How to create and use a pivot table in Google Sheets to summarize and analyze smaller sets of your data

Person in headphones working on spreadsheet on desktop Mac.
Pivot tables in Google Sheets let you organize and group smaller sets of data from a larger dataset.

  • Pivot tables in Google Sheets summarize smaller sets of data from a more extensive table and group sums, averages, or other statistical measurements in a specific and meaningful way.
  • You can create pivot tables in Google Sheets manually or automatically and sort your spreadsheet’s data by rows, columns, values, and filters.
  • Pivot tables also let you group data manually or automatically to give you a more specific and customized window into your more extensive data set.
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Pivot tables in Google Sheets are a way to get a more focused snapshot of your larger database.

They can be handy for their versatility – pivot tables group and filter information according to variables that you pick – and be as simple or complex as you want.

More than just counting, pivot tables can total up amounts, calculate averages, and even help you find errors in your dataset.

Here’s how to perform some of the most basic functions of a pivot table.

More ways to edit and work with pivot tables

Here are a few more ways to adjust and get the most out of the pivot table you’ve created using other facets of the feature in Google Sheets.

  • Add data: On the right side where you set up the pivot table, you can always add to Rows, Columns, or Values to expand the pivot table with another variable.
  • Change row or column names: To change row or column names, double click inside the label cell and rename it.
  • Change sort order: To see your data in a different order, click the dropdown menu within a variable and sort differently or see a separate order (descending or ascending alphabetically, by amount, etc.)
  • Change the data range: The data range signifies which cells are being used from the original spreadsheet to make the pivot table. Change the range by clicking the grid symbol at the top of the pivot table editor and editing it.
  • Delete data: Any variable you add to your pivot table can be removed using the X feature at the top right of the table.
  • Hide data with filters: Filtering allows you to remove specific data from the pivot table. Under Filters, click Add and choose which category you’d like to filter within. Then, under Status, you can use the dropdown menus to uncheck certain conditions or values. For example, you could select to filter by Account number in the budget and deselect a particular bank account number, which would prevent those entries from being counted in the pivot table.
  • Move data: Make rows columns and vice versa by simply dragging their boxes to the section you’d like them in – for example, you might see that there are more columns than rows and switch them to make the pivot table more vertically readable.
  • Repeat row labels: Not every entry within a group will have a row label. In the box for that group, check Repeat row labels to apply the group name to every row.
  • Show totals: Sum totals for each category or group will typically be visible, and you can check or uncheck Show totals within a variable’s box to change this.
  • Show values as percentages: Change values to percentages by, underneath Values, clicking the dropdown menu under Show as, which will let you convert values into percentages of rows, columns, or totals.
  • Create custom formulas: If you want to create a column that does a certain calculation for each row, click Add underneath Values and click Calculated field, which will add a column with no values. Define the formula (let’s say you want to subtract 100 from each row value) in the text field and customize how the values are shown in the dropdown menus. Under Summarize by change Sum to Custom.
  • Show details of data: Double click any value to show its source data (for example, anything within the “Freelance” category of the budget). This will create a new sheet with a list of the data used to arrive at the value.

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We compared Google Meet and Zoom to see which is better for remote working and learning – and Zoom has a slight edge for large meetings

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Google Hangouts vs Zoom 4x3
  • If you’re learning or working from home, a video conferencing tool is a must.
  • Two of the best services out there are Google Meet and Zoom.
  • Zoom supports larger meetings, but Google Meet is conveniently packaged with other Google services.

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Two of the most popular video communication tools for remote work and learning are Google Meet and Zoom. The two services are used by workplaces and classrooms around the world. Both provide the ability to interact with other participants through video conferencing, enabling businesses and schools to conduct remote meetings and lessons through a variety of apps and devices.

But which of these tools is ultimately better? And which might work best for your needs? We put Google Meet and Zoom head to head to find out.

Google Meet vs Zoom: Which is better?

Google Meet and Zoom are both video conferencing services and they offer a lot of the same features. But one service may be a better fit for your needs depending on the size of your team and what other applications you plan to use.

When it comes purely to video conferencing features, Zoom has a slight edge over Google Meet, offering a comprehensive assortment of options at various price points. Zoom’s most expensive plan provides support for the largest number of participants.

That said, if you’re looking for a bigger collection of applications to use in tandem with your video conferencing service, then Google Meet might be a better fit. The platform, formerly known as Google Hangouts Meet, comes bundled with other helpful Google services as part of a Google Workspace subscription.

Feature comparison

Google Meet Zoom
Free option Yes Yes
Monthly price $6-$25 per user $15-$20 per license
Participants Up to 250 Up to 1,000
Meeting time limit up to 24 hours Up to 30 hours
Platforms Windows, Mac, Android, iOS Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Pricing and plans

Google Meet and Zoom are both available in a variety of plans for different monthly costs, with certain features only available via certain packages.

