Integrating Google Forms & Google Sheets + Essential Basics
When it comes to data-gathering, web forms have emerged as the cutting-edge tool in this digital era;
And when it comes to anything related to the web, it's nearly impossible to avoid encountering Google;
And when these two meet, processes automate, and the tech industry calls it an automation match!
Google offers several productivity tools as part of its Editor's Suite, formerly known as the G-Suite, and now as Google Workspace;
Google Forms and Google Sheets are the two essential tools of the same.
Not only are they powerful tools on their own;
But are also, nowadays being used in collaboration for,
- Gathering Data,
- Storing and Managing it in a Centralized manner, and
- Eventually Analyzing it to derive data-driven insights that enable critical business decisions.
That said, let's start with a brief introduction to …
Google Forms is an intuitive and user-friendly (much like every other Google Product) form-builder, developed by the Tech Giant, Google.
Key Features of Google Forms
The key features that Google Forms offers are as below:
1. Easy & Intuitive Form Designing
Google Forms provides a simple, intuitive and click-based interface for creating forms. It is also possible to personalize and customize the form in terms of personal preferences for colours and themes.
2. Multiple Formats
Users have the option to choose different types of question and answer formats including multiple choice, dropdown menus, checkboxes and short answers and paragraph-based responses.
3. Media & File Uploads
Google Forms also enables media uploads in various ways. The three main places are:
- Add Media to Questions: It is possible to add media such as images in the form of questions being asked in the form/quiz.
- Add Video/Video URLs in the Answer Feedback: When giving an explanation or feedback about the choice marked by the respondent, it is also possible to add a Video or video URL, as regards the same.
- Allow Respondents to Upload Media/Files: It is also possible to let the responders upload a file as a response.
Different members of a team working on the same project, can create and edit a form simultaneously.
5. Multiple Featuring Options
The created form can be shared by embedding it in a website or blog. It may also be shared via a direct link or email.
6. Range of Functionalities
Users can create dynamic and smart forms that have the ability to show or hide additional questions based on the user's input to the previous questions, using conditional logic. Setting a response limit and time-limit on the form and controlling form access permissions, are a few other features.
7. Real-time Analytics
Real-time data visualization and analysis of trends, is possible as regards the responses received.
8. Multi-Device Compatibility
Google Forms have multi-device compatibility ensuring that forms are user-friendly and accessible on various devices, including laptops, smartphones and tablets.
9. Google Suite Integration
As mentioned formerly, Google Forms is a part of the G-Suite, enabling seamless integration with other Google applications such as Google Sheets and Google Drive for efficiency in data management and backup, sharing capabilities and eventual process automation.
10. Add-ons and Extensions
Google Forms supports various add-ons and extensions that upgrade its functionalities, to provide complex features such as advanced question types, data validation, and adding a timer to the form, etc.
Real-World Use-Cases of Google Forms
1. Medium of Contact
Google Forms can be featured by any business, institute or organization, on their website to act as a means of receiving communication from their users, customers and potential leads.
Businesses, Official Institutes, R&D Departments and Research cells of various organizations heavily rely on conducting surveys for their operations. Google Forms becomes a popular, feasible and thereby commonly used platform to create surveys for gathering data and analyzing it to generate insights.
Academic Institutes when conducting online quizzes as part of student assessment, often consider Google Forms. The feature - Make this a quiz, is infact, especially designed to enable the efficient operation of such activities. And whilst, it is easy to assume that quizzes are limited to academic settings, this isn't true. Websites such as Buzzfeed specialize in creating different kinds of entertainment quizzes such as personality quizzes and Google Forms can be used for such quizzes as well.
4. Business Process Forms
Google Forms can be utilized for gathering data in the context of multiple business processes, including:
- Registration Forms
- Feedback Forms
- Contact Forms
- Customer Satisfaction Forms
- Order Forms
- Opinion Polls
- Employee-related Forms
Featuring intelligently designed and relevant forms, can help improve business processes in terms of accuracy and response rate, and also automate them to quite some extent.
5. Building an Emailing List
The email addresses received as part of responses can be used to build an emailing list for deploying more personalized marketing strategies.
Google Sheets, again offered as a part of the G-Suite, is a powerful web-based spreadsheet application allowing users to create, edit, analyze and represent data in a logical manner.
Key Features of Google Sheets
The key features that Google Sheets offers, are as below:
1. Importing Spreadsheets from other software
Users can not only create new spreadsheets but also import existing ones, developed in other software like MS-Excel or WPS Spreadsheets (.xls, .xlsx), CSV, and more.
It is possible to customize the appearance of cells, including font styles, cell colors, borders, alignment, etc. Also, users can apply conditional formatting, based on specific, pre-defined conditions, to highlight particular cells or ranges.
3. Formulas and Functions
Google Sheets offers a vast library of built-in formulas and functions to perform calculations and automate tasks. Moreover, users can also define custom, unique formulas as per their requirements.
Similar to Google Forms, different members of a team working on the same project, can create and edit the same spreadsheet simultaneously.
