Sep 18 announcement: Whew! This was a big task, but today I’m proud to announce that my video training courses are bang up-to-date! I sent out emails to students earlier today, announcing updates to 40 videos in my Google Sheets training courses.
This is a great addition for those of us who build reports and dashboards. Slicers are like checkbox buttons we can add to pivot tables and charts to make them much more interactive from a user stand point.
You’ll be able to add a slicer for a given field so that a user can then filter to just see the data they want.
It’s great to see charts getting some love! It’s one area where Google Sheet has fairly limited functionality, but we’ll soon have much more granular control over how our charts look.
For example, the updates will include the option to color datapoints individually (as shown in this image):
Pivot Table upgrades (recently launched) 🔥
Pivot tables recently got a facelift, with a new, more user-friendly UX.
Even more useful though, pivot tables now have the option to group data (for example to group dates into months, or quarters etc.) and drill-down on data (so you can select an aggregated record and see all the data behind it with a single click).
These are really, really strong updates to Pivot Tables and dramatically increase the power of pivot tables.
There’s been a huge buzz around BigQuery this week, so it was only natural that they announced a native connector for Sheets and BigQuery. It’s in beta pre-release at the moment.
I’ve enjoyed learning more about BigQuery this week and I’m really excited to start using it to build data pipelines involving Sheets and/or Data Studio.
Partner Integrations (sneak peek) 🔥
The team announced several new data integrations during the session. They spent time discussing what they’re working on to bring data from web services into Sheets so you can analyze it.
Three new integrations were announced:
Salesforce and Sheets
You’ll soon be able to export Salesforce data into Sheets with a single click. Salesforce will also be rolling out a feature where you can work on your data in a Google Sheet that is embedded inside of Salesforce.
Sheets saved in Box
You’ll soon be able to work with Google Docs but save the files into your Box account, i.e. use Box instead of Drive as your cloud storage. This makes a lot of sense if you’re already setup on the Box platform.
The team did a live demo showing the collaborative features live from a Box hosted Google Slide deck. Super slick!
SAP to Sheets
You’ll soon be able to export directly from SAP to Sheets.
Other notable updates in the works 🔥
> Text to columns will soon support fixed width splits, which is a useful upgrade.
> Continuing improvement of the Explore feature, which lets users ask questions about their data and uses natural language machine learning to extract answers and suggest insights.
> Improved printing options to meet enterprise needs.
> Images in cells, which stay with that cell even when you move it or insert other rows or columns. Currently you can insert floating images or use the IMAGE function to insert into a cell. Neither is ideal however, so this is a nice touch.
The session recording
Check out the recording of the session from the Google Next 18 conference:
This article outlines 18 best practices for working with data in Google Sheets.
It’s a compilation of my own experiences of working with data in spreadsheets for 15+ years, along with the opinions of others I’ve worked with and reports and articles I’ve read online.
By no means is it meant to be exhaustive or the last word on the subject, but if you follow these guidelines, you should have a robust data workflow.
Following these best practices for working with data will make you and your team work more efficiently and reduce the chance of errors (human or computer) creeping in. It’ll make your work easier to follow and understand, and add value to your team’s or client’s workflow process. It’s a good habit to have, and it’ll serve you well as you progress with your data career.