Updates to the Ideas Feature in Excel

MC221738, Plan For Change, Published date: Sep 8, 2020

Major update: AnnouncementApplies To: All

As part of our efforts to improve the usability and discoverability of the Ideas feature in Excel, we are going to begin rollout of a naming update to highlight that the focus of this connected experience is to make Data Analysis simpler, faster and more intuitive.

Note: this change does not impact functionality, only the name.

The “remove Ideas button from the Ribbon” policy setting, which located under User Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Microsoft Excel 2016\Intelligent Services, will not be affected during this change. In the next 3 months we will be retiring the Group Policy as the Ideas functionality is a Connected Experiences in Office and there are new privacy policies for managing the experience.

When this will happen

We will be rolling out the naming change for Ideas in early October.How this will affect your organization:

While this feature provides powerful capabilities we have found that it is not easily discoverable and we believe this may relate to the name of the capability. As such, starting in 30 days we will begin rollout of a new name for the Ideas feature to validate improved discoverability of this feature. To ensure the best result we will be updating the name to one that better reflects the feature‚Äôs focus on Data Analysis Ideas. We will monitor for improved discoverability and make a decision of which name resonates best with your users before continuing rollout to the remainder of your user population.

After the Group Policy setting is retired, whether users can use the feature will depend on your policy settings to manage privacy controls for Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise. Moving forward the the Ideas feature will only be managed as a Connected Experiences in Office, please review your policy settings to manage privacy controls for Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise and the  overview of the Office cloud policy service for Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise.
What you need to do to prepare:

You may consider sharing the naming change with your help desk for awareness. Additionally, you should consider reviewing your Group Policy settings and ensure your  policy settings to manage privacy controls for Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise are configured for the experience you wish to enable.

Your feedback is important to us and ask that you let us know how you feel about the Ideas name changes. You can provide feedback by using the thumbs up or thumbs down at the top of this Message center post.