In what must be the biggest update to Excel this year, Microsoft has introduced cloud-powered data types. The feature was teased at Ignite last year and will finally roll out to Office Insiders this month. There are plans to keep adding to the functionality, but currently, it includes stocks and geography. The pair have “added AI capabilities”, letting the app automatically associate words with relevant data. If the user types a country, for example, Excel will pair it with population, GDP, and more. This is made possible by the same technology that powers Bing's recent intelligent search features. Microsoft combines AI with Project Brainwave, which uses Intel's FPGA chips for a tenfold increase in speed and model size. For both stocks and geography, Excel will display information as a rich datatype. You can associate the information with a Map Chart in a single click and see relevant information on each cell. To pull in a stock, you can simply type the ticker name and use the latest data to inform your calculations. You can also pull in index funds, or type company names to reference stock.
Excel: Microsoft Introduces Cloud-Powered Stocks and Geography Data Types
Microsoft Excel can now pull in current data that doesn't have a set value. Rich data lets users create visualizations, as well as pull in stock and index prices.