Python In Excel
Written by Janet Swift   
Wednesday, 23 August 2023

Microsoft and Anaconda have teamed up to put the power of Python and popular libraries such as numpy, pandas, Matplotlib and seaborn inside Excel allowing a "best of both worlds" scenario for data analysts that promises to be better than either on its own.

The collaboration between Anaconda and Microsoft has resulted in Anaconda’s Python distribution being fully embedded and integrated into Excel providing spreadsheet users with new facilities for manipulating, analyzing, and visualizing data and for advanced machine learning and AI. 

In its announcement of Python in Excel, Anaconda comments: 

This integration comes at a time of surging demand for both sophisticated and accessible tools for data analysis, modeling, prediction, and AI. Data science has been transforming businesses for over a decade, but the complexity of its tools has limited its reach outside of technical experts. Data scientists must frequently wrestle with command-line environments and manage complex software configurations. The integration of Anaconda-curated Python libraries directly into the Excel grid radically simplifies the analysis workflow and is a paradigm shift in democratizing data science.

There is no need to download, install or setup anything in order to use Python in Excel and an Insert Python button has been added to the Excel Ribbon in the Formulas tab:

Anaconda in Excel

If you click the Insert Python button and choose Custom Python Formula you'll notice that the formula bar is converted into a Python box with PY on a green background. Now you are in Python mode and can enter Python code. An alternative way to switch to Python mode is to type the function =PY into any cell, D3 in this example:

MS Intro Python Excel

Some of the ways that Excel users will benefit from having Python and Python libraries available at the click of a button are:

  • Data Preparation: Clean and prepare data with Python to save time and effort.
  • Custom Logic and Calculations: Use Python expressions to create custom calculations against your data to fit both your simple and complex needs. 

  • Advanced Statistical Modeling: Take advantage of Python’s extensive statistical and mathematical libraries, such as StatsModels and SciPy, to perform complex analyses beyond Excel’s built-in capabilities. 

  • Machine Learning Model Implementation: Build, train, and evaluate machine learning models within Excel using popular Python libraries like Scikit-learn. 

  • Data Visualization: Create sophisticated visualizations using Python’s matplotlib and seaborn libraries, going beyond traditional Excel charts. 

  • Predictive Analytics: Use powerful machine learning models to predict future trends based on historical data within Excel directly. 

Python's creator Guido van Rossum, now a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer who helped define the architecture for Python in Excel commented,

"I’m excited that this excellent, tight integration of Python and Excel is now seeing the light of day. I expect that both communities will find interesting new uses in this collaboration, amplifying each partner's abilities. When I joined Microsoft three years ago, I would not have dreamed this would be possible. The Excel team excels!"

In its announcement of Python in Excel, Anaconda comments: 

This integration comes at a time of surging demand for both sophisticated and accessible tools for data analysis, modeling, prediction, and AI. Data science has been transforming businesses for over a decade, but the complexity of its tools has limited its reach outside of technical experts. Data scientists must frequently wrestle with command-line environments and manage complex software configurations. The integration of Anaconda-curated Python libraries directly into the Excel grid radically simplifies the analysis workflow and is a paradigm shift in democratizing data science.

Guido van Rossum, Python’s creator, emeritus BDFL and now Microsoft Distinguished Engineer, has helped define the architecture for Python in Excel. Here’s his reaction to the Public Preview:

"I’m excited that this excellent, tight integration of Python and Excel is now seeing the light of day. I expect that both communities will find interesting new uses in this collaboration, amplifying each partner's abilities. When I joined Microsoft three years ago, I would not have dreamed this would be possible. The Excel team excels!"

To use Python in Excel, join the Microsoft 365 Insider Program. Choose the Beta Channel Insider level to get the latest builds of the Excel application.  While in Preview, Python in Excel will be included with a Microsoft 365 subscription. After the Preview, some functionality will be restricted without a paid license. More details will be available before General Availability.

 Python In Excel logo

More Information

Python in Excel

Introducing Python in Excel

Anaconda Distribution for Python Brings Data Science to Hundreds of Millions of Microsoft Excel Users

Related Articles

Guido van Rossum Joins Microsoft

Anaconda Releases PyScript Coding Platform

Anaconda Adds 100 New Packages

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 23 August 2023 )