Zoom plans

The basic version of Zoom is available for free, but there are some limitations to this option. Notably, you can only host meetings of up to 100 people and group meetings can only be up to 40 minutes.

Pricing for Zoom’s premium plans can get a little complicated if you need more than what the free version has to offer. Here’s a full rundown of packages:

Plan Price Participants Time Hosts
Zoom Basic: Free Up to 100 40 minutes One
Zoom Pro: $15/month/host Up to 100 30 hours 1-9
Zoom Business: $20/month/host Up to 300 30 hours 10-99
Zoom Enterprise: $20/month/host Up to 500 30 hours 50+

Starting with the Pro plan, members receive social media streaming, 1 GB of cloud recording, and personal meeting IDs. When you step up to Business, you get some advanced administrative features, like transcript recording, managed domains, and company branding. Enterprise upgrades you to unlimited cloud storage.

You can also add the “Large Meetings” add-on to any paid plan to get support for up to 1,000 participants.

Outside of its workplace plans, Zoom also has specific solutions geared toward education. Education plans are available for a minimum of 20 hosts and a max of 149 hosts. Each host can have unlimited meetings with support for up to 300 participants. You can find more information on pricing and features for Zoom’s Education plan here.

Google Meet plans

When it comes to Google Meet, you also have a few different options to choose from. Though a free version of Meet wasn’t originally available, Google now offers free access to a limited version of the service.

To unlock more features, you’ll need to pay for Google Meet as part of a subscription to Google Workspace (formerly G Suite). Workspace comes with a full suite of additional Google cloud services, including Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and more. Here’s a full breakdown of Google Meet options via Google’s different Workspace plans:

Plan Price Participants Time Users
Google Meet: Free Up to 100 One hour (groups) One
Business Starter: $6/month/user Up to 100 24 hours 300 max
Business Standard: $12/month/user Up to 150 24 hours 300 max
Business Plus: $18/month/user Up to 250 24 hours 300 max
Enterprise: Varies Up to 250 24 hours No max

The Business Standard plan adds recording support. Meanwhile, Business Plus adds attendance tracking. Finally the Enterprise plan adds a noise-cancellation feature and “in-domain” live streaming.

Like Zoom, Google also offers education-specific Google Meet solutions. You can find more information about Google Workspace for education here.

Extra features

Zoom video conferencing

Zoom is a dedicated video conferencing service built by a company that is mainly focused on that platform. As such, Zoom is a little more comprehensive than Google Meet. Sure, Meet scores points thanks to its seamless integration with other Google apps, and the fact that it comes bundled with a host of other services, but if you’re really only looking for a video conferencing platform, those other apps won’t matter all that much.

Google Meet caps out at 250 participants and 24 hours, but Zoom can support up to 30 hours and has an option to add support for up to 1,000 participants for an extra fee. Most teams won’t need the expanded support that Zoom provides – but for some businesses, this ability could be the deciding factor.

When it comes to general features, Meet and Zoom both offer many of the same basic functions, like call encryption, support for up to 720p HD video, and presentation modes that allow for screensharing to other participants.

Google Meet has also made some big improvements over the last few months by adding additional options that were initially only found on Zoom, like polls, a tiled gallery layout for larger calls, and video filters so you can change your background. Both Zoom and Meet will let you split up calls into breakout rooms as well.

You can go further with both video conferencing services by hosting a session with a whiteboard. Participants in Meet and Zoom can also raise their hands if they have to say something in a class or company meeting.

Though Google Meet was initially missing a lot of these extra functions, the difference between both services has steadily decreased.

Integrations

Google Hangouts Meet integrations
Google Meet can integrate with other services.

Perhaps one of the most important things to consider is how each platform integrates with other services. Notably, Google Meet allows users to integrate meetings with other teams using Skype for Business, and other video meeting systems based on the SIP and H.323 standards. Meet also integrates with additional apps, including other Google services. For example, the service integrates well with Google Calendar

Zoom offers some great integrations too – including some Google apps and services. For example, Zoom integrates with Facebook Workplace, Skype for Business, Salesforce, Microsoft Outlook, Google Drive, Google Calendar, and more. While Meet may make integration with Google services a little easier, Zoom still allows many of those same integrations as well.

The bottom line

Zoom meeting
Zoom is the more comprehensive service for dedicated video conferencing needs.

Zoom offers support for the most amount of people and the longest meeting times, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right option for everyone. Zoom’s edge over Meet has diminished greatly over the last few months as Google added a lot of new features. Still, if you just want a service purely for video conferencing, then Zoom has a slight edge.

That said, if you want to use other Google services that come included with a Google Workspace subscription, then Meet will be more than good enough for your remote work or learning needs.

You can get Google Meet from the Google Workspace website, or sign up for Zoom at the Zoom website.

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