Airtable is an awesome database tool that is user-friendly and quite convenient. Who doesn’t love Airtable?
The only feature Airtable is missing is the power to transform your data easily as you would on a spreadsheet: data filtering, pivot tables, query function, unique visualization tools, and other functions. If you what to transform your Airtable data, you’ll need to export it to Google Sheets to work some spreadsheet magic on your data. You might also want to just backup your Airtable data in a google sheet.
I’ve outlined the 3 best tools to push data from Airtable to Google Sheets.
Zapier allows you to easily push new Airtable data to Google Sheets with one zap and then sync them the two applications together (whatever changes you make in Google Sheets is then reflected back into Airtable) This is great if you are just starting to use Airtable because as you build up your records in Airtable, these new records are replicated into Google Sheets.
If you already have an Airtable account filled with data, you cannot push existing data to Google Sheets. The initial “Popular Ways to Connect Airtable Records in views to Google Sheets” is a little misleading as it seems to indicate you can copy your whole database, but in reality, only new records can be exported.
One tricky part about working with Zapier is Airtable’s associated fields. Let’s say you sell fruit and you have a table with the name of customer, their email and which fruits they bought. And you have another table of a list of Products, Product ID and customers who bought them.
Stephan Oswald, for example, bought a kiwi. Gabrielle bought a Mango and an orange. This Kiwi is an associated field and so is the mango and orange It doesn’t translate into Google Sheets, merely just a string of numbers: an array that you can’t do anything with.
There’s nothing you can really do in Google Sheets with Gabriella’s data because of this array.
So if you are not working with associated fields or multiples results for one Unique Identifier and you are also just starting to use Airtable, then this is the tool for you as it is very easy to set up.
Actiondesk is just as easy to set up as Zapier but allows you to dump your whole Airtable database (or just selected tables) to Google Sheets. You can then transform your data with filters or calculations or you could create reports all on Google Sheets. If you decide you want to push this compted data back into Airtable, you can do that too and schedule it to regularly update.
Actiondesk allows you to unnest (separate when there is more than one associated field). So for example, using the scenario mentioned above with the fruit vendor and Gabriella, you can easily separate her data.
Actiondesk creates a new row for each of the products bought by one customer so you can analyze it properly.
Once you’ve imported your data from Airtable into Actiondesk, press “unnest” in the upper righthand corner and choose which column has the string you want to separate. In this example, I’m unnesting the string of text from “Orders.”
You’ll see at the bottom a new sheet opens up and has the new unnested version of your data, ready to be exported to Google Sheets to work your spreadsheet magic. You can see there are 15 rows even though there are only 10 customers. This is because the customers repeat when they have more than one product in their order.
You can then perform a Lookup and easily replace the string of letters and numbers representing fruit, to the actual name of the fruit. Voila! Your data is ready to be made into an awesome report or computed.
See a quick tutorial of this unnesting process in Actiondesk here:
If you have associated fields or an n to n relationship with your data, Actiondesk will be the way to go!
Airtable Importer is a Google Sheets add-on which makes it super easy to set up. You can dump current tables into Google Sheets. You can re-import your data back into Google Sheets too.
If you add a new row or edit something, it won’t sync live to your google sheets and you’ll need to reimport the whole table.
This is a great tool for seeing your data in a spreadsheet format but because you cannot unnest it, there’s not a whole lot of transformation you can do with your data. You can see that it looks like this in the spreadsheet:
Hopefully you found one of these tools to help save you time analyzing your Airtable data. I would use Airtable Importer if you don’t want to do transformations on your Airtable data but just want to move it into Google Sheets. For more advanced analysis, I would use Actiondesk (but of course I might be a bit biased.)
Interested in using Actiondesk as a solution? Click here