Microsoft Excel provides support for live custom data types

Microsoft Excel provides support for live custom data types so that users can import their own data as a custom data type. A single cell value can now contain a live linked set of information that you can incorporate into your decision-making process without having to go back and forth with the original source to find more information. You can also use the map view to see more information about this type of data and to navigate to related information. Users can also use the Power BI data ecosystem to create data types.

You can create your own data types and connect directly to any data in Excel or Microsoft announced in a blog post. Power Query lets you build queries and transforms to get the exact shape of the data you’re looking for. When you import data into your table, you have the option of converting that data to a data type. To create the custom data type, you can use any source of organizational data available from the Get Data menu – files, databases, online services, and more.

Organization data types of Power BI will also be available in Excel. Data types can leverage information from your business and organization and use Power BI as an ideal source of authoritative data. Power BI’s data ecosystem includes 140+ data sources, centralized and controlled access, row-level security, and Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) sensitivity tags.

You can update your data types to get the latest information from Power Query and Power BI.

It is possible to discover Power BI tables through the data type gallery. You can then convert cells to data types. Once the cells have been converted to linked data types, you can extract additional information to edit in your tables. For example, if you enter a product code or name, additional information such as description, price, and available inventory will appear in the card view. You can create an invoice in Excel with connected and trusted data straight from Power BI.

Data types also reduce the risk of errors, according to Microsoft. No need to copy, paste and import directly. For example, you can import the data type for a city and use a formula to refer to Population = A1.population. When the data type is updated, the results in the formula are also updated. Instead of seeing a static number, you can also see the formula and know where the number came from.

Microsoft is adding over 100 new data types to Excel for Microsoft 365 Personal or Family subscribers. For example, using information from Wolfram Alpha’s online service, users can track their nutritional information, research potential colleges, monitor stocks, learn chemistry and much more. This is available for preview to Office Beta testers in the Insider Program.

Power Query data types are being rolled out and will be available to all Microsoft 365 / Office 365 subscribers in the coming weeks. The Power BI data type is available to users who have a Power BI Pro service plan.

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