Since Microsoft announced Copilot for Microsoft 365 in March of this year, there has been a huge expectation about how it will be applied in Excel. And the use of GPT Chat, a chat system based on Large Language Model (LLM) by Artificial Intelligence (AI), is already marking a before and after in the tools we use daily.
The expectations are enormous. The application of this technology promises to streamline and maximize the use of Word, Power Point, Excel and more. Soon, you'll be able to request an email with a few simple sentences, discover revenue trends by quarter in your sales area, or a complete presentation just from a Word document. In all that and more, Artificial Intelligence powered by GPT-4 from OpenAI will help you.
In Ninja Excel We want to help you so that you are at the forefront of this revolution. Therefore, we imagine that you have many questions regarding how the user experience that we have to this day with the Microsoft 365 suite will change.
What exactly will it consist of? What is Artificial Intelligence applied to Excel? When can I have access? How can I use Excel and Copilot? In this article, we will answer these and the most frequently asked questions regarding AI technology that will change the way we use Microsoft Excel and the entire Office 365 suite.
What is Copilot in Excel?
Copilot in Excel is an Artificial Intelligence-powered feature that is integrated into Microsoft's popular spreadsheet software, better known to everyone as Excel.
It will work as a virtual assistant. He will be a “copilot” which will help users perform tasks faster and more efficiently, since it will provide contextual suggestions. In addition, this same co-pilot will help automatically complete formulas, functions and common tasks.
Large Language Model (LLM): The key to using Copilot
LLM is an advanced Artificial Intelligence linguistic model that uses deep learning algorithms to process and analyze large amounts of text data. They are trained with a wide range of books, articles and websites to learn both the language, its context and the meaning of the information. This is the key behind Copilot. As we indicated in this article, AI systems have the ability to perform tasks associated with intelligent beings. And Copilot will not be the exception.
People can interact using more natural and casual language with AI using a Prompt or a set of prompts, such as a sentence or question to make the AI perform a certain action. From this, the LLM will generate a response based on its public data training and understanding context, which may come in part from how you express your message.
For example, you could provide more details to generate a response. The more questions you ask, the more answers you make. Through this natural language processing you will demonstrate your knowledge to us as we would in a conversation. A key difference is that the AI only remembers the conversation while it is in that conversation.
Do not be afraid! 3 Reasons to use Copilot in Excel
Microsoft is strongly promoting Artificial Intelligence. And the company wants to provide all possible certainty so that you see Copilot's AI as an essential ally. In its 2023 Work Trend Index report, suggests that AI will come to speed up and put some uncomfortable conversations on the table. According to Microsoft, these are the reasons to use Copilot.
The cost of digital debt
For Microsoft, We accumulate a large amount of data, such as files, emails or chats that we cannot manage. There is an opportunity to make our existing communications more productive. According to their study, 64% workers do not have enough time and energy to do their jobs. Of their time in Microsoft 365 apps, the average person spends 57 % communicating and only 43 % creating.
Alliance between AI and collaborators
There is a nascent dichotomy. On the one hand, there is a promise of relief from working less on monotonous tasks. On the other hand, there are fears of losing jobs. However, the current approach is for leaders to replace employees and empower them with AI, not replace them. 49% people say they are worried about AI replacing their jobs, but even more so, 70% delegate as much work as possible to AI to reduce their workload.
All employees need AI skills
82% leaders anticipate that workers will need new skills in the age of AI. This new AI-focused, on-demand skill set will have a Domino effect, from resumes to job offers.
What features will using Copilot in Excel have?
Copilot will surely revolutionize the use of Microsoft Excel as we did until now. When using Copilot these are some of the features that you can use. The information is from Make Of Us:
Smart contextual suggestions
Copilot in Excel uses natural language processing (NLP) technology. This is the same GPT Chat technology, which is used to Analyze the context of the data and offer suggestions when you write a formula or perform a task in a cell. This way, you will save time since you will not manually search for the appropriate functions and formulas.
Automatic completion of formulas and functions
Copilot can be so intelligent that it can anticipate what you are trying to do. Copilot can automatically create the formula or function you need. This eliminates typing errors and simplifies the process of creating complex spreadsheets.
Quick access to relevant data and examples
Copilot in Excel has access to an extensive knowledge database. This will help you in providing relevant examples and data to help you better understand how to use a specific formula or function. Plus, it makes troubleshooting easier and gives you ideas to optimize your analyses.
Copilot will help format your data by suggesting different font styles, colors and data types that match the data in your spreadsheet.
Questions and answers naturally
Natural language queries with Copilot allow you to make relevant business queries such as “What should the projected revenue be in the third quarter?”
Copilot in Excel is based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms that are constantly updated. As users interact with the tool the system learns from your interactions. This way, it will be able to offer you suggestions and adapt to specific workflows.
When will Copilot be available in Microsoft Excel? Launch
As of this writing, Copilot in Microsoft 365 is not available to everyone.. In fact, as stated in The Verge There is a “paid preview” that is only accessible by invitation. This will initially be rolled out to 600 global customers. Some of these companies have been KPMG, Lumen and Emirates NBD.
The only thing we have seen available about the use of Copilot in the different ecosystems and applications of Microsoft, has been in its Edge browser. This has an assistant for its search engine, Bing, which works on the same logic as LLM. That is, the user will not only search for something specific on their own, but they can also consult Bing Chat and it will respond in natural language.
Other updates that Microsoft is making are:
- In your application Whiteboard, You can generate ideas on specific topics and summarize the content.
- DALL-E, OpenAI's text-to-image generator, is tying up with PowerPoint. Users will be able to ask Copilot to generate images based on text descriptions.
- In Outlook, Copilot provides writing guidance when writing emails under tight deadlines or when dealing with sensitive topics,
Price and cost per user
On July 18, 2023, Microsoft announced the final prices that Copilot will have the entire Microsoft 365 ecosystem. According to the company, when Microsoft 365 Copilot is available for commercial clients, can be used at a cost of $30 USDs per user per month. This value will apply to all clients of:
- Microsoft 365 E3 and E5
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium
The company has not reported whether there will be a trial period or a small sample for other types of users. Therefore, we will be waiting to know if at the end of the year there are more certainties about how to access the tool.
Copilot in Excel is a powerful tool powered by artificial intelligence that will transform the user experience with Microsoft Excel. With its contextual suggestions, autocompletion, and quick access to relevant data, Copilot in Excel will drive efficiency, productivity, and accuracy in data analysis.