Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for PowerSheet.ai
More Answers Coming Soon for New PowerSheet.ai for Excel, BI and Cloud Collaboration Features
Please note that most of the Frequently Asked Questions here are currently focused on earlier PowerSheet.ai features for comparing and merging spreadsheets, duplicate removal, Smart Apps, reconciliation, and fuzzy lookup.
More details are coming soon for our newer Excel Content Add-in features as well as Power Tables, Dashboards, Cloud Collaboration, Smart Reports and Visualization, as well as our more advanced AI for data cleaning, business intelligence and analytics.
How much does it cost?
See Pricing page for details.
How does PowerSheet.ai compare to Power BI?
PowerSheet.ai provides an easy to use alternative to Power BI and other BI platforms integrating support for dashboards and advanced interactive reports directly into Excel, without the need to migrate to or learn a complex new platform, and while working with your existing Excel based workflows.
It allows data entry and editing unlike Power BI, with Microsoft Access like features, including auto-generated data entry forms and rich Power Tables for data editing, validation and entry. It can be embedded into any Excel workbook, install-free, and work offline, based on the data in your spreadsheets, instead of requiring your data to Power BI storage.
How does it compare to Microsoft Access databases?
PowerSheet.ai content add-in for Excel can be embedded install-free into Excel workbooks to serve as an alternative to Microsoft Access databases. It automates data cleaning, transformation and preparation, as well as fuzzy lookup and duplicate removal. It integrates advanced AI automation for finance, accounting, reconciliation, analytics and business intelligence.
It is possible to just use built-in Excel features to compare sheets?
Though possible to use VLookups to highlight and compare differences in some cases but the vast majority of Excel users cannot make the formulas or use tools to allow for effective automated comparison. Also, PowerSheet.ai provides unique support for fuzzy matching and AI to handle even differences in spelling, or old names and account names, as well as aliases, abbreviations and nicknames.
You also can't compare multiple columns for partial row matching in Excel.
PowerSheet.ai can also be much faster than native Excel, especially when large spreadsheets seem to choke when there are changes. Excel cannot easily do fuzzy compare. It cannot easily compare multiple columns. It cannot do anything equivalent to Power Matches. It cannot find combinations of numbers that equal another, like the sum of multiple checks that equals one deposit.
How does it compare to Power Query?
Power Query is complex and easily broken, requiring a query or sequence of queries to be created for each table. Most Excel users aren't familiar with and don't want to have to bother to learn it. Power Query is first and foremost a programming language, though with some visual tools, which, though powerful, is also far more difficult than it should be to use for even the most common and basic cases like joining, pivoting, unpivoting, or appending a folder of spreadsheets or transposing from rows to columns or vice versa.
How does it compare to Co-Authoring in Excel and SharePoint?
Co-authoring in Excel often fails to work depending on which version of Excel and SharePoint you have or if you don't have your workbook in OneDrive. It also doesn't work when or after making edits while offline. And simply sorting or adding, moving or renaming a column could break ability to compare against previous versions and cause conflicts with everyone else editing. PowerSheet.ai provides intelligent comparison that is aware of your data, and intelligently handles moved and renamed columns and cells.
How does it compare Version History and Comparing in Excel?
Version history is only available in limited cases like with workbooks in OneDrive (which many businesses restrict access to). All version history is lost if a workbook is moved, renamed or copied. It's slow to access Version History, requires a full copy of each workbook be stored for each version (vs. just the differences or smart copies). Versions are saved infrequently. You can't name, tag or branch editing of a version. Most importantly, you can't just view version history for a single table or sheet or instantly switch back and forth between versions and filter to show just those rows and columns which were modified. Also, Excel doesn't support smart compare (ignoring differences in formatting, sorting, ordering, filtering and the like) whereas PowerSheet.ai compares your data instead of spreadsheet formats. And Excel doesn't support Fuzzy matching, lookup and compare. PowerSheet.ai has unique AI which identifies what columns represent a unique key for each row and uses that to identify when rows have moved, been deleted, added or renamed, regardless of differences in sorting or if refreshing the results of a Data Connection, Hyperion Smart View cube data or a Power Query.
Comparing and Merging Tables
Can't I just look at both columns and figure out the differences by myself?
Yes, you can definitely use the old STARE and COMPARE method of finding differences. You can speed things up by asking someone else to read aloud while you compare. But it's time consuming, especially if the list is long and the numbers aren't sorted. It's just much much easier to use PowerSheet.ai!
Why can't I use compare in Microsoft Word?
Microsoft Word can compare DOCUMENTS only, but it doesn't know ...
- what to do if the columns are in a different order or how to round numbers.
- how to ignore things like extra spaces or dollar signs or missing commas.
- what to do if numbers are one side are positive, but numbers on other are negative.
- if numbers are transposed.
- if dates are in a different format or if the month and day are correct but the year is off.
- how to just isolate the differences and keep track of cell addresses.
- how to match "Sam's Bakery Inc." with "Sams Bakery"
Import and Export
How do I get data into PowerSheet.ai Online?
You can copy and paste information from Excel. You don't have to clean it up before pasting it. In most normal cases, everything should work. You can also drag and drop a CSV or Excel into PowerSheet.ai. Even huge files of 10MB or much larger can be loaded quickly. And PowerSheet.ai for Excel handles even larger files and does so far more quickly.
Can I see differences only and copy them back to Excel?
You can get a list of the differences. Then you can press the copy button and then paste the results back to Excel. This is fantastic if you have a lot of data. You can focus on only the differences.
What does this do for Accountants and Analysts?
