Collect information and display it on a dashboard, using Google Forms

Here’s a great tip we learnt from one of our customers, Max, that uses a Google Form plus Geckoboard’s Google Sheets data source to collect information and display it on a dashboard.

In Max’s case, he was using a Google Form to collect candidate feedback throughout a recruitment process, which collected responses from candidates in a Google Sheet. Using Geckoboard, he then shared recent entries from the form on his department’s dashboard so everyone could identify any themes developing in their candidate experience. (You can read the full story behind Max’s recruitment dashboard here).

Given the flexibility of Google Forms, this approach opens up many different options for displaying user-generated data on your Geckoboard dashboard - from quick polls to full on questionnaires. So if this sparks some ideas for you, here’s a quick run through how you can try this for yourself.

1. Create a Google Form

If you’re already using Google’s G Suite, you can get going right away by following this link to create a Google Form from scratch. Creating a new form will create a new Google Sheet that will collect any responses from your form, however if you want to use a form to populate an existing Google Sheet, you can open up your spreadsheet and click Insert >> Form.

2. Build out your form

The next step is to build out your Google Form to capture the information you want. Google offers several templates which can be customised to your needs, or you can easily make your own form from scratch.

3. Collect responses

When your form is complete, it’s time to share it and start collecting responses. At this stage you should notice a ‘Responses’ tab, and the option to ‘Create spreadsheet’. Click this, and you’ll generate a new Google Sheet that will automatically update every time someone fills out and submits your form.This Google Sheet will be used as the data source for your dashboard.

4. Add raw form responses to your dashboard

The next step is to use Geckoboard’s Google Sheets data source to visualize the information you’ve collected using your form. Select Google Sheets as a data source in Geckoboard and authorise the Google account housing your form and spreadsheet. Select the spreadsheet containing your form’s responses, and you can add now add raw responses to your dashboard.

5. Generate ‘meta’ data to add to your dashboard

Aside from seeing raw responses on your dashboard, you can also use simple functions in your spreadsheet to generate useful ‘meta’ data to display on your dashboard, such as how many responses you’ve had in total, or how many times a particular option has been selected. In the example below, I’ve used the COUNTIF function in my spreadsheet to calculate how many times each fruit was submitted, which can then easily be turned into a bar chart in Geckoboard. For more inspiration, check out this list of useful Google Sheets functions.

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