UPDATED 07:25 EST / JUNE 16 2015


Google improves Sheet’s analytics, visualization features

Google is adding new visualization and analytical tools to its Sheets software to help business users to better understand the data on their spreadsheets.

In its latest effort to bring Big Data analytics capabilities to the masses, Google has announced a new tool that allows users to preview formula results instantly, even as users are typing out the formula. Dan Gundrum, Google product manager, said in a blog post this feature was unique to Google Sheets, and that it’s main use will be to help users spot basic formula errors more easily than before.

Besides this, the update allows users to filter rows and columns using qualifiers like “text contains” or “greater than” to focus on the spreadsheet values that matter. Doing so, users will be able to look at only the dates, text and numbers they need for a particular task, Gundrum explained.

Other new features include being able to add a new calculated field to the pivot table that performs functions based on other data in the pivot field. There’s also a GETPIVOTDATA function that enables easier data retrieval from the pivot table.

Google has also updated the data visualization features in Sheets. A new feature called “data labels” allows users to display the exact value of bars or points in a spreadsheet, while another feature lets users change the shape of data points in line or scatter graphs.

“Charts can make even the largest data sets digestible, so we’ve made a few improvements to help you highlight what’s most important,” Gundrum said.

Google has long been trying to win over Microsoft Office and Excel users and the updates are clearly an attempt to make its software more appealing to enterprise users. While Microsoft’s software is generally said to have more features and better performance, Google is clearly getting closer and believes this, combined with its substantially lower costs, might be enough to temp some users to switch.

But while Google’s approach seemed to be working initially, Microsoft’s recent efforts appear to have stolen the momentum. Redmond’s decision to make Office 365 available as a cloud-based service has seen the platform gain significant attention, and so Google will need to add more unique features like the ones added today if it’s to make a bigger dent in the enterprise.

Since you’re here …

Show your support for our mission with our one-click subscription to our YouTube channel (below). The more subscribers we have, the more YouTube will suggest relevant enterprise and emerging technology content to you. Thanks!

Support our mission:    >>>>>>  SUBSCRIBE NOW >>>>>>  to our YouTube channel.

… We’d also like to tell you about our mission and how you can help us fulfill it. SiliconANGLE Media Inc.’s business model is based on the intrinsic value of the content, not advertising. Unlike many online publications, we don’t have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.The journalism, reporting and commentary on SiliconANGLE — along with live, unscripted video from our Silicon Valley studio and globe-trotting video teams at theCUBE — take a lot of hard work, time and money. Keeping the quality high requires the support of sponsors who are aligned with our vision of ad-free journalism content.

If you like the reporting, video interviews and other ad-free content here, please take a moment to check out a sample of the video content supported by our sponsors, tweet your support, and keep coming back to SiliconANGLE.