Hey Google, Tell Me About Google Sheets

Google Sheets has more than 400 functions that can be used to analyze and visualize data, automate repetitive tasks, and share insights to inform quicker decisions. Sheets files are also stored in Google Drive, which means you can keep tight controls over who can view and re-share your data.

Information Services & Technology (IST) takes a deep dive into this popular tool to share tips to help you get the most out of Google Sheets. We’re only just scratching the surface. If you’d like to take your Google knowledge to the next level, see which Google courses are right for you through the Technology Training Centre.

Record macros in Sheets, skip mundane tasks

Let’s say you need to format new data imports or build the same chart across multiple sheets of quarterly data. Repeating the same steps manually can take hours, but the Sheets macro recorder lets you record those actions and play them back on command without having to write any code.

The best part about Sheets Macros is that they’re built for use in the cloud, which means that teams can run macros at the same time others are working in the sheet without interrupting them. For example, a finance team having a budget meeting can run macros while reviewing the same spreadsheet. 

Artificial intelligence to speed up analysis

Powered by Google’s machine intelligence, Sheets does a lot of the heavy lifting for you when it comes to data analysis. Just ask Explore about your data and Sheets will return an answer using natural language processing. Sheets also builds charts, suggests formulas and creates pivot tables for you.

  1. In the bottom right, click Explore Explore
  2. Under "Answers," type your question in the box and press Enter.
  3. To see example answers, click the suggested questions under the text box.

Combining data from two Google Sheets

Sometimes we need to pull information from several different sources to see the big picture. Instead of flipping between spreadsheets or manually copying and pasting data into one place, save time by combining data from two spreadsheets into a single spreadsheet.

  1. Pull up the two spreadsheets you’d like to import data between.
  2. Highlight and copy the full URL from the original spreadsheet. Note the range of cells you’re pulling data from, e.g., A:1 to C:10.

  3. Click into the new spreadsheet where you’re adding the data. Insert columns or rows into the spreadsheet where you want to put data.
  4. Type IMPORTRANGE in the cell. The function will ask you for three things:
  5. Press Enter.

If it’s the first time you’ve imported data from that particular spreadsheet, a pop-up might appear asking you to allow access. This security check ensures you’re okay with granting any collaborators on this spreadsheet access to data that lives in another spreadsheet. Go ahead and click yes.


Information Services & Technology’s (IST) Between U and G series was developed to help you work effectively within G Suite for school or work. Learn more tips and tricks with Google's virtual coach — the G Suite Training Chrome extension. With G Suite Training, users will be guided through tasks visually from start to finish - all without leaving the application.

Posted by Sheena Moore