combine, refine data sources to meet your analyses needs. One more easy step to make your life easier and help in the process of analysing data.

*This information is based on this article provided by Microsot Techcommunity.

Master your Excel skills

At New Horizons Ireland we provide a wide range of Excel courses, from basic to advanced levels. They run regularly in our monthly schedule, either online or instructor led in Dublin. You can also customise a private class to meet the needs of your company and team. Check out our options and schedule and contact one of our Account Managers to build the best training solution for you.

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