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Google brings new AI, machine learning features to Sheets

With an infusion of AI, Sheets will now suggest a pivot table based a simple natural language query.
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Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Senior Writer on
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Image via Google

Google is adding new machine learning and AI tools to its Sheets app that aim to simplify the way users work with large data sets in spreadsheets.

One of the key updates relates to the creation of pivot tables. The powerful data analysis tool is used to find insights from large, detailed data sets, but creating one can be challenging.

With an infusion of AI, Sheets will now suggest a pivot table based a simple natural language query. Sheets will also now suggest relevant tables in the pivot table editor for users that create them from scratch, and then auto-suggest formulas that are specific to the data.

Google Sheets product manager Beri Lee said the update, which also includes a refreshed user interface, stems from last year's introduction of Explore in Sheets, which enabled users to run natural language searches inside the app.

"Last year, we launched 'Explore' in Sheets to help you decipher your data easily using the power of machine learning, and since then we've added even more ways for you to intelligently visualize and share your company data," Lee said in a blog post.

"Today, we're announcing additional features to Google Sheets to help businesses make better use of their data, from machine learning-powered pivot tables and formula suggestions to even more flexible ways to help you analyze your data."

In addition to the pivot table upgrade, the app was also retuned with a simplified way to create waterfall charts, and a faster process for importing formatted data files.

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