Announcing Power Query Data Types

Published Oct 29 2020 05:58 AM 19.6K Views
Microsoft

We are excited to announce a new and exciting update to Get & Transform Data capabilities in Excel – Power Query data types! This tool will help you organize your data better and consume it easily.

 

Power Query data types are available as part of an Office 365 subscription. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, find out how to get the latest updates.

 

The following sections describe how create data types with Power Query and how to consume them in Excel.

 

Power Query data types 

Power Query is a powerful and time-saving tool used to gather and analyze large sets of data by organizing them in a way that will make its consumption in Excel much easier. With this feature, you can create custom data types from any and load them in the Excel grid as rich values.  

 

How to use it 

  1. Start with importing the data set using Power Query.

    Picture1.png

  2. In the Power Query Editor, select the relevant columns, and then click the Create Data Type button on the Transform tab.

    Picture2.png

  3. Define the data type name and choose a display column.

    Picture3.png

  4. Notice the selected columns are collapsed into a single data type column and click the Close and Load button on the Home tab to load the query into Excel.

    Picture4.png

  5. Easily consume and explore the output of the query in Excel with interactive data cards and formulas that reference your rich values.

    Picture5.png


    Picture6.png

 

Scenarios to try

Interact with the data types:

Check out the data type fields by clicking the icon1.jpg icon the cell, and then open the associated card.

Extract fields to the grid by clicking the icon2.jpg button. Use the data type fields in Excel formulas by referencing to a cell with a data type.

Refresh data types by clicking the icon3.png  button – from the data type context menu, the respective query context menu, or the Data tab in the Excel ribbon.

 

Requirements
To use Power Query data types in Excel, you must meet these requirements:
• You are in an organization with an Office 365 subscription.
• You are using Excel for Windows.

 

More Resources
Check out this video from one of Microsoft Excel’s Creators, Mynda Treacy from MyOnlineTrainingHub:

 

 


Microsoft Creators are community experts who create video content on YouTube that can help you learn how to use Microsoft products and services. Their content appears in the following playlists on the Microsoft 365 channel.

 

Customer Feedback
We hope you like this new addition to Excel and we’d love to hear what you think about it!

Let us know by using the Feedback button in the top right corner in Excel - add #PowerQuery in your feedback so that we can find it easily.
For more activities, join the conversations in our Excel Tech Community at aka.ms/ExcelCommunity.

 

Jonathan Kahati
~ Excel Team

12 Comments

@jokahati , great to know it's GA now. On which channels this functionality is available?

Awesome to have Custom Data Types available in Excel. Congratulations to the Excel Team!

 

Mynda

@Mynda Treacy , everyone in this world who knows something about Excel knows you as Excel MVP, but why don't you ask techcommunity@microsoft.com to change your status on this resource accordingly. @cuong ?

@Sergei Baklan great idea! Thanks for mentioning it. Hopefully @cuong can make it happen.

Microsoft

@Mynda Treacy Done. Thanks to the Tech Community team!

Microsoft

@Sergei Baklan Thanks!

Current Channel - rolling to Production as we speak.

MEC should follow, so estimating a few weeks.

Semi-Annual - next year, not sure yet if Jan/Jun (depends on stability and other factors).

New Contributor

This is a real game changer. Not as big as Power Query (of which this is a capability enhancement), but bigger than dynamic arrays (which rocked our small company’s world). I’ve been trying to hold my breath about its GA release since I saw Mynda’s preview on YouTube. Now, I will exhale & breathe. Well done, Excel Team!

Frequent Visitor

Custom Data Types cannot have hierarchical records without flattening them out first and re-creating a new custom object.

 

Another missing feature is a tie-in with dynamic arrays. A Custom Data Type with a List object within one of the properties would be an exceptional opportunity.

 

Any chance these types of features are in the works?

Microsoft

Hey @Phil Trick ,

Are you referring to nesting of data types? 

For example, a data type that is included within a data type (this could be a list within a data type, as you mentioned).

If so, it is indeed part of our next phase for PQ data types. Keep following Excel publications

Occasional Contributor

Will there be a "DataType supplier" interface at some point? For example, the industry standard for some sectors of the financial markets is Bloomberg, which has its own API for accessing data. Ideally one would be able to create a "Bond" datatype (for example) and have its details (ISIN code, coupon, maturity, yield and price history) loaded from Bloomberg.

Put another way, what does a data source have to do to make itself accessible to the new DataType functionality?

Is the compound data saved with the Workbook, or does Excel have to reload each time the Workbook is opened?

Will DataTypes be accessible/understood by VBA or the C-API? ie can we programme with them? Currently if I try to pass a range containing one of the new DataTypes to VBA, the parameter simply contains an error code (2015). 

Maybe this is the first step towards Excel being able to hold "state"? Developers of financial (and other) analytic software aimed at Excel usually have to build a "handle" layer, whereby the reference to a complex structure held in memory (eg might be a simulation result set, or a yield curve etc) is stored in an Excel cell (most commonly as a string with a calculation counter). This handle is then passed to the analytics function, which uses it to find the object's data in memory. It is clunky but necessary as Excel is (was?) restricted to holding single built-in types in a cell. 

Microsoft

Hey @DS_London ,

 

Thanks for the feedback.

These are all great ideas, and we are actually considering them for the future.

Regarding reloading data - we do save the data accessed in the workbook.

Senior Member

Wow, qué interesante, estaré haciendo pruebas. Felicidades Excel y @Mynda Treacy , she is a wonderful teacher!

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Last update:
‎Oct 19 2020 11:09 AM
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