I’ve been showing this video supplied by Microsoft in my training recently, and lot of people have asked me for a copy, so here it is! Some of my favourite new features in Excel 2016 are:

  • Forecast Sheet.  The ordinary FORECAST or TREND functions are very useful for forecasting along a linear trend in previous versions of Excel.  But if you want to create a forecast based on seasonality, then it’s quite a detailed process (which I cover in my Budgeting & Forecasting in Excel course).  The new Forecast Sheet feature makes it very easy to forecast based on historicals, including seasonality and you can even apply confidence intervals to your forecast.
  • Better Analysis in Pivot Tables & Pivot Charts. Pivot tables handle dates and times even better than they did before with automatic grouping and you can drill down directly into pivot charts with new plus & minus buttons.
  • New Charts. There are some fantastic new charts in Excel 2016 and definitely worth the upgrade for these alone.  These include a Waterfall chart (no more fiddling around with the calculations!), a Tree Map and Sunburst.  See the article on Waterfalls and Other New Charts in Excel 2016 for more detail on these.

Of course there are many more new features that are available in 2016; these are just a couple of my favourites. It’s good to keep up with all these new features that can save time and add extra bells and whistles to your model, but the principles of best practice still remain. For the purpose of building a pure, well-built and functional financial model, it really doesn’t matter what version you are using. The functions, the formulas and all of the things that you loved about Excel are still there and still available but they just keep adding some new tools and features which can be useful in financial modelling.

For more information, also take a look at the accompanying PowerPoint slide from Microsoft on Excel 2016 Top Features.