Published on

November 24, 2023


Excel AI: Integrate Your Workflows And Upscale Productivity

Unleash the power of Excel AI to enhance data analysis, automate tasks, and bolster collaboration, transforming the way you work.
Julia Dunlea
VP of Marketing

Did you know that only 41% of Microsoft Excel users are aware that they can harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) within the software? It’s true, and the potential is enormous.

By leveraging Excel AI tools, users can automate repetitive tasks, analyze complex data sets, and generate insights that would have taken hours to uncover manually. This blog post will guide you through the world of AI in Excel, exploring built-in features, third-party tools, and various applications to help you unlock your data’s full potential.

Key Takeaways

  • Unlock the power of AI in Excel to maximize data value, streamline processes and enhance efficiency.
  • Leverage third-party tools for an intuitive formula writing experience with natural language capabilities.
  • Microsoft is set to release Copilot 365 across all their apps in winter 2023.
  • Pair up Excel with tools like Akkio to generate stunning visualizations, start machine learning workflows, and obtain more insights from your data

The Power of AI in Excel

Excel AI visualized by Midjourney

Analyzing and manipulating data effectively becomes vital in our data-driven world today. AI tools in Excel can enable users to maximize the value of their data, streamline processes, and enhance efficiency.

Excel provides a variety of integrated features to make our work easier. Among them are macros and VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) that automate repeated activities and improve workflow. But why stop there? The world of AI in Excel extends far beyond these built-in features, with numerous AI-powered tools available to help users create and manage Excel formulas more efficiently.

Some of the built-in AI-powered features include Flash Fill, Smart Lookup, and dynamic arrays. There are also several third-party AI tools, such as and Deepsheet, designed to enhance Excel’s capabilities with artificial intelligence and provide a more intuitive formula writing experience.

Built-In AI Features

Microsoft Excel includes AI features such as Ideas, dynamic arrays, and will soon ship with Copilot 365 - the biggest bet from Microsoft so far. These can help reduce manual data input time and errors.

Ideas is an AI-powered tool that enables users to generate high-quality presentations, spreadsheets, and documents quickly and easily.

Dynamic arrays allow to use functions that return multiple results in a single cell. This eliminates the need to use formulas such as INDEX and TRANSPOSE or manually copy and paste formulas. Some examples of functions which return dynamic arrays are:

  • SORT

Dynamic arrays allow a program to allocate memory during the runtime of the program and offer a variety of functions designed to be compatible with dynamic ranges, including SORT, FILTER, and SORTBY. These functions permit sorting, filtering, and sorting by specific criteria, respectively. Users can leverage these built-in AI features for time-saving and boosting productivity in Excel.

If you're curious to discover more about Microsoft's proprietary AI solution set to launch in winter 2023, don't miss Microsoft's keynote on Copilot 365. For those eager to delve into the world of fully automated reporting, analysis, exploration, and no-code machine learning, Akkio is available for immediate use without any waiting period.

Top Excel AI Tools to Boost Your Productivity

A plethora of AI tools are available for Excel, each with distinctive features and capabilities aimed at enhancing productivity and workflow efficiency. In this section, we will explore the best AI tools for Excel that can help you increase efficiency and automate tasks. Some of these tools include:

  • Akkio: Akkio is an AI-powered tool that allows users to build and deploy machine learning models directly within their spreadsheets. With Akkio, you can predict future trends, classify data, and detect anomalies in your Excel data. Plans start at $49, and it's free to try. The platform offers much more than just AI analytics including autoML, forecasting, and chat exploration.
  • Coefficient: Coefficient is a powerful tool that integrates Excel with other data sources, allowing real-time data analysis and visualization. It's perfect for creating dynamic dashboards and reports. Pricing starts at $20 per user per month.
  • Ajelix: Ajelix specializes in predictive analytics, using advanced algorithms to provide future insights based on your Excel data. It's a great choice for forecasting and trend analysis. Contact the provider for pricing details.
  • Excel Formula Bot: This platform simplifies the process of creating complex formulas. You just provide text instructions, and it generates the corresponding Excel formula.
  • PromptLoop: PromptLoop automates data extraction from various sources to Excel, saving time and effort in data preparation. It's ideal for businesses that need to regularly import and update data from external sources.
  • AI Excel Bot: This Chrome extension generates Excel formulas for any action in seconds, enhancing productivity. It's a good fit for users who frequently use complex formulas in their work. It's free to use.

Whether you are looking for free or paid options, there is an AI tool for Excel to suit your needs. Many Excel AI tools are compatible with Google Sheets, allowing you to leverage AI capabilities across multiple platforms.

Free vs. Paid Options

Free AI tools for Excel typically provide full access to basic features such as data analysis, visualization, and automation. The primary advantage of free AI tools for Excel is that they are available at no cost, allowing users to quickly initiate AI-powered Excel projects. Running AI programs cost actual money, so these typically have hefty limitations.

Paid AI tools for Excel generally offer more sophisticated features, such as machine learning, advanced analytics, and collaboration tools. Choosing the right AI tool involves a careful evaluation of the features and benefits of each option. Free AI tools may be sufficient for basic data manipulation and analysis, while paid tools may provide more advanced capabilities that suit your specific needs.

