Business Marketing

Google Sheets robots are helping your data be more visual

woman working laptop sheets

(MARKETING) Google Sheets is expanding its reach and giving users more flexibility when using their spreadsheet program.

Google numbers

Google Sheets, the company’s spreadsheet program akin to Microsoft Excel, has received some substantial new updates. Last year, it added the machine learning-powered “Explore” which made it easier to gain insight regarding your data.

Well, it looks like Explore has done some serious studying as the feature is now even smarter, being able to build charts simply by asking it natural language questions.

Not new, but improved

Though the function was already able to build graphs, it can now also build charts and tables, as well as build visualizations that answer specific questions about your data.

Previously, the “Explore” function could only build graphs focused on the complete set of data.

In action, this would equate to typing in a query to Explore asking for a “bar chart for 2017 coffee sales,” or a “histogram of May 2017 new subscribers.”

exploring and more

Adding to the Explore function’s effectiveness is its ability to update data sets in Google’s other office programs. Instead of having to go in and manually change the data line-by-line, you can now simply copy and paste the table into Google Docs or Slides, and click “update” to sync the data.

This will undoubtedly be useful for those times when one needs to quickly update their data tables before a big presentation, or sending in an important report.

Other new features include new keyboard shortcuts, a more customizable printing experience (adjust margins, and/or select scale and alignment options before printing), a more powerful sidebar for chart editing, and even more statistical functions (with Sheets now sitting at over 400 functions).

Check it out

The new and updated Google Sheets rolled out on June 1, so if you are already using the program, you may have noticed all its fancy new bells and whistles. Being completely honest, I do not know much in the way of spreadsheets. But, spreadsheet fans and data nerds galore, it sounds to me that at least some of your prayers have been heard and answered by the almighty Google.

And, if you have yet to try out Google’s Sheets program, it seems that now would be a great time to check it out.




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