5. Data Organization and Presentation
Google Sheets offers organization through sorting and filtering features, visualization through pivot tables, and visualizing data, and charts for graphical representation.
6. Data Validation
Users can define validation rules to restrict cell input to specific data types, values, or ranges.
7. Add-ons and Extensions
Add-ons and extensions developed by third-party vendors are supported to provide additional features and functionality, such as templates, translation tools, Wikipedia tools and more.
8. Apps Script Integration
Google Sheets can be integrated with Apps Script to add custom menus, dialogs, sidebars and custom functions to Google Sheets.
9. Data Protection and Sharing
Google Sheets lets its users control and manage the security by allowing them to set sharing permissions, define access levels, and collaborate securely.
10. Access to Previous Versions
Google Sheets also lets its users have access to the version history to see previous versions of the spreadsheet.
Real-World Use-Cases of Google Sheets
1. Project Management
Google Sheets are used to create project flows, monitor and track tasks, delegate responsibilities, and measure project progress, all in real-time.
2. Sales and CRM Tracking
Google Sheets automates the CRM processes for tracking leads, sales activities, and customer interactions enabling users to not only record, analyze and report data, but also monitor pipeline status.
3. Financial-Data Management
Google Sheets is a popular choice amongst individuals and businesses when it comes to creating budgets, expense-tracking, and managing other financial data.
4. Inventory Supervision
Google Sheets is used for inventory tracking, supervision and administration in various industries to monitor aspects like stock levels, product movement, calculating reorder points, manage supplier information, and oversee related operations.
And with that, the essentials of Google Forms and Google Sheets are covered.
Let’s move on to…
How to Link Google Forms & Google Sheets in 2 Simple Steps
Follow the below given simple, 2-step procedure to integrate your Google Form with a Google Sheet:
Step 1: Create a New Google Form or Select an Existing One
Create a new Google form including the fields as per your requirement, or select an existing form that you want to link to a Google sheet.
Step 2: Link your Form to a Spreadsheet
Once your form is ready, click on the Responses Tab in the form builder dashboard.
Next, click on the Link to Sheets (denoted by the icon of Google Sheets) button.
A popup window will appear asking you to choose either Create a new spreadsheet or Select existing spreadsheet.
Select the Create a new spreadsheet option to have a new and fresh spreadsheet, be created for registering your form details;
You may also specify the name of the connected spreadsheet here;
Click the Select existing spreadsheet option to connect your form to an existing spreadsheet.
Note: When opting for an existing spreadsheet, Google Forms will generate a fresh tab within the worksheet;
And this fresh tab will include fields that align with the questions in your form.
Alternatively, you may also click on the More Options (the three vertical dots) button and click on the Select response destination, which leads to the same pop-up window discussed above.
As responses are received, they will be automatically populated in the linked Google Sheets. To access the responses, open the Google Sheets document linked to your form.
In Google Sheets, you can perform various operations on the collected data, such as sorting, filtering, and data analysis using formulas and functions. You can also create charts and reports based on the collected responses.
The linked Google Sheets document will be updated in real-time as new responses are submitted. You can collaborate with others by sharing the Google Sheets document and working together on analyzing and managing the data.
Conversely, you may also,
Link a Google Sheet to a Google Form
Step 1: Create a New Google Sheet or Select an Existing One
Create a new Google Sheet as per your requirement, or select an existing sheet that you want to link to a Google Form.
Step 2: Link your Spreadsheet to a Form
Click on the Tools button on the Main-menu and select Create a new form.
This will not only generate a new, blank form with fields that can be edited corresponding to the column headers in the sheet;
But also create a fresh Form Responses sheet in your workbook.
Note: This holds true, even if you're using an existing worksheet.
Now, you may start editing and adding questions to the form. As you do so, the linked worksheet will be automatically updated with a corresponding column header.
Shortcuts and Tips When Linking Google Forms and Google Sheets
Here are some general tips and shortcuts that can be helpful when Linking Google Forms and Google Sheets:
1. Stay Updated about new form responses
You can remain updated about new submissions to your form, by selecting the Get email notifications for new responses, from the More Options button in the Responses Tab.
2. Unlinking a Google Form from a Google Sheet
Open the Form you want to unlink, click Responses > Summary > More > Unlink Form.
3. Filtering Responses
Utilize the QUERY or FILTER functions in Google Sheets to selectively display or exclude rows based on a given criterion, enhancing data analysis.
- Query Function: QUERY(data, query, [headers])
data = range of cells for the query,
query = SQL query for operation (enclosed in double quotes, ""), and,
[headers] = an optional parameter indicating the number of header rows at the top of the data
- Filter Function: FILTER(data, condition)
Data = range of cells to be filtered,
condition = requirement to be met by a row for it to be shown in the result
4. Form Publisher Add-On
The Form Publisher add-on for Google Forms, allows users to automatically generate Google Sheets, Docs, or PDFs from form responses.
Access additional tips and guidance on effectively connecting and utilizing Google Forms and Google Sheets, through the official documentation and support resources available from Google.
