Use-Cases for the new Google Sheets Action!

  • 5 April 2020
  • 8 replies

Userlevel 4

Hey Looker Community!

As of version 7.4, Looker is offering a new, secure, OAuth-based action to send CSVs directly from Looker to Google Sheets on a one-off or recurring basis. Looker has documentation outlining exactly how to use the Action, as well as configuration options (spoiler: it takes all of 2 seconds to get up-and-running with your new Action). The purpose of this post it to discuss some common use-cases for your new Action. Let’s dive in!

Auto-updating Google Slide Decks (Personal Favorite)

How many of us update our teams and leadership with quantitative metrics every reporting period? I’d guess everyone. And how much time do we spend re-compiling those metrics into a presentable format every period? I’d guess the majority of us. Whether we like it or not, this often takes the form of Slides. Well thanks to this new Looker Action, and the native integration between Google Slides and Google Sheets, we can automatically update charts in our presentations on a scheduled basis with a few quick steps:

  1. Schedule a Look to send to Google Sheets on a recurring basis (we’ll do every morning).

  2. Build a chart based off that data in Google Sheets, and paste that chart into a Google Slides presentation.

  3. Refresh your Google Slides presentation, and you’ll see the update!

In the example below, we’re updating a monthly sales report on the first of every Month, though you could get as granular as updating every 5 minutes. The Data is automatically updated in Google Sheets on schedule. Upon opening Google Slides, the linked chart prompts users with the ability to refresh the data in the chart.

8 replies

Userlevel 4

Hello Dillon,

This actions is definitely a great one 🙂 It’s much easier to use than the previous “looker fetch data” script to update a sheet !

I have nothing to show but I think I’ll share my use case:

We used the new Google Sheet Actions to upload a daily list of conversions to Google Ads. This allows us to leverage our Looker data model where we connected our Google Analytics data to our user database and therefore, generate an “advanced” list of conversions (for example, upload all conversionf of users who have not churned on day 1, 2 etc…)…


Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Does anything else have to be enabled to see the Google Sheets in Actions? We are on 7.4 but I can’t see it in the list…

Userlevel 4

Hello Dawid,

You just need to activate it in the “Platform/Actions” settings in the admin:

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

That’s the thing - I don’t even have it as an item in that list

Userlevel 4

@antho - thanks for sharing the use-case! That’s super helpful.

@Dawid_Nawrot - that seems odd, not sure why that would be the case. As a guess, I’d try hard refreshing your Admin screen - maybe the old page is cached? I’d recommend using Looker’s chat - there we can get more detail around your Looker instance and figure out what’s going on asap!

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

I just had to use the Refresh button in the top right corner. Now it’s there

Love this! We have some existing Google sheets with several tabs; is it currently possible to overwrite a single tab with Looker data? It looks like this action would just create a new spreadsheet that the existing ones would have to be linked to. Thank you!

This is great! Would it be possible to add the ability to specify the destination sheet name and cell reference?