ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence system developed by Anthropic to be helpful, harmless, and honest. It can provide useful information and insights across many topics, including using Excel more effectively. In the sections below, I’ve outlined some ways ChatGPT can assist with Excel tasks and analysis.
Asking ChatGPT to Explain Excel Concepts
As an AI assistant, ChatGPT is great at explaining concepts in simple terms. If you need a refresher on an Excel function or feature, ask ChatGPT to explain it to you as if you were a beginner.
- “Explain the VLOOKUP function in Excel as if I’m new to spreadsheets”
- “Explain pivot tables in plain language”
- “Explain the difference between relative and absolute cell references”
ChatGPT can break down complex Excel functionality in an easy-to-understand way. Its explanations can help build your skills and knowledge.
Getting Ideas for Formulas and Functions
Stuck trying to figure out a formula? Describe the calculation you want to perform in natural language, and ask ChatGPT to suggest formulas or functions to use.
- “I need a formula to calculate a 10% discount on prices in column A and output the discounted prices in column B.”
- “Can you suggest an Excel function to count the number of cells containing numeric values greater than 100 in my data set?”
Leverage ChatGPT’s knowledge to get unstuck. It can provide formulas and functions you may not have considered or known about.
Asking for Excel Chart and Dashboard Design Ideas
Creating effective charts and dashboards takes skill. Explain what you want to visualize and have ChatGPT suggest creative ways to present the data—whether that’s a new type of chart, color scheme, layout, etc.
- “Can you suggest some alternative chart types to visualize monthly website visitors over the last year?”
- “What Excel chart type would you recommend for comparing sales data across multiple regions?”
See if any of ChatGPT’s visualization ideas spark inspiration to help make your data easier to understand.
Using ChatGPT to Generate Sample Datasets
When building a spreadsheet model, it helps to have realistic sample data to work with. Ask ChatGPT to generate a sample dataset that meets your specified criteria.
- “Can you generate a table containing 1000 rows of fake customer data with columns for name, email, sign-up date, account status, etc?”
- “Please generate a sample monthly sales dataset for 5 regions over 2 years following typical seasonal trends.”
With ChatGPT-generated data, you can develop and test spreadsheets better before relying on real data.
Checking Formulas, Macros, and Code
Since ChatGPT has extensive knowledge but no direct access to your files, it can be an impartial second pair of eyes to check your Excel work. For example:
- “Here is my VBA code for automatically emailing a spreadsheet each week. Can you check if there are any errors?”
- “Here is an Excel formula I created for calculating commissions. Is this formula valid and logically sound?”
By having ChatGPT review your work, you can catch issues early and improve Excel skills in the process.
Ideating Advanced Analysis Scenarios
ChatGPT can think up analysis scenarios you may not have considered on your own. Describe your business challenge or data, and ask for ideas to extract deeper insights through Excel.
- “I’m analyzing regional sales and want to identify new growth opportunities. What are some advanced ways I could use Excel for this analysis?”
- “If I wanted to cluster customers based on purchasing habits to personalize promotions, how could Excel’s data analysis tools help?”
See if any analysis ideas from ChatGPT inspire new ways to solve problems and guide decisions using the full power of Excel.
- Microsoft Support for Excel – Official help, training, and tips directly from Microsoft
- Exceljet – Reference, examples, and advice for Excel formulas and functions
- Chandoo.org – Blog with tutorials and guides focused on Excel data analysis
- Contextures Excel Tips – Collection of shortcuts, formulas, macros, pivot tables, and more