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New ways to get the Excel business analytics features you need

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Recently, we told you about the exciting new features and improvements in Excel 2016 that expand the business analytics capabilities available to you and your company. Today we will tell you about the changes we have made to help you get access to the features that fit your unique needs, including more Office plans that offer advanced analytics functionality.

Giving analytics power to all Excel users

No matter what Office plan you decide to purchase, you can leverage Excel’s powerful data analysis tools to help you discover, organize and analyze the data around you and find the business insights that matter. Rich chart types and easy formatting, a library of powerful functions and fast and flexible PivotTable capabilities are just a few of the core capabilities in every box of Excel 2016. The following are a few of the new features made available in Excel 2016:

  • Rich charts and visualizations—The powerful new charts, like Treemap and Histogram, enable you to visualize your data in more compelling ways. Power Map, the popular 3D geospatial visualization tool, is now available to all Excel 2016 users and comes with a more intuitive name, “3D Maps.”
  • Easy access to data, using the Power Query functionality—We have integrated the Power Query add-in to be out-of-the-box for all Excel 2016 users. This feature, which used to be reserved for premium plans only, is now available in all Excel 2016 plans, on the Data ribbon under the Get & Transform section. Excel 2016 users can now benefit from the core functionality, connect to data from other CSV and Excel files, import data from public websites, access databases, OData feeds and more. In addition, Excel 2016 users can also now use the powerful Power Query capabilities to transform data in a variety of ways.
  • New data analysis capabilities in Power Pivot—Since Excel 2013, all users have been able to take advantage of the data model in each Excel workbook to stay connected to large sets of data from different data sources to perform basic data modeling. Several new features have been added to make analysis on these models faster and more flexible. Some key additions include automatic relationship detection, automatic time grouping and inline creation of DAX calculated measures. These new capabilities are now available in all plans of Excel.

Providing more advanced analytics functionality

Excel 2016 provides capabilities that allow you to further enhance your data analysis experiences and share your data and analysis more effectively across your company. These features, usually suitable for professional business analysts, come with all premium plans of Office 2016, including Office 365 ProPlus, Office Professional Plus, Excel 2016 Standalone, and now also in Office 2016 Professional! Here is the list of the advanced analytics features:

  • Advanced analytics and modeling capabilities with Power Pivot—With the full Power Pivot management UX, you can benefit from advanced modeling capabilities like Diagram View, KPIs, Hierarchies and DAX Calculated Columns.

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  • Advanced connectivity options with Power Query—For corporate users who require advanced connectivity and importing features, we have added the option to connect to corporate, big data and cloud data sources, such as Oracle, DB2 or MySQL database, a variety of Azure data sources, such as Azure SQL Database, Salesforce, Hadoop files and many more.

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  • Advanced collaboration—With an addition of Power BI license, you will also benefit from a corporate data search and will be able to share your import and transformation queries with other analysts within your organization through the means of a Corporate Data Catalog.

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New ways to get Excel premium features

With the release of Excel 2016, we have provided two key improvements to our Office plans that make it easier to get these advanced analytics features:

  • Office 2016 Professional feature updates—Office 2016 Professional includes all of Excel’s business analytics capabilities, making it much easier for you to take advantage of the complete suite as part of a one-time purchase of the Office desktop apps. And if you want to always be at the cutting edge of Excel innovation, you can also purchase the Office 365 ProPlus subscription, which comes with Excel 2016, and receive ongoing updates and new features in the future.
  • Small business users—Office 365 small business users who are using one of the Office 365 Business plans for most of their organization can now purchase Office 365 ProPlus for users who need the premium features and leave the rest unchanged.

Summary of the Excel 2016 business analytics features

For the sake of clarity, the diagrams below provide a holistic view of business analytics features offered in Excel 2016:

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We hope that you’ll find this information useful and as always are glad to hear your feedback.

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