Big Data

Python Finally Comes to Excel


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Excel-maker Microsoft and Anaconda, a key distributor of Python tools, unveiled a collaboration this week that will see Python integrated with Excel.

The new Anaconda Python Distribution in Excel, which is currently in beta, will bring Python data analysis and data science capabilities to the popular spreadsheet program from Microsoft. The integration will enable users to use a variety of Python libraries and tools to prep, manipulate, analyze, and visualize data in Excel.

Setting popular Python libraries like PyTorch, matploplib, SciPy, and Scikit-learn loose on the large amount of data living in Excel fulfills a longstanding request from the community, says Anaconda CEO and co-founder Peter Wang.

“With the power of Python at their fingertips, we’re empowering Excel users to discover new horizons for advanced data analysis and machine learning projects, while making it more accessible and efficient than ever before,” Wang said in a press release. “Python in Excel is the future. I am delighted to be leading Anaconda into this exciting new era of data science and analytics.” 

Hundreds of Python tools (and some R tools) are distributed by Anaconda to automate a range of tasks for data scientists, including data prep, statistical modeling, building machine learning models, and conduct predictive analytics.

Python long surpassed SAS and R as the number one language for data science and analysis, so bringing the most popular Python libraries to the most popular data manipulation environment of all time sounds like a no-brainer.

The folks at Microsoft are also excited at the prospect of enabling millions of Excel users to leverage the large number of open source data tools available in Anaconda’s Python distribution.

“Excel is the backbone of data analysis in business; with Python in Excel,” said Benoit Barabe, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Excel. “We’re extending what is possible for our community and creating an ideal medium for data scientists to collaborate with colleagues that rely on Excel. This leap ushers in a new age of Excel where cutting edge visualizations, complex data manipulation, advanced analytics, and machine learning are just a few clicks away in a familiar environment.”

You can download a preview of Python in Excel here.

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