01 Jun

Google Sheets now uses machine learning to help you visualize your data

Google Sheets is getting smarter today. After adding the machine learning-powered “Explore” feature last year, which lets you ask natural language questions about your data, it’s now expanding this feature to also automatically build charts for you. This means you can now simply ask Sheets to give you a “bar chart for fidget spinner sales” and it will automatically build one for you.

All of this is backed by the same natural language understanding tech that already powered the “Explore” feature. It’s worth noting that the previous version of “Explore” could already build graphs for you, but those focused on your complete data set. It didn’t allow you to get graphs that answered specific questions.

With this new version, Google also is making it easier to keep in sync data from Sheets that you use in Docs or Slides. You could already update charts you copy into Docs and Slides with just a click, but now you also can do the same with tables.

Other new features include an improved printing experience for when you really need to see your numbers on a piece of paper — and when that paper needs to have exactly the right margins and alignment; a new chart-editing experience; a number of new statistical functions like CHISQ.INV.RT, which returns the inverse of the right-tailed probability of the chi-squared distribution (I have no idea what that means…); and support for new keyboard shortcuts.

   Credit: Frederic Lardinois

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