04. November 2021

Introducing Conversations: a new way to explore & explain data

GRID announces in-product conversations, extending the power of spreadsheets from exploration to explanation, and now conversations

We are thrilled to announce the next step on our journey to make GRID the tool where modern teams explore and explain matters at hand with numbers: Conversations.

When we launched commercially in March, our focus was on the GRID document, the web-friendly presentation layer that traditional spreadsheets have neglected. GRID documents allow authors of spreadsheets - whether they work in Excel or Google Sheets - to provide a guided narrative on top of their spreadsheet data and models. This way, authors can provide the context and level of interactive exploration that allows the audience to fully understand the insights and “story” in the spreadsheet, while the author remains in full control of the underlying model.

Conversations GIF

Today, we add the next layer - facilitating the conversation that inevitably follows. These conversations - that traditionally happen in emails or through instant messages via Slack or Teams - often deepen the insights, drive further exploration and eventually lead to decisions and actions. But up until now these conversations have been one or two steps removed from the spreadsheets themselves, happening in person or in text communication after being presented in a document or a slide show where static charts and tables have been pasted in from the spreadsheet they’re based on. This requires a long chain of manual labor, error prone repetition and delays when “running the numbers again” if anyone has a question.

GRID now covers this chain from exploration to explanation to conversations end-to-end.

Obviously, commenting has existed in cloud based spreadsheet software for a while, but the traditional spreadsheet grid draws the attention to the granular details in individual cells. The GRID document on the other hand focuses on the narrative and insights, drawing attention to the big picture. Typical spreadsheet comments are work-in-progress remarks such as “Update this when the EOY numbers arrive” instead of a conversation spurred by an insightful chart or paragraph on whether e.g. the projected growth means the company should be hiring faster in Q1. Both types of conversations have their time and place, but only the former happens in today’s spreadsheet comments. GRID facilitates both, but emphasizes the latter.

A range of additional collaboration features will be following, including a Slack integration, bridging the conversations happening and being recorded in GRID to the place where many modern teams naturally have their day-to-day conversations already.

As always, we welcome your feedback. Existing users can reach out via the community, social media channels or support while we welcome new users and their team members to sign up for an account and try out GRID and the conversations for free.

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