Microsoft is introducing Python, one of the most widely used programming languages, to Excel. The feature is already available in public preview, enabling Excel users to manage and analyze data using Python.
Stefan Kinnestrand, general manager at Microsoft, said: “Now you can do advanced data analysis in the familiar Excel environment by accessing Python directly from the Excel ribbon. No set up or installation needed, you can easily bring external data into Python in Excel workflows.”
The integration of Python in Excel doesn’t require any additional software installation or add-ons. Instead, it’s part of Excel’s built-in connectors and Power Query. Microsoft is also incorporating a new function, PY, allowing Python data to be displayed within Excel’s grid.
Python calculations are processed in the Microsoft Cloud, and the results are returned to an Excel worksheet. This integration enables Excel users to create formulas, charts, and PivotTables based on Python data. Additionally, charting libraries like Matplotlib and Seaborn can be utilized for various visualizations, e.g. heatmaps, violin plots, and swarm plots.
Guido van Rossum, creator of Python and now a Microsoft distinguished engineer, expressed excitement about this tight integration ofPython and Excel. He anticipates that both communities will find interesting new applications in this collaboration, enhancing the capabilities of both partners.
Microsoft has partnered with the data platform Anaconda to bring this feature to life, and in order to try Python in Excel, users will need to join the Microsoft 365 Insider program. It will initially be available on Windows, with plans to expand to other platforms in the future.