Home TECH Microsoft overhauls Excel, adds support for live custom data types

Microsoft overhauls Excel, adds support for live custom data types

Until now Excel was limited to text and numbers, base types of data

Microsoft Excel will be undergoing an overhaul and will now support custom live data types. The Excel users worldwide were using the spreadsheet tool till now to import, analyze, and organize data, but these data types were limited to numbers and text.

Previously, Microsoft had added some interesting features like dynamic arrays, custom stocks, and geography data types and now the company is updating Excel to allow the users to import their own data as different custom data types.

Manipulate data in the new Microsoft Excel without hassle

This means that you can easily manipulate data in MS Excel in new ways without any hassle. For example, users can even import data types of New York and create a mathematical formula that references a single cell to pull out info on the population of New York.

These custom data types work by cramming in sets of structured data into a solitary cell that can be referenced by the remaining part of the spreadsheet. You can refresh the data and keep it up to date. If you’re a student, teacher, or someone researching the periodic table, for instance, you can easily create a cell for each element and pull out individual data from there.

More than 100 new data types

Microsoft is looking to bring in more than 100 new data types to MS Excel for Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers. Excel users would be able to get nutritional values for their food intake, track stocks, and a lot more, courtesy of the data from Wolfram Alpha’s service. This service is currently only available to the Office beta testers of the Insiders Program.

Picture credit – microsoft.com

These data types will be most useful for businesses that heavily rely on Excel on a daily basis. Microsoft will leverage its Power BI service that’ll act as the connector that brings more sources of data in Excel data types for the commercial side, allowing them to connect to a variety of data. It can either be hierarchical data or references made to other data types and images. Both small and large-scale businesses will be able to convert existing cells to linked data types, which will make data analysis much easier.

Power BI the only way?

While Power BI is important for Excel’s new features, it isn’t the only way for these features to work. If you’re importing data into MS Excel, you will be able to transform that data into different data types with Power Query.

This can include information from databases, websites, files, and more. The imported data can be easily cleaned up and converted into power data before being used in spreadsheets. If you can pull in data using Power Query, it’ll be easy to refresh it from its original source.

Aviral Sharma
Aviral Sharma |B-Tech grad | From Kanpur but Bengaluru is my new home. Content writer for over 4 years, it is both my hobby and my passion. Apart from content writing, I live and breathe football. And oh! I love cooking too.


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