It can compare two sets of numbers. You can find the burdensome $10 error in a bank reconciliation. Or find the problem when the activity doesn't total the balance. Or when someone changed a single item on a Trial Balance. Let's say you have to match up two customer lists, but the names are different, like "Sam's Bakery, Inc." and "Sams Bakery"? You can do all this manually, but with this tool, everything is easier.
What does this do for Sales and Marketing professionals?
Let's say you have a mailing list. Many systems can find dupes, but it isn't easy. PowerSheet.ai not only finds dupes, it finds fuzzy matches, like firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Are Smart Apps easy to use?
There is a Setup Wizard that has a basic mode and an advanced mode. If you have an easy problem to resolve, then it should be VERY easy to use. If you have more complexity, your learning curve will be more significant. Some examples of extra complexity would be if you have positive numbers on one side and negative numbers on the other side. Another would be if you need to add a custom formula. There's also Artificial Intelligence and Smart Apps that can be used to enable delegated users to repeat similar reconciliations with new data. Almost like Macros in Excel.
What is Power Match?
When users try to compare one set of data to another, some matches are better than others. So let's say there are 8 columns on the left and 10 on the right. Power Matching will find the rows that match on 8 columns. Then 7. Then 6. Then 5. Etc. The AI prioritizes the columns based on the column names. And it does it amazingly fast. To be a little more clear. The 6 columns on the left are 6 of the 8 and on the right, it's 6 of the 10. This means that the AI has to cycle through every combination of 6 of 8 and compare to every combination of 6 of 10. The number of combinations if there are also 10,000 rows is enormous. Power Match lets users find an enormous percent of the potential matches with one button. It also lets users who may be somewhat unfamiliar with the nature of the underlying data to rapidly match the numbers.
Finance and Accounting Solutions
Can I automate reconciliation?
PowerSheet.ai and its AI powered tools are able to finds differences in columns so you can find errors quickly and then complete your reconciliations yourself.
What other financial uses are there?
Did you ever compare a TB that's changed. Of course it changes from one period to the next, but there are always TB's that in draft mode. What if you need to compare one draft with an earlier draft? (Same goes for Balance Sheets, other financial statements and financial forecasts.) Just paste both versions into PowerSheet.ai and it will highlight everything that's changed. Super fast.
Can I compare lists or spreadsheets or emails, contacts, or CRM data?
There is lots of custom programming to handle emails. If emails are formatted like "John Doe " or like "firstname.lastname@example.org" they will be considered equal. Also, if you paste an email list from Microsoft Outlook that is separated by semicolons (;), it will automatically convert it to a list so it can be compared.
Can I merge or remove duplicates from email lists?
You can deduplicate anything. Not just that. You can compare new emails against a pre-existing list so you can see which ones you want to add. You can certainly find examples when you see email@example.com two times. But you can even match firstname.lastname@example.org with email@example.com. That's called fuzzy matching.
Artificial Intelligence and Smart Apps
How does the Artificial Intelligence work?
The general purpose of PowerSheet.ai is to compare two sets of data. So let's say a user loads bank data and General Ledger data in the Data tab. Then presses the BRAIN. That triggers the Artificial Intelligence engine. The AI will recognize the bank and the GL data and create an App specifically designed for that reconciliation. The App will also the user a few questions that it cannot positively discern from the data. The App guides the user through the reconciliation process making the experience faster and easier. An App is something like a Macro in Excel.
What is a Smart App?
A Smart App is something like a Macro in Excel. The User can create an App. The User can also run a previously saved App. The User can also use the Artificial Intelligence to create an App on the fly.
Privacy and Security
How secure is my data?
What is Fuzzy?
It's an inexact match. firstname.lastname@example.org is not identical to email@example.com, but it's probably intended to be the same. "Bill's Bakery, Inc." is not identical to "Bills Bakery", but it probably is intended to be the same. 1098.52 does not equal 1089.52, but it's probably intended to be the same. Fuzzy matching tries to find close but not identical matches. This is a major time saver if there are lots of mismatches.
How could Fuzzy be used to solve a Financial Problem?
Let's say you're comparing marketing department has its own customer list and accounting has a different customer list. And the sales totals don't match up, so you want to find out which customers don't match. Let PowerSheet.ai try to match them up. Some may still fall through the cracks, but it'll be much easier than doing it manually.
How could Fuzzy be used to solve a Marketing Problem?
Let's say you're trying to clean up a customer list. You can dedupe the company names. You can find company names that are probably identical, but not absolutely identical, like "Bill's Bakery, Inc." and "Bills Bakery".
User Interface and Workflow Details
Can I paste multiple columns into the text boxes?
You can paste into each text box multiple Excel columns and everything will still work. There are many advantages When numbers are off, you can now quickly see what it's related to, like date, or name. See it in the tour. Users can compare an entire row to an entire row. It's not just cell by cell any more. Now you can produce a report that lines up the columns based on key columns. So if each side has 2 columns, you can line up the sides based on common columns.
If you have 5 columns on the right and 4 on the left, for example, you can choose to line up the rows based on columns 2 and 3 on the left side and columns 1 and 4 on the right side. Duplicating this feature in Excel would be a significant challenge.
What if I repeatedly have the same problem?
If you have the same problem over and over with pretty much the same configuration each time, you can build an App that let's you replicate your solution over and over with different sets of data. It's like an Excel macro.
What are the filters for?
Often the data on one side or the other is a little messy. Sometimes there is text or zero values you may want to ignore. Sometimes the numbers on the left may show as positive but the corresponding number on the right may be negative. Sometimes when you compare text you want it to be case sensitive, other times not. Sometimes one column is already rounded to the dollar while the other column has two decimal places. These filters handle these issues. They are often essential.