2 min

Microsoft announced new data management features for Excel. The features aim to make working with complex and regularly updated information on spreadsheets much easier. Up until now, Excel only allowed users to fill it with text, numbers, and formulas.

Microsoft decided to take the first step to change this limitation last year by introducing support for two additional types of data.

The idea is now going even further by bringing users the ability to import any data into their spreadsheets without any worries about complexity and define the custom data types to manage the information added.

Convenience just got better

The most significant benefit that users will cite now is convenience. Before this update, if a business analyst wanted to import something like shopping history and product reviews in excel, they would have to put each data point in separate cells. 

All the information can be compressed into just one cell by defining the “Customer” data type.

Simply clicking on the cell brings up the details in full, using a pop-up panel. This feature will make data projects simpler by removing the need to reformat complex records in the former two-dimensional structure of old spreadsheets.

The third dimension

Storing data across fewer cells will mean that copy and paste errors are gone, ensuring that there is more accuracy of information. Brian Jones, the group program manager for Excel, says that the program has been two-dimensional and flat.

Not all data is flat, making it hard to represent it on a spreadsheet. With the addition of Data Types, there is a third dimension that expands what you can build with Excel.

The addition of this versatility to Excel will help Microsoft compete with the startups that have emerged in recent times, to end the Spreadsheet Dominance that the software giant has enjoyed.