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Microsoft Excel: The giant update expands the types of data beyond text and numbers



Excel customers can now import their own data directly into Excel and use it as a data type.

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Businesses can now create different types of data from their own data in Excel

Image: Microsoft

Excel is getting what could be its most important overhaul in years, after Microsoft announced that the program would allow users to create custom data types.

Until now, Microsoft Excel only allowed users to work with text and numbers. This changes in an upcoming update, allowing customers to import their own data directly into Excel and use it as a data type.

This means organizations will be able to work with their own business data as data types, directly in Excel. For example, Microsoft says businesses with customer tracking systems can bring it into Excel, structured in a way they define.

Data types can also be connected to sources directly, Microsoft said. A single cell value can have a directly connected set of information that the customer can quickly refer to without constantly going back to the original source to find more information.

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60 Excel tips that every user should master

“So far, the Excel grid is flat: it̵

7;s two-dimensional. You can arrange numbers, text, and formulas on a flexible grid,” Microsoft said in a blog post. There are amazing things with those possibilities.

“However, not all data is flat, and tying data to that 2D structure has its limitations. With Data Type, we’ve added a third dimension to what you can create with Excel. Any cell can now contain a rich structured set of data in a single cell. ”

For
Microsoft Power BI

Customer, Excel automatically connects to Power BI, which means any data published to Microsoft’s smart business platform will be available in Excel as structured, custom data.

At the same time, customers using Excel will be able to use the Power Query tool to identify different data sources and convert them to a data type; alternatively, users can create their own data types from scratch using any organization data source through Excel’s Get Data menu, including files, databases, and online services. online. The Power Query data type will update automatically from the connected data sources.

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“These types of data reside in the workbooks you’re building, allowing you to simplify large volumes of data and make it easier for others in your organization to use,” Microsoft explains. The company is also in the process of introducing 100 new Wolfram Alpha data types for
Microsoft 365

Personal or Family Subscribers, allowing customers to do things like tracking nutrition information and tracking stocks.

Power BI data types are available in Excel for Windows to all Microsoft 365 / Office 365 subscribers with Power BI Pro service plans.

Microsoft says Power Query data types are currently rolling out and will be available in the coming weeks to all Microsoft 365 / Office 365 subscribers, while Wolfram Alpha data types are now available for preview for People. Office Insider.

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