Compatibility with Google Sheets

Many AI Excel tools are also compatible with Google Sheets, allowing users to benefit from AI abilities across various platforms and facilitating collaboration and data sharing. Examples of Excel AI tools that are compatible with Google Sheets include:

  • Akkio
  • Coefficient
  • Ajelix
  • Excel Formula Bot
  • Simple ML for Sheets
  • PromptLoop

Users can enhance their workflow and collaboration across multiple platforms by using AI tools compatible with both Excel and Google Sheets. Imagine your workflow with an AI assistant by your side. You can read more about visualizations in Google Sheet in our comprehensive guide.

Master Complex Formulas with AI Assistance

AI Excel tools can help users generate and understand complex Excel and Google Sheets formulas, simplifying data manipulation and analysis. Tools like Formula Generators provide a convenient way to create complex Excel formulas and automations, saving time and effort.

AI-powered tool, GptExcel, has generated over 24,000 formulas to date and provides explanations for each formula, helping users comprehend and create complex formulas with ease.

That being said, generating formulas is typically something you can do with generic AI tools like ChatGPT, Claude AI, and HARPA AI, without subscribing to specific solutions.

Generating Formulas from Text Instructions

Excel Formularizer in use

AI-powered tools can transform text instructions into Excel formulas, making it easier to create and automate tasks. Excel Formularizer is an AI-powered tool which helps to convert text instructions into Excel formulas. It is a handy tool for data analysts and other professionals who work with huge volumes of numbers. This allows users to simply type in a description of the desired formula, and the AI tool generates the appropriate formula, saving time and effort.

AI-powered tools like Excel Formularizer allow users to concentrate on data analysis and visualization, while the tool handles the generation of complex formulas from text instructions. This simplifies the process of creating and automating tasks in Excel, improving productivity and efficiency by using a complex formula approach over text instruction.

VBA Scripts and Automation

Asking ChatGPT to define VBA scripts

AI tools can also generate excel formula and explain VBA code, enabling users to automate tasks and processes without manual coding. AI-powered tools like ChatGPT allow users to easily generate Excel formulas, VBA code, and regex from their text instructions, providing immediate feedback and a user-friendly experience.

Using AI tools to automate repetitive tasks, such as VBA scripts, can enhance:

  • Efficiency
  • Task automation
  • Data analysis
  • Decision-making optimization
  • Skill enhancement

This simplifies the coding process in Excel and allows users to focus on more critical tasks, improving overall productivity.

Fun fact: People have created various games in Excel, such as Pac-Man, which was ported to Excel 2003 using VBA. It is also simple to simulate rolling dice using -RANDBETWEEN(1,6) and now even simpler to shuffle a deck of cards using the new SORTBY function.

Enhance Data Analysis and Visualization with AI

A tablet and phone displaying a file open in Excel
Copyright: Microsoft

AI tools can revolutionize data analysis and visualization in Excel by combining Power Query, machine learning, and advanced data analytics. Power Query, a potent data transformation tool, can be used in tandem with AI plugins like to automate complex data preparation and transformation processes. However, this involves data cleansing, data aggregation, and data enrichment, which can be a convoluted and confusing process for many.

On the other hand, some AI tools, like Akkio, take a user-friendly approach by automatically generating dashboards and reports directly from your spreadsheets, no formulas or complex processes required. This 'Generative BI' approach harnesses the power of AI to create visually appealing and insightful visualizations, offering a simpler and more intuitive way to unlock the potential of your data.

Machine Learning and Advanced Analytics

AI tools can help users harness machine learning capabilities in Excel, enabling more advanced data analysis and insights. While Excel does not possess native machine-learning capabilities, it can be utilized in combination with other tools that have machine-learning capabilities.

industry-leading tools include Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Studio, R or Python in Excel, and Power BI. Newcomers like Akkio, Pecan, and ThoughtSpot can automate all processes for you without coding or hassles.

Users can conduct more sophisticated data analysis and uncover hidden patterns and insights in their data by utilizing AI tools and machine learning capabilities. This can lead to better decision-making, increased efficiency, and cost savings, ultimately enhancing the overall value of their Excel workbooks.

Collaboration and Team Productivity

AI tools can enhance collaboration and team productivity by automating tasks, reducing errors, and uncovering hidden patterns in data. The automation and data analysis capabilities of AI-powered add-ins and extensions can help teams expedite the process of generating novel ideas and solutions to challenges, ultimately improving decision-making and minimizing the likelihood of errors.

Excel is already a widely-used platform for collaboration among teams, and the addition of AI tools only serves to enhance this aspect. These tools facilitate simultaneous work by multiple users on a single project, allowing for real-time updates and seamless integration of everyone's contributions. This can lead to more accurate results, better decision-making, and an overall increase in team productivity.


In conclusion, the integration of AI tools into Excel is a game-changer for data analysts. These tools streamline workflows, save time, enhance collaboration, and unveil hidden insights, revolutionizing how you interact with your data.

Akkio stands out as a powerful tool for building machine learning models directly within spreadsheets. So, why wait? Start your 14-day free trial with Akkio today and unlock your data's full potential!

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