Building spreadsheets and analyzing the data they contain is about to get a bit easier in Google Sheets thanks to several new updates recently announced by Google.
The most interesting of these new features is Smart Fill which will launch later this year. In a similar way to how Smart Compose in Gmail helps users write faster, Smart Fill will be able to detect and learn patterns between columns to intelligently autocomplete data for users. Product manager of G Suite, Ryan Weber provided an example of how Smart Fill will work in a blog post, saying:
“Say you have a column of full names, but you want to split it into two columns (first and last name, for example). As you start typing first names into a column, Sheets will automatically detect the pattern, generate the corresponding formula, and then autocomplete the rest of the column for you.”
The second intelligent feature coming to Sheets soon is Smart Cleanup which will make data cleanup both faster and more accurate. When you import new data into a spreadsheet, Sheets will provide you with intelligent suggestions in the side panel to help you identify and fix things such as duplicate rows or number-formatting issues. You can also choose to accept or ignore these suggestions.
In addition to new features coming to Sheets, Google also announced the general availability of Connected Sheets.
This feature connects a BigQuery data warehouse with Sheets to allow users to analyze billions of rows and petabytes of data without requiring specialized knowledge of programming languages like SQL. Unlike with desktop spreadsheet applications, a live connection between BigQuery and Sheets means that your data not only stays fresh but also protected by Google’s security architecture.
Several customers have already tested out Connected Sheets through the company’s beta program and Global Change Manager at PwC, Van Nieuwerburgh explained how the feature makes it easier to work with large amounts of data in a spreadsheet, saying:
“If you look at our own adoption dashboarding, it’s more than three terabytes of data—good luck putting that in any spreadsheet. With Connected Sheets, we’re not really pulling the data into the spreadsheet, rather it lives in the database where it belongs. The ability to go and so easily analyze and visualize the data is really powerful.”
Connected Sheets is now available to all G Suite Enterprise, G Suite Enterprise for Education and G Suite Enterprise Essentials users.