Continuum Analytics, Inc. Monday, June 27, 2016 – Excel has been business analysts’ go-to program for years. It works well, and its familiarity makes it the currency of the realm for many applications.
But, in a bold new world of predictive analytics and Big Data, Excel feels cut off from the latest technologies and limited in the scope of what it can actually take on.
Fortunately for analysts across the business world, a new tool has arrived to change the game — Anaconda Fusion.
A New Dimension of Analytics
The interdimensional portal has been a staple of classic science fiction for decades. Characters step into a hole in space and emerge instantly in an entirely different setting — one with exciting new opportunities and challenges.
Now, Data Science has a portal of its own. The latest version of Anaconda Fusion, an Open Data Science (ODS) integration for Microsoft Excel, links the familiar world of spreadsheets (and the business analysts that thrive there) to the “alternate dimension” of Open Data Science that is reinventing analytics.
With Anaconda Fusion and other tools from Anaconda, business analysts and data scientists can share work — like charts, tables, formulas and insights — across Excel and ODS languages such as Python easily, erasing the partition that once divided them.
Jupyter (formerly IPython) is a popular approach to sharing across the scientific computing community, with notebooks combining code, visualizations and comments all in one document. With Anaconda Enterprise Notebooks, this is now available under a governed environment, providing the collaborative locking, version control, notebook differencing and searching needed to operate in the enterprise. Since Anaconda Fusion, like the entire Anaconda ecosystem, integrates seamlessly with Anaconda Enterprise Notebooks, businesses can finally empower Excel gurus to collaborate effectively with the entire Data Science team.
Now, business analysts can exploit the ease and brilliance of Python libraries without having to write any code. Packages such as scikit-learn and pandas drive machine learning initiatives, enabling predictive analytics and data transformations, while plotting libraries, like Bokeh, provide rich interactive visualizations.
With Anaconda Fusion, these tools are available within the familiar Excel environment—without the need to know Python. Contextually-relevant visualizations generated from Python functions are easily embedded into spreadsheets, giving business analysts the ability to make sense of, manipulate and easily interpret data scientists’ work.
A Meeting of Two Cultures
Anaconda Fusion is connecting two cultures from across the business spectrum, and the end result creates enormous benefits for everyone.
Business analysts can leverage the power, flexibility and transparency of Python for data science using the Excel they are already comfortable with. This enables functionality far beyond Excel, but also can teach business analysts to use Python in the most natural way: gradually, on the job, as needed and in a manner that is relevant to their context. Given that the world is moving more and more toward using Python as a lingua franca for analytics, this benefit is key.
On the other side of the spectrum, Python-using data scientists can now expose data models or interactive graphics in a well-managed way, sharing them effectively with Excel users. Previously, sharing meant sending static images or files, but with Anaconda Fusion, Excel workbooks can now include a user interface to models and interactive graphics, eliminating the clunky overhead of creating and sending files.
It’s hard to overstate how powerful this unification can be. When two cultures learn to communicate more effectively, it results in a cross-pollination of ideas. New insights are generated, and synergistic effects occur.
The Right Tools
The days of overloaded workarounds are over. With Anaconda Fusion, complex and opaque Excel macros can now be replaced with the transparent and powerful functions that Python users already know and love.
The Python programming community places a high premium on readability and clarity. Maybe that’s part of why it has emerged as the fourth most popular programming language used today. Those traits are now available within the familiar framework of Excel.
Because Python plays so well with web technologies, it’s also simple to transform pools of data into shareable interactive graphics — in fact, it’s almost trivially easy. Simply email a web link to anyone, and they will have a beautiful graphics interface powered by live data. This is true even for the most computationally intense cases — Big Data, image recognition, automatic translation and other domains. This is transformative for the enterprise.
Jump Into the Portal
The glowing interdimensional portal of Anaconda Fusion has arrived, and enterprises can jump in right way. It’s a great time to unite the experience and astuteness of business analysts with the power and flexibility of Python-powered analytics.
To learn more, you can watch our Anaconda Fusion webinar on-demand, or join our Anaconda Fusion Innovators Program to get early access to exclusive features — free and open to anyone. You can also contact us with any questions about how Anaconda Fusion can help improve the way your business teams share data.