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How can we improve Excel for Windows (Desktop Application)?

Add "Run R Script" option to Excel 2016 and Excel 2013 "Power Query" add-in, as it is for Power BI.

In July 2016, a "Run R Script" option was added to Power BI Desktop. This option would be a huge benefit to have in Excel 2016 and Excel 2013 Power Query add-in also.

174 votes
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    Secret Stash shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Accepting Votes  ·  AdminExcel Team [MSFT] (Admin, Office.com) responded  · 

    Hi folks,

    Thanks for your passion around this. We’ve been discussing this item off and on for some time now and we’d love to get your input.

    The reason we’ve resisted this is because the R runtime & various packages (and updating their versions) aren’t straightforward for other users to install. This limits sharing such queries across a workgroup.

    What do you think?

    For others reading this that’d like us to prioritize this work, please be sure to add your vote since we’re prioritizing our backlog based on these.

    thanks

    Ashvini Sharma
    Lead Program Manager
    Excel

    18 comments

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      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        "The reason we’ve resisted this is because the R runtime & various packages (and updating their versions) aren’t straightforward for other users to install"

        Hi Ash,

        Perhaps R Open and associated packages should be installed with Office 365. Updates can be part of Office 365 updates. Then you can add the R.Execute function to M in Excel, which would allow folks to build cross-platform solutions using M & R.

      • pato lobos commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        As many have said R (and Python) in Excel is an evolutionary step. I can't not tell you how important this is. I run here in Oslo the UseR! chapter and I work as IT consultant; this thing will solve so many problems and will open insights to upper management is so many fields and companies. This lack of R and Python is a big issue, you might have only 136 votes, but we are not "a regular vote" the R community is small with a massive impact worldwide, so please don't evaluate us on that. You have a comment from Imke Feldmann check her out and the positive impact she has over 10 of thousand of Microsoft user, maybe I can get on board Marco Russo and Alberto Ferrari on this one, maybe that can help ;-) ?

      • Paul Mayfield commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I understand the resistance, because it is a global issue for an organization to solve across applications. However, I don't think Excel is the place to solve it (nor within Power BI). The scripting to validate the library versions already exists; it is up to the user or organization to keep controls in place and use the tool appropriately. Giving us the tools at all would be great!

      • G commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I don't see this problem as being much different than sharing macro-enabled workbooks, sharing with people who have older versions of Excel without Power Query or Power Pivot installed/enabled, etc.

        For workers who are doing the work starting from the data wrangling all the way to the report-writing, themselves, it wouldn't make a difference at all; as what they would be sharing in the end is a word document, powerpoint, or an online dashboard that doesn't really reach back to the query stage.

      • Bruno Crotman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It will be a GREAT achievement. Power Query is great for Data Wrangling. Sometimes even better than R. Its a very well built tool.

        Adding the possibility to run R scritps will bring all the power of R. The tools are very complementary.

        Regarding the difficulty of installing the libraries, I do not think this will be a problem. Many times the worksheets are shared but the update process is done by one of the users. Other times Excel serves as an environment to create a prototype that will be imported by Power BI. Anyway... we will manage that. Dont worry about it. This is a huge acomplishment! We will use it a lot!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would imagine that adding package management interface, similar to what you guys have done in RTVS using timemachine and miniCRAN. Other examples are packrat and Rstudio package management interface. Options: embed a package - most packages are under 5mb and could very well reside within zipped structure of xlsx. Larger packages may leave a mandatory script header for installing them from MRAN, when needed. There can be many solutions, I am sure you guys can work out with Azure/PowerBI/RevolutionAnalytics team. We are cheerleading to the expansion of #rstats.

      • Sam commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        "The reason we’ve resisted this is because the R runtime & various packages (and updating their versions) aren’t straightforward for other users to install. This limits sharing such queries across a workgroup."

        Don't worry about us - We will manage.

        Its this worry that gave us the ribbon in 2007 - and you thought it helped

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I don't know if this will make sense, but I prefer to have the option to use R with my queries even if I will not be able to share those queries.

        Also keep in mind that users will adjust over time when they feel this is something useful for them.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        A blog post mentioning R.Execute & Power Query got me all excited to use R to do things like unzipping a datafile as part of the script. But I quickly discovered that was for Power BI only, not Power Query in Excel. Shucks.

      • pato lobos commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        You have the R script in Power BI, why not here? Maybe you want to change it to Run "ML Script", so you can Call Python, R, AzureML, etc but please MAKE EXCEL GREAT AGAIN and pull R Scripts.... (I'm talking obviously about Power Query in Excel)

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would love to see both R and Python integrations given the direction of the data science community. But like others have mentioned, if its already in PowerBi, then it should be 'easy' to release it in Excel.

      • Yury Yafimau commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Not bad. Not sure it will be ever done. The feature is likely to change Excel like Pivot table did in the past.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes, R-Script with excel power query is the natural evolution, its already doing great in power bi, please add the R.Execute command to excel power query too.

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