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Google Sheets Gets Analytics, Visualization Features

Google Sheets Gets Analytics, Visualization Features

 

Designed to enable users to do more with their data, the new features give users more options for visualizing and analyzing data in their spreadsheets.

Dan Gundrum, Google product manager, described the feature as unique to Sheets and said that it is designed to help users catch basic formula errors more easily than was previously possible.

Monday's update also allows Sheets users to filter rows and columns using qualifiers like "greater than" or "text contains" to filter out data that a user might not want to view in response to a query.

The feature allows users to get only the dates, text and numbers they specifically need, Gundrum said.

In addition, Sheets users will now be able to add a calculated field to their pivot table that performs calculations based on the other data in the pivot field, he said.

A GETPIVOTDATA function, meanwhile, enabled easier data retrieval from the pivot table. In addition to the analytics tools, Google has also tweaked the data visualization support in Sheets.

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One example is a new "data labels" feature in Sheets that lets users display the exact value of points or bars in a spreadsheet. Another new feature lets users change the shape of their data points when using line or scatter graphs to display data graphically,
"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.

"Charts can make even the largest data sets digestible, so we've made a few improvements to help you highlight what's most important"Dan Gundrum

The updates appear to be an effort by Google to make Sheets and its Google Apps, in general, more interesting to enterprise users.

Though Microsoft's Excel and Office 365 suite as a whole is generally thought of as offering more features and performance than Sheets and Google Apps, Google itself has been trying to attract users willing to exchange some of the performance benefits of Microsoft technology for the substantially lower costs associated with its office productivity suite.

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