Five ways AI is transforming spreadsheets for businesses

Someone using spreadsheets on a laptop
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Artificial intelligence (AI) tools are becoming more ubiquitous across all productivity apps. With 73% of organizations prioritizing AI over other digital investments, this trend shows no signs of slowing. Spreadsheets are a spotlight for some of the most exciting developments in this space, and those who overlook the humble cells of spreadsheets do so at their peril.

Data is the lifeblood of any business; it determines whether a company not only survives but thrives. Where does that data often live? Spreadsheets. That’s why spreadsheets can make or break a business, depending on the quality of data and analysis which you make through available functions – which is where AI can really help.

Opportunities for business

The rapid rollout of AI tools like ChatGPT across the enterprise has presented myriad opportunities for businesses to apply its functionality to their own processes. The easiest gains are in boosting productivity, but AI also unlocks a world of new skills on top of saving time.

Most excitingly, this is all possible immediately. Here are five ways AI is transforming spreadsheets and how businesses can benefit.

1. Cleaning data

Dirty data is the bane of any business. This includes incorrectly formatted data, duplications, and incomplete information. Cleaning it up is a must.

Previously, this was very time-consuming and sometimes even infeasible. Now, an OpenAI-powered spreadsheet can solve that. With the right prompt, data can be polished up to perfection. Use cases include cleaning up company names by removing legal abbreviations and filler text, fixing text capitalization issues, and parsing email domains.

This AI-powered approach to data quality provides more accurate, consistent, and reliable information for decision-making – freeing up teams to discuss strategies and implement them.

Humberto Ayres Pereira

CEO & co-founder, Rows.

2. Summarization and classification

Automated data entry is crucial for connecting your databases to customers’ feedback. As an example, take the case of many companies that process reviews of their products and services from Amazon or Google.

An AI can quickly summarise and condense those unstructured sources into bullet points with the main takeaways. From here, the classification possibilities are endless – from automatically tagging customer support tickets into spreadsheets, filtering items to troubleshoot, or incorporating tags for product features.

By embedding crucial elements of any customer-facing business into spreadsheets from the get-go, organizations can unlock a continuous stream of customer feedback into their workflow and respond faster to opportunities.

3. Sentiment analysis

Building on this, we have to recognize the importance of the sub-case of sentiment analysis within the bigger classification opportunity.

By using AI, businesses can determine the sentiment of social media comments, Twitter mentions, product reviews, and feedback survey responses. It’s possible to rate sentiment quickly and easily by generating a tag (“positive”, “negative”), a scale (1-5), or emoji rating of the text in question – all within the humble spreadsheet.

The same tactics can be applied to assess the brand love of competitors. It’s then possible to use these insights to accurately gauge the success and impact of products and solutions in near real-time and make adjustments accordingly.

4. Translation

Over a quarter (29%) of businesses have lost customers for failing to provide multilingual support. In today’s global, interconnected economy, there’s little excuse not to cater to multiple nationalities and languages, let alone to lose customers as a direct result of failing to do so.

Plugging ChatGPT into spreadsheets unlocks language translation – ideal for product overviews, meta descriptions, blog content, and social posts – allowing companies to tap into new markets and retain their most valued existing customers more effectively.

5. Smart analysis

Although tools like ChatGPT can certainly plug short- and medium-term gaps for businesses and improve productivity immediately, they can also provide value for the long-term success of a business.

The current generation of AI can be harnessed to extract quick learnings and deep analysis on large datasets in spreadsheets. This in turn helps business teams quickly identify trends and make predictions based on the insights generated from the data.

This use case is emblematic of the wider value that AI provides to businesses. While it can’t make the decisions to propel you forward, it could be used as a foundation for intelligent, strategic decisions based on reliable and insightful data.

For too long, spreadsheets have been considered a basic tool for businesses, mainly used for straightforward administrative or financial concerns. However, the advent of AI tools like ChatGPT has brought with it a growing appreciation for the wider business impact spreadsheets can make.

As data is the lifeblood of any business, spreadsheets are the circulatory system – crucial to keeping everything moving and functioning normally. Beyond this, AI unlocks a huge range of both direct and indirect functionalities, and in fact has the power to transform businesses’ day-to-day operations and bottom line. Injecting AI into the spreadsheet equation can give your business superpowers – the sooner more businesses take action to reap the rewards, the better.

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Humberto Ayres Pereira, CEO & co-founder, Rows.