photo credit: therefromhere
I am a big fan of Google Spreadsheets, they give you most of the features of a desktop “office” based spreadsheet but your data is stored online, no more need to carry your data on a USB stick.
I’m also a huge fan of databases, SQL is a fantastic tool for querying data.
Now you can combine the best of both worlds: store your data in a spreadsheet and then summarise the data using SQL.
I have uploaded a sample spreadsheet that shows this in action here.
As I’m training for the Edinburgh Marathon (feel free to donate here : http://www.justgiving.com/26miles4chas) I wanted a way to log my data and also summarise it the way that I wanted.
All data should be entered in the sheet entitled “Logger”, simply copy the last row with data, paste it on the row below and then enter your values. The cells in grey contain formula so should not be changed.
All data should be entered in KM, I also have a miles to KM converter on the page if you prefer imperial measures. Once you have logged your runs, you will want to see how they are summarised over the day, week, month or year.
When I was trying to get this to work I could not find an example that worked that’s why I’m writing this.
The basic syntax of a SQL statement is:
SELECT “the columns you want to see”
FROM “wherever the data is stored”
WHERE “you filter the rows of data to show”
GROUP BY “if you want to summarise the data”
ORDER BY “if you want your results sorted”
There are a couple of differences when you are using the Google Query syntax:
You don’t need the “FROM” clause in the query it’s self, it’s passed into the function as a parameter.
There’s an additional “LABEL” clause that allows you to change the column headings in your output.
Using The Query Function
A simple example would be:
=Query(Logger!A1:P999, “select C, sum(E) group by C order by C label sum(E) ‘Distance KM’”)
The first parameter defines the data that you will be querying (the from clause).
The second parameter defines the query, in this case, showing the week and the total KM run in that week.
Note you must always refer to the column letters, even if you have put titles in row 1.
These query statements can get quite long and hard to read. What I like to do is to store the queries in a separate workbook “Queries” and then refer to them:
Feel free to take a copy of my spreadsheet and put it to good use!