Use Google Sheets’ ImportData function to display online data in Geckoboard

Google Sheets has a built-in function called ImportData which fetches data from a given url in CSV (comma-separated value) or TSV (tab-separated value) format.

We'll show you how this function can be used with our Spreadsheets integration to display visualizations out of CSV files on Geckoboard.

Syntax of the ImportData function

The syntax of the ImportData function is IMPORTDATA(url), where url is the url from which to fetch the CSV or TSV-formatted data, including protocol (e.g. http://).

Note

The value for url must either be enclosed in quotation marks or be a reference to a cell containing the appropriate text.

Step-by-step example: Bitcoin exchange rate

In this example, we'll use the ImportData function and the Spreadsheets integration to display Bitcoin's historic price (in $USD) on a dashboard, but more generally CSV files can help adding all sorts of proprietary data.

Step 1: Export exchange rate database from Quandl

Quandl helps data analysts save time, effort and money by delivering high-quality financial and economic data in the precise format they need. In this example, we'll use data in CSV format from their API.

To export a CSV database from Quandl for this example, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Quandl.
  2. Use the Database browser to find Bitcoin's Spot Exchange Rates databases. We'll use Bitcoin Markets (bitfinexUSD) to demonstrate its usage.Quandl_Bitcoin_info_in_CSV
  3. Once you find the database you are after, look for its Export Data menu on the right of your screen.
  4. Click on CSV and copy the link for this resource (in this case https://www.quandl.com/api/v3/datasets/BCHARTS/BITFINEXUSD.csv)Export_Data_API
  5. You're now ready for Step 2!

Step 2: Import CSV file into Google Sheets

To import the CSV output from Quandl into Google Sheets, follow these steps:

  1. Open a new Google Sheet.
  2. Type the following formula into cell A1:

    =IMPORTDATA("https://www.quandl.com/api/v3/datasets/BCHARTS/BITFINEXUSD.csv")Import_CSV_file
  3. Save your Google Sheet and give it a name.

Step 3: Use Spreadsheets to visualize the data in Geckoboard

With Bitcoin's exchange rate information in your Google Sheet, create a new Spreadsheets widget in Geckoboard to display this information on the dashboard.

Further reading

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