What’s New With Excel 2016?

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Every business relies on controlling data—from organizing to analyzing. It is especially critical now more than ever as changes occur at a rapid pace, driving the need for more capabilities, command over every process, and flexibility. Add the increasing volume in data, and companies that fail to take full control over it could experience unfavorable results.

Thankfully, resources are on hand to help companies—big and small—organize and analyze data relevant to the business. One such resource is the new and improved Excel 2016.

New and Enhanced Charts In Excel 2016

Data visualization is key to presenting financial as well as hierarchical information. Most people process images better than text. The 2016 version now comes with six new or enhanced charts. The addition of more graphic charts allows businesses and anyone receiving the data to digest the information better – faster.

Some of these visually appealing charts include the Waterfall, Histogram, Pareto (sorted Histogram), Sunburst, Box & Whisker, and Treemap. Source.

sample excel 2016 waterfall chart

Waterfall Chart – Excel 2016


Creating a histogram chart is much simpler in Excel 2016. Instead of using Analysis Tools, Histogram charts are now found on the Insert tab and come installed with Excel 2016.

Excel 2016 Histogram Charts

Histogram Chart – Excel 2016

Sample Pareto Charts in Excel 2016

Pareto Charts – Excel 2016


Sunburst Chart Sample - Excel 2016

Sunburst Chart – Excel 2016


Sample Box and Whiskers Chart - Excel 2016

Box and Whiskers Chart – Excel 2016


sample treemap chart Excel 2016

Excel 2016 – Treemap Chart (Source)


PowerPivot Enhancements in Excel 2016

Speaking of faster, PowerPivot in Excel 2016 could also enable speedier training for workers who have not used the feature before.

The 2013 of Power Pivot didn’t come with Measures icons; you couldn’t search in the field list, and you couldn’t right click and edit Measures in the field list. These were in the 2010 version and somehow left out in the 2013. Also in the 2013 version, Measures was renamed to Calculated Fields. They all return for the 2016 version, with Calculated Fields reverting to Measures.

Other enhancements for the Power Pivot include:

  • Automatic Time Grouping
  • Multiple Usability Improvements
  • Automatic Relationship Detection
  • Smart Rename


One-Click Forecasting

Another key improvement that will make working with this Excel version easier is the one-click forecasting. Users can now create forecast charts using historical data and predict future trends. The innovative feature uses the standard Exponential Smoothing (ETS) algorithm that generates reliable forecasting data. Previous versions used linear forecasting.

Calendar Insights in Excel 2016

Business owners can also take advantage of the Calendar Insights, which detail how decision makers spend most of their time (e.g., frequency of meetings, persons usually met, etc.). The new feature also identifies ways to maximize work hours.

Touch Enhanced Excel Slicers

In keeping with mobile technology, the latest version of Excel slicer now also works with a touch device. Previous versions allowed users to only select single items.

Report Sharing

Excel reports can be shared with groups or clients using the Publish to Power BI feature, which requires an Excel online support. Sharing on SharePoint and OneDrive for Business is also easily done.


Insights by Bing

Right-click any cell in Excel and select Insights by Bing. Excel will search for the cell value in Bing and return the results to a research panel docked to the right side of the Excel screen.

Tell Me What You Want to Do

The “Tell Me What You Want to Do” search box, which would help you identify the commands you need to accomplish a task, sounds like a good idea, but it doesn’t recognize most phrases. If you can’t remember that the Filter icon is on the Data tab, it could be helpful. But if you don’t remember the feature is called Filter, it won’t help.

Bye-Bye to Slot Machine Calculations

Another annoyance in Excel 2013 was that any numbers that changed as the result of a calculation would appear to roll down into the cell, as if you were looking at a slot machine. This feature was so unpopular in Excel 2013 that it has been removed.

Excel 2016 Training in Atlanta, GA


About the Author

Jackie Kiadii and her team of subject matter expert (SME) trainers provide Microsoft software training that delivers measurable results – increasing productivity, reducing inefficiency, and improving the bottom line. Topics include: Project, Access, Excel, Excel VBA, PowerPoint. Upcoming Excel courses are on our calendar, click here.

Need onsite group training? Call 770.498.7333 or email us. Our courses can be customized to your needs. Jackie has provided software training for employees of The Coca-Cola Company, Emory University, Novelis, and more. This training is available for groups of 4 or more students.

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