Benefits of Linking Google Forms and Google Sheets
1. Automating the Data Collection Process
Linking Google Forms to Google Sheets enables form responses to be automatically collected and populated in the linked spreadsheet, eliminating the need for manual data entry, saving resources and reducing errors.
2. Centralized Data Management
Since all the form responses are stored in one location, it becomes easy to organize, sort, filter and manage the data for further analysis, presentation and reporting.
3. Real-Time Updation
Responses received from the form are recorded and updated in the linked worksheet in real-time.
4. Data Analysis and Visualization
Responses received from a Google Form and recorded in a Google Sheet can be analyzed logically to generate summaries and create visualizations to harvest insights from the collected data.
5. Collaboration & Integration
As formerly mentioned, both Google Forms and Google Sheets enable multiple users to work on them simultaneously, as collaborators.
Moreover, integration of the said platforms is possible with other Google productivity tools and third-party applications, to add, enhance and upgrade the functionalities.
6. Access to Historical Data and Version Control
By linking Google Forms and Google Sheets, a historical record of form responses is created, enabling review of past submissions, tracking changes, and using version control to revert to prior versions of the spreadsheet if required.
Real-World Use-Cases where Google Forms and Google Sheets are used in Collaboration
Here are some common real-world use cases, where Google Forms and Google Sheets are used collaboratively:
1. Academic Data
In educational settings, online quizzes are mostly created using Google Forms. A linked Google Sheet, serves educators to not only automatically grade student responses but also analyze and track performance to generate relevant reports.
2. Order Requests
Businesses, especially SMEs often use Google Forms to collect order requests and a linked Google Sheet to track these orders, inventory levels, operations and fulfillment processes.
Survey responses gathered using a Google Form are recorded and managed from a connected spreadsheet to conduct statistical analysis and generate research insights.
User registrations for events, subscriptions & sign-ups, conferences, workshops, seminars and webinars, etc., gathered from a Google Form are linked to a Google Sheet, allowing businesses to track and manage these registrations, and generate required lists.
5. Lead Generation
A Google Form, in integration with a Google Sheet, can be employed to capture and store leads for follow-up actions and nurturing to convert them into customers.
However before making any crucial decisions about which software to use, it is essential to have a full understanding of the product, including its limitations.
That said, let’s discuss a few..
Limitations of Google Forms
As incredible as Google Forms are, they don't come without a few limitations, such as:
1. Design Customization
Google Forms has limited design scope which doesn't help when designing more personalized and brand-oriented forms.
2. Complex Question Types
Google Forms is limited in its ability to provide advanced question types such as matrix grids, ranking-based questions and superior conditional logic.
3. Difficult third-party Integrations
Although quite a few third-party integrations are possible, the process isn't as easy and smooth to carry out.
Google Forms has no option to provide extensive branding and white-labeling options. Also, there is no way to remove Google's personal branding from the form.
5. Basic Analytics
The analytics system is comparatively basic when it comes to Google Forms.
6. No Way To Send Automatic Responses
There is no way to send out personalized, automated acknowledgment messages to respondents.
And whilst this isn't a problem when creating simple forms;
Google Forms may not be the best choice when it comes to crafting complex forms with advanced logic and functionalities.
Formester is a no-code, intuitive and easy-to-use form builder with a drag-and-drop design approach, that not only offers all the features Google Forms does;
But also overcomes and provides advanced features against the limitations encountered by users, in Google Forms.
Moreover, the integration with third-party platforms, including Google Sheets, is a seamless process.
In other words, with Formester - the entire process is the same, just easier and more effective!
P.S., it’s free to sign-up as well!
Google Forms and Google Sheets are essential parts of Google's Editor's Suite, popularly known as the G-Suite.
Not only are these two platforms, unique, dynamic and powerful in their own ways, as individual platforms;
When they come together, their power to automate processes and serve various different business goals and objectives becomes manifold.
In this blog, we covered the basics of each of these tools, individually, along with their fundamental features and their real-world use cases.
We also explore how to integrate Google Forms and Google Sheets and use them in collaboration to achieve multiple goals, efficiently and accurately.
Finally, we also bring into the picture, a few tips which come in handy when integrating Google Forms and Google Sheets and using them in collaboration;
Along with the benefits of the same and a few real-world practical applications.
Overall, linking Google Sheets and Google Forms simplifies, automates and optimizes the processes of data collection, management, analysis, presentation and reporting;
Enabling users to leverage the power of both the tools to efficiently gather insights, make informed decisions, and streamline workflows.
However, like every other software, Google Forms isn't devoid of a few limitations.
That said, while Google Forms may be an excellent choice for designing simple forms;
It may not be the right fit, when creating complex forms that demand advanced functionalities, to meet specific business requirements.
Formester is an intuitive and user-friendly form-builder that caters to such advanced requirements and enables their quick and easy addition;
Along with effortless third-party integrations, including Google Sheets, Slack, Salesforce, etc.;
To make the entire journey of form-building, from designing to deployment, a fun, easy and efficient one!