4 Features in Excel 2013 to Make You Work Smarter!

I am continuously amazed at what Microsoft releases year in and year out in what I consider to be their flagship office product, Excel. We all know that Excel is the language of business and finance people around the globe, and its pervasive use may even suggest that it is used in galaxies beyond our own! However, I am not here to discuss distant galaxies and science but rather to reaffirm that Excel is here to stay as a business sharing and analysis tool.

At Gartner’s 2010 Business Intelligence Summit there was interesting debate around using Excel for Business Intelligence. Gartner analysts and BI managers said that efforts to stop Excel BI use in its tracks were bound to fail; the release of Excel 2013 is testament to this. You can read what some of the opinions on the topic were here.

As developers of business intelligence software, we often marvel at our master stroke decision in choosing Excel as the front-end to our solution over 12 years ago, and with Excel 2013’s powerful business intelligence features, we are reaping greater rewards! Below I have picked out a few of my favorite features to make you look even smarter and work like a business intelligence pro:

  • PowerView – The point of Power View is to make it very easy to create cool, interactive data presentations or reports that will make your colleagues go “Wow!”
  • Quick Analysis – Allows previews and fear-free exploration of Excel’s analytical capabilities that most of us are too scared to use e.g. color scales, data bars and Top 10 previews

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  • Animated bubble charts – Motion charts are animated bubble charts. They track the performance of important things over time (in two dimensions).

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  • Data Visualizations – Enables you to display images alongside numerical data to better and more easily describe your data as in the example below that illustrates a picnic supplies business that is wanting to get info on its croissant.

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Make sure you check out the new features in Excel 2013, as you will be amazed at the power that lurks on your desktop!