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Excel’s New Data Types

Is there anything you have seen someone do in Excel and have always wondered how? Chandoo Purna introduces us to Microsoft Excel data types.

During our Excel Office Apps & Services session at the UrBizEdge’s Microsoft Excel and Data Analysis Learning Community meetup on Sunday, our special speaker Chandoo Purna Rao Duggirala spoke about the recently introduced Microsoft Excel data types.

Video: Microsoft Excel Office Hour 41: Say Goodbye to Lookups with New Power Query Data Types.
Requirements and availability

  1. Data types require a Microsoft 365 subscription.
  2. Unfortunately, it is only available to the consumer audience in English-speaking markets.
  3. Windows: Version 2007 (Build 13029.20006) or Mac: Version 16.40 Build 20062901.

Excel’s New Data Types
Microsoft partnered with Wolfram to add new data types in Excel and the data types will continue to grow in future releases. These new data types can be found under the Data menu in Excel. These data types are considered linked data types because they are connected to an online database. This connection allows you to bring rich information into your spreadsheets.

  • Food: calories, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, nutrients, etc.
  • Exercise: exercise types and calories burned.
  • Locations: zip codes, economic data, airports, schools, forests, etc.
  • Universities: graduation rates, tuition, student body, etc.
  • Chemistry: elements, compounds, and minerals.
  • Space: planets, moons, satellites, supernovas, space missions, etc.
  • Movies: actors, characters, directors, release dates, poster art, etc.
  • And More: music, plants, animal breeds, famous people, languages, etc.

With this new feature, you can:

  • Tag your data as a data type and view expertly curated data within Excel, displaying a card with associated facts on the data. An Automatic” data type feature tries to determine which data type is relevant to the selected data.
  • You can also reference data types within your spreadsheets to generate rich, sophisticated spreadsheets. This makes building interactive, highly customizable spreadsheets easy. Lastly, you can visualize your data.

How to use this feature

  1. Highlight data, go to the Data tab in the ribbon and click on the data type or Automatic button.
  2. By clicking on an enhanced cell, a card that reveals information relevant to that cell is displayed.
Excel’s New Data Types
  1. You can then use Excel formulas to retrieve this generated content from data types.
  2. You can also reference data types within your spreadsheets to generate rich, sophisticated spreadsheets. 
  3. You can also visualize this data.

As you can see, Data Types can be very handy especially to get information from external Data sources into excel.

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