Analyze uses natural-language tools and automatic-programming-generation techniques to allow users to perform basic calculations and other analytic tasks inside Excel spreadsheets. Instead of having to figure out a way to generate a specific query, users will be able to type in requested information, such as "who got paid the most," and let Analyze do the work of parsing and answering.
At the end of the video clip showing off Analyze, Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Eric Rudder says that eventually speech input will be enabled, allowing users to query Excel by voice.
There was no timetable revealed as to when Analyze will be available as part of a next version of Excel or as a standalone module. But based on the video clip, it sounds like Microsoft officials soon could start using Analyze as one of many examples of machine learning technologies that the company is honing.