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In part one of our deep dive into the new Microsoft Office, we show you step by step how to use three of the best new features in Excel 2016. Don't have Microsoft Office 2016? Get it now through the TechSoup Microsoft donation program! — Editor
Office 2016 includes powerful new Excel features. Here are three you should check out today.
What's new with Excel charts? If you look carefully at the Excel 2016 "Insert" ribbon tab, you will notice the new chart types, which will help you better share your data with your audience. These new types are
Let's check out the waterfall! Who doesn't have a financial report to do every now and then? The waterfall report shows the "cumulative effect of a series of positive and negative values." So it's great for showing financial data.
Just add your data in the Excel spreadsheet, select the data (1) and go to the "Insert" tab on the ribbon (2), and from the "Charts" section, click on "Waterfall" from the drop-down menu.
Now your financial reports will look better (especially if the flow itself was good). And a good-looking report means better opportunities for your team and your organization to demonstrate your impact.
Actually, this is where the big changes introduced by Excel 2016 are. You now have new and powerful tools and processes that allow you to gather data from several sources and get insight-rich information, leading to better decisions.
Excel's Power Query add-on is now integrated into the Excel 2016 core, so there's no need to install it separately anymore. With Power Query, you can get data from external sources (websites included!) or from basically almost any database type out there: SQL, Azure, Access, Oracle, and more.
Another remarkable Excel 2016 tool is the forecast worksheet. It allows you to provide forecasts of your data based on historical data, and you can include variable factors too!
Microsoft Power Map for Excel is a 3D data visualization instrument that displays information in new and spectacular ways, which can give you new perspectives compared to the usual tables and charts.
Power Map is very useful for mapping your data. Imagine being able to plot geographic and temporal coordinates (data) on a 3D globe or custom type of map. And Power Map can handle more than one million rows from an Excel table.
You can get new insights while viewing important data evolutions in a geographical area of your choice during a given time period.
Open an Excel spreadsheet containing geographic and other data and select the data (1). Now go to the "Insert" tab on the Excel 2016 ribbon, expand the menu under "3D Maps" (2) and select "Open 3D Maps" (3), and select the map to open.
Next, return to the initial Excel window, containing your selected data, click the drop-down menu again and click on "Add selected data to 3D Maps" (4). Go to the map window and visualize the data:
To find out more about Power Map, head over here for a few resources and some good sample datasets and examples.
We've only highlighted a few of the new things in the incredibly powerful and useful tool, Excel 2016. If you want to find out more about Excel 2016, visit the Microsoft Office Excel blog, and here are some Microsoft Virtual Academy Excel courses to enhance your skills, too. Have fun!
Images: Cosmin Tătaru
Wow, these new analytics/dataviz tools are a beast !!