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Friday, March 30, 2018

Excel Embeds the Knowledge Graph

This is the kind of thing I have been waiting for for some time.  The integration of knowledge about data with the data itself.   A kind of metadata.  An extension of the now common idea of 'spell checking'.   And using a 'knowledge graph' to do it.  Participated in some projects recently where this would have been very useful.  Its really a step towards useful intelligence in a commonly used business tool.   Looking forward to try it and see how it might be extended.

Microsoft Excel gets smarter with new rich data types  By Mike Wheatley in SiliconAngle.

 Microsoft Corp. is enhancing its Excel spreadsheet software with two new “rich data” types that provides a better way to access information on companies and places.

The geography and stocks data types allow users to pull information from Microsoft’s extensive Knowledge Graph and insert it inside their spreadsheets. The general idea is to make Excel smart enough to understand some entries and offer additional information, Kirk Koenigsbauer, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for the Office team, wrote in a blog post today.

For example, after adding a list of cities to a sheet, clicking on the Geography button would bring up a list of all the data Microsoft has on those locations, which can be accessed directly from within Excel. This includes information such as a city’s population, area, median income of its residents and so on.

Excel also draws on Microsoft’s artificial intelligence capabilities to help define any ambiguous entries. For example, if a user enters the common place name “Springfield” in a list of cities, Excel will reference the correct one depending on the context, or else it will prompt the users to choose which one they mean – such as “Springfield, Massachusetts,” or “Springfield, Missouri.” ... "

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