The Data Marshall returns to tell you about a feature in the forthcoming Excel 15. It’s going to be invaluable in Taming Dataville.
There isn’t an official release date for Office 15 but there are previews and lots to be excited about. Check out this video from ExcelIsFun and his demo or Flash Fill.
What’s the big deal? Have you ever had to peel data apart? The video shows how names are parsed. How about Peeling the year away from dates? Products away from a cell that contains Product Name and Product ID. The video shows a simple example. But these can get complex and require multiple steps. Instead, Flash Fill picks up on a pattern and takes it from there. Also notice that the result is in Text format. This eliminates the COPY , PASTE AS VALUES step that usually completes these maneuvers. We won’t have to explode the spreadsheet with Text-to-Columns, and then clean up afterward.
This saves TIME TIME TIME!
The video does state that Flash Fill is not dynamic; i.e., you have to use Flash Fill with data sets that are complete. Excel 15’s Flash Fill results will not auto-update if you have to go in and adjust the source data. That’s just an issue of knowing your tools and when to use what.
For those of you who are still using Excel 2003 … OMG! You’re missing a lot. In 2007 Tables were introduced. We got SUMIFS, and some other functions that save time and increase accuracy in our Data Management. Now, Excel 15 is coming … Flash Fill and at least 70 other enhancements.
Let’s get ready for the future, y’all! In order for this world to run right and minimize mayhem, maraudin’ and poachin’ we’ve gotta keep the data clean.