Using the SUMIF function may seem fairly straightforward. However, anyone using manual data entry and organization can encounter some issues if they're not careful. Here are a few tips and tricks for using the SUMIF formula in Google Sheets:
Use named ranges to simplify SUMIF formulas
The most efficient way to use the SUMIF function is to name your range based on the information it represents. Naming ranges makes data easier to read and formulas faster to type and understand. In addition, once you've named a range, you won't have to type in the specific row and column headings. Instead, you can use the range's name, making everything much easier.
For instance, let's say you named a range "Sales_Month" to specify the different sales months and another range "Sales_Total." You may be looking for a specific repeat customer's name, John. In this case, the SUMIF function would be "=SUMIF(Sales_Month," John", [Sales_Total]".
This information would tell you the sum of John's sales for a given period, depending on your "Sales_Month" data range. Ultimately, it depends on how you organize your date. For instance, you may name ranges based on months, quarters, years, products, or specific actions and descriptors.
Using named ranges can help you save time and can help multiple team members work on the same spreadsheet, especially those who are using formulas for the first time. In addition, since names are easier to use than values, you can make more efficient and effective formulas for entire teams.
Improve readability with line breaks and indentation
Formatting is crucial with using the Google Sheets SUMIF function. Depending on your data, you may insert line breaks and indentations when you have multiple parts of a single text string that you want on separate lines for readability. For instance, addresses, first and last names, and brand and product can be used with line breaks to help you show each part on a different line.
Leverage autofill and copy-paste for efficiency
Google Sheets uses autofill to help you enter data more efficiently. To autofill in Google Sheets, all you have to do is select the cells you want to be filled, click, and drag the box in the corner of your selection. As you drag across the spreadsheet, you should see the cells highlighted in blue. When you stop clicking, the cells will automatically be filled in for you, like a faster, more efficient copy and paste.
You can use this as a tool to fill in columns or rows with a series of numbers. For instance, if you track the days of the week or months or use consecutive numbers, you'll select all the cells you want to fill and drag the blue box.
You can even skip parts of a series by leaving them blank. For instance, if you're organizing social media statistics, you may choose to leave Saturday and Sunday out if you don't post on those days. Depending on your needs, this process even works for a series of dates or a custom list.
Autofill isn't perfect. You can only use it when filling in columns or rows, so there's no diagonal functionality. It only works with linear data, so you can't fill it in with a series of numbers and skip every other number.
Testing and debugging SUMIF formulas for accuracy
If you want your SUMIF function to work properly, you'll need to test it. Even if you're a spreadsheet pro, you should always test your functions for accuracy because it can affect your entire spreadsheet and any data visualizations you make using the data reflected on it.
For instance, if you use the SUMIF function to track sales data over a period of time, you'll need that information to be accurate.
The Google Sheets SUMIF function may not work if you don't use the exact syntax required, so testing it against your data and doing manual math is crucial after you implement it. For instance, if you're using SUMIF to look at the sum of invoices from a specific partner, you should add them manually before blindly trusting the function.
If you have a small spreadsheet, testing and debugging your SUMIF formula will be much easier, so we recommend testing your function on a smaller scale before moving it over to your more official spreadsheet. If you have any issues or the formula isn't working properly, you can brainstorm solutions.
Then, once your formula works, you can implement it on the master spreadsheet.
Combine SUMIF with other functions for powerful analysis
Google Sheets can be a powerful business intelligence tool. Learning the SUMIF and SUMIFS functions can help you sum cells more accurately and efficiently without wasting time on manual processes. Of course, this won't help you eliminate human error, but it can improve data organization processes within your business.
But the SUMIFS formulas aren't the only ones you should be aware of. Combining SUMIF with other functions can make your data analysis even more powerful, giving you access to higher-quality data that drives decision-making.
Unfortunately, manually tracking data in spreadsheets is time-consuming and complicated, regardless of the formulas you use. Google Sheets SUMIFS formulas can't solve all your spreadsheet woes. Instead, track your website and marketing metrics using Mailchimp. Mailchimp's metrics give you key insights into your business' performance to help you make data-driven decisions.