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AI at work: Google Sheets can now suggest the best pivot table for your data and much more!

posted Dec 6, 2017, 9:42 AM by Stéphanie Chhay   [ updated Jan 9, 2018, 5:39 AM ]

Google has announced a series of improvements to Pivot Tables in Google Sheets: Customizable headings, grouping, percentages and even some AI features: Google Sheets can automatically create the best Pivot Tables based on your data!

Note: If you don’t have access to those new features, just wait! They will be gradually rolled out to everybody in the next few weeks.

Cloud storage and collaborative editing have made Google Sheets the most popular web-based spreadsheet tool. Although it provides most of the main spreadsheet options, some were missing from the current version - especially regarding Pivot tables which were less than optimal compared to Microsoft Excel’s. But it's now way better!

AI at work for an effortless use of pivot table

For those who know pivot table from Excel, Google Sheets’ version may be frustrating because it doesn’t have as many options of table display. Here's for example a pivot table before the latest changes. It was not possible to rename headers (hence why it displays "SUM of price") and it was not possible to show values as a % of totals. Thus, we are using additional formulas, outside of the pivot table, to display data in column D.

With the new Sheets release, you can see that the same pivot table now looks way better:

  • there's a new nice default table style
  • we are able to rename headers as we want ("SUM of price" >> "Total revenu")
  • The column D, displaying values as percentages is now part of the pivot table (no need for any extra formula)

  • And you can even click on "show details" to drill down and see all data behind a specific number (this will automatically create a new sheet in your spreadsheet with the selected data)

But this only is the tip of the iceberg... Google has implemented a better Pivot table Editor to help you generate a synthesis of your spreadsheet faster. According to your data, a list of pivot table templates will appear so you can choose the most relevant one according to your target analysis.

Last but not least, Smart pivot table is going to blow your mind! Whether you are a pivot table expert or not, you are going to love this feature. In Explore, Google Sheets has added pivot table suggestions based on answers you want to pull out from your data for maximal time saving. This is the most simple and intuitive way to set up a pivot table. Type your question and Sheets will automatically display a pivot table that shows the figures you are looking for. Amazing!

Check out Google documentation to learn more about Pivot Tables