Excel’s Best Ideas

Have you noticed the ‘IDEAS’ icon in Excel?


(It used to be called ‘Insights’ ). It’s Excel’s attempt to make you look smarter and more thoughtful.

Simply start with a table (not a pivot table) of data, and hit the idea’s button and see what comes.

Based on my experimentation, it gets a little confused with formatting and ‘total’ lines in data, so you may need to cut-and-paste your data to a sheet, or just highlight the data you want to analyse without the total lines or blank formatting lines.

The function will then suggest charts and identify trends or stand-out numbers for you.

Nothing beats a human assessment of data, but this is a useful additional tool to help you make sure you didn’t miss anything obvious!

 

If you hit the ‘Which fields interest you the most’, you can instruct Excel to focus down just on that data and it will present some graphs and pivot options that help get you straight to the data you are interested in.