Google Sheets comes equipped with hundreds of functions to help you analyze your data.
These functions are accessible by clicking Insert -> Function and drilling into the needed category.
Some of my most favored functions are the Filter functions. These include FILTER, SORT, SORTN, and UNIQUE.
The UNIQUE Function
Suppose you have a list of Departments and you want to derive a list of unique items from that list.
You could write a formula like the following:
The SORT Function
If we want to sort the results of the above UNIQUE function’s output in descending order, we can nest the UNIQUE function inside a SORT function like so.
=SORT(UNIQUE(C2:C20), 1, False)
The FILTER Function
If you have a table of data and you want to filter that table by some criteria, you can write a formula like the following that uses the FILTER function.
Suppose we want to generate a list of people who work in the “Finance” department.
A formula to do this would look something like the following:
You can also make this more dynamic by pointing the filter to a cell containing the department name. This way it could be changed by the user.
If the item in cell F2 were to change to “Sales”, the list of employees and their associated data would dynamically update.