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Jon Brown
Jon Brown ✭✭✭✭
edited 12/09/19 in Archived 2017 Posts

I am using smartsheet to collect problems and ideas coming from various areas of our company.

As a result I have a large sheet in smartsheet where all the data is being collected and then I am using sights to display an overview of problems and ideas.

My query is where is the best place or method to gather all the information I want to display in the sights dashboard. Currently my sheet has about 30 rows at the top of the sheet that are locked where all the formulas are calculating the information I want to display in my sight sheet, but they are not very good looking and get in the way when users want to filter the sheet.

My questions is can this be done in a better way where the correlation of the information I want in my sight is not displayed at the top of the sheet my users are using to enter information.

Hope that makes sense.



Smartsheet page.JPG


  • Brett Evans
    Brett Evans ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 02/23/17

    1  Put the calculations in their own columns, not columns used to collect data from Users


    2 Make the calcuation rows children under one parent and collapse them to reduce the space they take up


    3 lock the caculation rows so users can't change their values.

    STEPS 1 to 3 will protect the calculations from user edits and sorting


    4 Hide the calculation columns.  so they dont interfere with the usability of the sheet for the users.


    Create a report for your self showing the calulations columns.   This will save you time from having to hide/unhide them to review the info there.  You can't change any formulas, but you could update any static values/labels from the report.

  • Jon Brown
    Jon Brown ✭✭✭✭

    Thats excellent advise.

    Thanks Brett. Laughing

  • Brett Evans
    Brett Evans ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    #5 is my favorite.  It took me a while to figure that one out.


  • LJ Mercedes
    edited 03/21/17

    I have a question about this. In other areas of the knowledge base, it suggests summary rows at the top of the sheet. I started to created about 10 locked rows to craeted calculations in but then ran into this thread suggesting new columns instead. I am curious if this is dependant on data or more of a tested best practice - I can build it either way, but wanted a bit more discussion on the topic. 

  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭



    This is such an open to personal preference question that maybe we should all meet for coffee to discuss. :)


    This deserves a longer answer than I have time for today.


    However, since you asked:


    Every new cell, whether it because of a new row or a new column, adds to the overhead of the system, that is, how much processing power it takes to view, update, and save the sheet.

    In general, less is better.


    Here's some  thumbrules:

    * Some solutions require a new column or columns because it is easier to reference other data on the same row. 

    * If the formulas are looking at the whole column, then they typically must be in a different column, BUT NOT NECESSARILY A NEW ONE

    * If the data / formulas are prone to deletion, or confusing to the end-user, then columns are typically better, because they can be hidden easier than rows.

    * If the sheet is static, then 'sparse' data is easier to link to another sheet or area of the sheet to display it. If the sheet is more dynamic (lots of new rows, deleted rows, moving things around, and so on), then better to consolidate the original data.


    And there's more. In general, the design must adapt to the data, so these are guidelines, not rules.





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