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 your spreadsheet: Zapier, Airtable importer and Actiondesk.
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.
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:
Actiondesk is a slightly different option, as it is a spreadsheet software natively integrated with your data sources and business apps. Meaning no more CSV copy pasting. You can import data from SQL, Stripe, Salesforce, Hubspot and more.
So instead of exporting your Airtable data to Google Sheets in order to transform it, you might just want to do all in one place: store your data in a user-friendly and convenient place, transform it easily as you would in any other spreadsheet with filters, calculations or creating reports. Save you the hassle of exporting your data from one place to another to transform it.
(Just as an FYI, I work for Actiondesk so I’m definitely biased, but I would say you should definitely have a look at Actiondesk 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.)
Oh, and if you think this whole thing is a painful process, feel to check out our product Actiondesk, it's a spreadsheet software that lets you import and refresh data seamlessly from SQL, Stripe, Salesforce, Hubspot and more.