This April, Microsoft have announced their monthly updates with a focus on Excel and SharePoint. Adding and enhancing intelligence were at the forefront of these Microsoft Office 365 updates, with new data types being added to Excel plus the introduction of intelligent search within SharePoint.
New capabilities for Excel Online
Previous to this update, Excel Online had limited capabilities but, after numerous requests from users, Microsoft have given Excel Online a much needed update. This update means that creating and editing spreadsheets within your internet browser will become easier. Furthermore, Pivot Tables are now available as well as the removal of rows and columns, plus you can now insert images from your local storage as well as change the colour of tabs and duplicate existing sheets.
New data types for Excel
After becoming accustomed to using intelligent tools such as Insights, users will be happy to hear that the latest update will further increase Excel’s capabilities. Thanks to Microsoft Cloud, the new data types in Excel will be cloud-connected, with Microsoft announcing that the first two data types will be geography and stocks.
Excel will be able to recognise data types, beyond traditional number and text strings, thanks to new added AI capabilities. The term ‘Belgium’, for example, would not only be recognisable as a text string but also as a country and, therefore, further data such as the country’s population and GDP will be attributed to it. These additional data insights can populate different cells automatically and will update in real time thanks to the cloud.
With machine learning, these new data types will work alongside real-time data – making the process of ensure that data is rich and correct simpler. Looking forward, Microsoft will add organisational data types that are backed up by Microsoft Graph to Excel, meaning that your spreadsheets will be filled with even richer content. It seems that, when it comes to creating even richer data, this is only the beginning.
SharePoint Online search
After Microsoft’s announcement last year, they have now introduced new SharePoint Online search capabilities. Now, users will be able to search for information, advise and colleague’s details within SharePoint. This update is being rolled out to all Microsoft Office 365 subscribers and means that your search results will become more bespoke and personalised.
The new search feature uses intelligent signals from Microsoft Graph to return more useful, more intelligence results. The look of the results page has been redesigned too, making them easier to explore and allowing users to preview files without losing their results. By bringing different tools together, you will be able to see cloud-powered results, regardless of whether your search began with SharePoint or office.com.
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