How To
Oct 25, 2023

How to Categorize Data in Google Sheets

Google Sheets is packed with several data categorization features. 

And even though the platform is extremely powerful, the only problem is that it has a steep learning curve. 

So, unless you’re a spreadsheet wizard, you may find it extremely hard to categorize data in Google Sheets.

To help you out, we’ve put together this guide, where we’ll show you how to easily categorize data in Google Sheets.

For each data categorization technique, we’ll also show you how you can perform them inside Gigasheet. Let’s get started!

1. Data categorization Using Sorting

Sorting data alphabetically and numerically is a fundamental data categorization technique that can help you quickly organize your data.

To sort data in Google Sheets, first select the column you want to sort.

In this case, we’ll show you how to sort a column alphabetically.

Let’s sort the “Shopping Mall” column.

Sorting data in Google Sheets categorize

Upon selecting, click the "Data" option from the toolbar.

Click on the Data option in the Google Sheets toolbar

In the dropdown menu that appears, select "Sort sheet,” followed by “Sort sheet by column {X} (A to Z)” or “Sort sheet by column {X} (Z to A)” to sort the selected column in ascending or descending order.

Short sheet by column A to Z or Z to A

In this case, let’s sort the column by “Z to A.” 

Here are the results:

How to categorize data in Google Sheets using sorting

And even though sorting in Google Sheets is a piece of cake, it’s even easier to do so inside Gigasheet. 

Just open your spreadsheet in Gigasheet and click the “Sort” button.

Categorize data using sorting in Gigasheet

A dialog box will appear where you can sort columns both alphabetically and numerically.

Here, let’s sort the column “Quantity” in the “9 to 1” order.

Gigasheet sort functionality

Click “Apply,” and boom! It’s done.

Sorted data in Gigasheet

2. Data Categorization Using Filters

Using the “Filter” function and “Custom Filter” criteria in Google Sheets, you can categorize and analyze data by displaying only the rows that meet your filter criteria.

Here’s how you filter data in Google Sheets:

Click “Data” from the toolbar. Select “Create a filter.” 

This will add filter icons (small funnel-shaped icons) to the headers of each column.

How to categorize data in Google Sheets using filters.

Click on the filter icon for the column header you want to filter. This will open a dropdown menu with different filter options.

Like here, let’s apply the “Male” filter. 

google sheets categorize using filters.

After setting your filter criteria, click the "OK"  button in the filter menu. 

Your data will be filtered based on the criteria you set, temporarily hiding rows that don't meet the conditions.

Sort data by Gender in Google Sheets

While Google Sheets is a great option for basic filtering, if you want to perform advanced filtering (like add OR filters), you need to use the Filter Function, which requires formulas to define the specific criteria.

Gigasheet makes it so much easier.

Gigasheet offers advanced filtering capabilities designed specifically for large datasets. You can access more extensive and efficient custom filter criteria than general spreadsheet software.

Click the “Filter” button in your spreadsheet.

Filter data in Gigasheet

 A dialog box will appear where you need to add in your filtering conditions. You can add multiple conditions in Gigasheet.

Say, we want to know how many female customers above the age of 18 we have had.

Add multiple filters in Gigasheet

Once you have added the conditions, click “Apply,” and all the cells that match your criteria will be filtered.

Filtered data result in Gigasheet

You can also use the “OR” condition or filter by “Match Case” inside Gigasheet. Last but not least, Gigasheet also allows you to save your filters for future reference or use.  

3. Data categorization using groups

Google Sheets allows you to create collapsible sections within your spreadsheet, making navigating and categorizing related information easier. 

Let us show you how to categorize data using groups in Google Sheets—

Say we want to group “Customer ID” with “Invoice No.” 

Select the columns you want to group. 

Right-click and choose “View more column actions,” and then go for “Group columns A-Z.”

How to categorize data in Google Sheets using groups.

Now, you can collapse or open the grouped columns by clicking the “+” icon (for opening) or the “-” icon (for collapsing) near the column letters of the selected range.

Grouped data in Google Sheet

But when we use the term “grouping,” we mean organize data based on a specified criteria, so that the user can analyze it better. Google Sheet makes it super-hard to group data.  

With Gigasheet, you can quickly group large data sets without complicated setups or configurations.

Let’s see how you can group datasets in Gigasheet, and what we actually meant by grouping.

Click the “Group” button.

How to group data in Gigasheet

A dialog box will appear. We want to group these columns:

How to categorize data in Gigasheet using groups.

Once you add the grouping criteria and exit the dialog box, your dataset will be grouped in no time.

Group data results in Gigasheet

Within the Group panel or the bar at the top, you can create nested groups and rearrange their hierarchy, depending on your needs and preferences.

4. Data categorization using Pivot Tables

Pivot table is a great feature in Google Sheets for categorizing and summarizing data. 

Here’s a step-by-step process of how you can create Pivot Tables in Google Sheets—

Choose two columns along with the headers. We’re using the two columns—“Payment Method” and “Shopping Mall.”

Pivot table in google sheets categorize

In the menu at the top, click “Insert -> Pivot Table.”

How to categorize data using Pivot Table in Google Sheet

A dialog box will come up where you need to add your class range and select where you want to insert the Pivot Table.

Pivot Table Settings in Google Sheet

In this case, we’ll select “New Sheet.” In the Pivot Table editor that appears on the right: Let’s set our criteria:

  • Under "Rows," drag and drop the "Payment Method" field to create a row label for payment methods.
  • Drag and drop the "Shopping Mall" field to create another row label for shopping malls. 

This will allow us to analyze both payment methods and shopping malls.

Pivot Table Editor in Google Sheet

And our Pivot Table is ready!

Sorting data using pivot table in Google Sheets

Many think pivot tables are out of reach for the average user. 

But not at Gigasheet, where you don’t need to set up anything.

Let’s see how you can categorize data using Pivot tables inside Gigasheet.

Click on the arrow-shaped sign, as displayed in the screenshot below.

How to categorize data in Gigasheet using Pivot Tables.

Click “Columns.” This will open the Pivot Table function box

Drag your columns in the rows, values, and columns section, like this—

Pivot table editor in Gigasheet

And it's done! Just like that.

How to categorize data in Gigasheet using Pivot Tables.

How to categorize data in Google Sheets: Final Thoughts

Overwhelming data doesn't have to be a roadblock. Categorizing data in Google Sheets will help you bring order to chaos.

However, learning Google Sheets and its data categorization features is challenging.

If you want to skip the learning curve involved with data categorization, give Gigasheet a try! 

Gigasheet’s data categorization and organization features are easier and more efficient.

But don’t take our word for it. 

Take Gigasheet out for a free test ride. Sign up here.

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