Learn how to create an app with Google Sheets and discover all the benefits it will bring to your business – digital transformation for SMBs.
The suite of Google collaboration and productivity tools is preferred for many small and medium businesses (SMBs) across industries and geographical locations. Cloud-native tools such as the Google Sheets, Google Docs, and Meet empower companies to connect their teams, create documents and forms, and access and control their data. Creating an app with Google Sheets adds to the value of these tools. They become even more important for smaller companies which often struggle with the innovation process due to limited financial resources and internal capabilities. In this article we´ll show you how easy it is to create an app with Google Sheets.
Among the suite of Google work tools, Google Sheets is one of the most commonly used applications. It is known as the best alternative to Microsoft Excel, which is hosted in the cloud. You can have it for free for personal use, as well as employ it as a part of the paid professional G Suite.
Boasting a rich set of features, as well as numerous innovative add-ons that provide extra functionalities, Google Sheets is the spreadsheet tool of choice for many SMBs. It allows them to handle their business data productively while providing a good level of usability and security. Thus, it has turned into a common solution for the digitalization needs of smaller companies.
In addition to the benefits of Google Sheets, you can make a significant step in the digital innovation of your company with automatic app creation based on your Google spreadsheets. No-code platforms such as Open as App help you to create apps with Google Sheets. They offer a powerful boost for your data handling and overall productivity. You can easily build apps from your Google Sheets files, which enhance your work processes and improve your bottom line.
To understand the importance of tools like Google Sheets for small and medium businesses, it’s worth taking a look at the major challenges that they experience in their digitization efforts first.
While the majority of SMB owners strive for digital innovation, they often have to work on achieving it while facing several constraints. Among the major ones is the lack of necessary technical knowledge within the existing team. The employee skill gap prevents smaller companies from advancing with innovations, especially when complex technologies have to be embedded within the workflow.
Budget restrictions are typically a crucial factor in the digitization of SMBs. Unlike larger companies with dedicated financing for digital innovation and even for research and development (R&D) activities, smaller businesses often have to make budget sacrifices in these areas. For example, app development and maintenance is costly and time-consuming. SMBs often simply can’t afford them.
Last but not least, because of all the mentioned constraints, choosing the right technology can be a challenge on its own for smaller businesses. They have to consider too many factors while making the decision: from the complexity of the technology, through usability and pricing, to security standards and HR limitations.
Luckily, in recent years, several digital tools have opened up the way for the digitalization of SMBs at lower costs and with better overall conditions. Here’s how Google Sheets contributes to the digitalization of such companies.
The G Suite is often a preferred set of digital work tools for small and medium businesses. One of the most powerful tools in the set is Google Sheets, which is regularly used by smaller teams for spreadsheet and database creation – replacing paper-based operations or the previously dominant Microsoft Excel.
Google Sheets offers an easy and effective solution for the digitalization of a significant portion of business data. You can enter various types of information instead of having these documents on paper spread across offices and desks.
Naturally, Google Sheets is also a great helper in data analysis and calculations. In the spreadsheets tool, you can create diverse charts and graphs. You can also make complex calculations and set up your business formulas.
These functionalities also make it especially useful for budgeting and accounting. It allows you to go digital with your balances, invoices, expenses, and various other financial documents.
One of the common applications of Google Sheets for SMBs, for example, is for invoicing, inventory-keeping, and other document templates. Once your team creates the templates in the tool, they can be repurposed and reused for all your clients, shipments, inventory lists, and more.
Data collection from different stakeholders is another typical use for Google Sheets. As it allows easy online collaboration, your employees working in one location can share it with remote team members or other stakeholders. Then each of them can input their part of the data in the very same spreadsheet, without needing to exchange a paper document across locations.
While Google Sheets is not a project management tool per se, it also contributes to the adequate and effective tracking of projects. As it can contain various types of data coming from different team members, it can provide you with an overview of the progress of tasks and the distribution of responsibilities. You can also review and set up calendars and scheduling for your team.
The benefits of Google Sheets for SMBs are unprecedented. Does it get better than that?
In fact, with Open as App, you can achieve even more with your cloud-based spreadsheets. The no-code platform boosts the work that you can get done with Google Sheets and unravels a whole new set of functionalities that you can use by combining the two.
For example, you can easily create a list app from your Google Sheet. In this use case, its purpose is to help with the innovation efforts of an investment bank. It provides information about innovation scouting findings in an easy and user-friendly way.
Another useful app that you can build up with Open as App from a Google Sheet is a sales app for improving your sales process. With its help, you can equip your sales team with a powerful tool for preparing quotes, calculate product prices and ROI estimates for clients.
You can also use a no-code app to streamline reporting processes, as illustrated in the use case of a startup CEO. Before you delve into the actual app building process, first things first: what is the automatic app creation that Open as App offers?
In essence, it allows you to build apps from your business data without having to write a single line of code. You just have to input the information and let the platform automatically analyze and convert it in the shape of an interactive app. Complex formulas are easily transformed into usable calculators, while extensive lists become clickable apps with easy-to-navigate designs. For example, you can set up a product database app or a status reporting app for Google Sheets with ease.
So how does Open as App complement Google Sheets in the strive for the digital transformation of SMBs? In fact, the combination of the two provides digital innovation for smaller companies at a fraction of the typical costs. It allows them to access app creation, which is often not possible for businesses with limited finances and staff.
The no-code platform easily connects with Google Sheets and uses the data stored in it to automatically build workable and effective apps. This leads to a direct boost in workflow efficiency and overall team productivity. Team members can work with the company data in a variety of new ways, which saves them time and optimizes how they do their jobs. You never have to worry about overlapping data and missing file versions.
At the same time, no-code apps can also contribute to improving your customer service. Instead of sharing endless and confusing spreadsheets with your clients, you can instead offer them an easy-to-use app. It can be employed in the sales process for project offers and calculations, as well as for data collection and various other purposes.
In addition, you get enterprise-grade security when you use Open as App to create an app with Google Sheets. The no-code platform does not require the storing of data for the app creation process, so it remains in your own files.
At the same time, Open as App provides an extra level of protection for your business information and your know-how stored in spreadsheets. When you turn them into apps, the source data is not visible for users, so it cannot be copied, changed, or deleted by mistake. What the people you share your app with can do is only what the functionalities of the app allow. Thus, you can protect your sensitive business data, such as formulas and calculations.
To use your app, finally, you have to install the Open as App iOS or Android container app on your devices. It contains all the different apps that you build. You can access them from any device on which you download Open as App.
In order to benefit from the combination of Google Sheets and Open as App, you can follow a few easy steps to create your first app with Google Sheets.
First, in order to create a great app with Google Sheets, you need to consider what part of your data you would like to turn into an app. It’s a good idea to plan the purpose and functionality of the app so that you achieve the best results with it.
You then need to format your data properly. You have to clean up the spreadsheet from duplicates, empty columns, and similar issues to enable the seamless machine reading of the file. Some of the most popular Google Sheets add-ons can help you with that task, such as the Power Tools.
Then, you have to connect the no-code platform with the data. In this case, this would be your Google Sheets document. This is done with a few clicks on the Open as App platform, and the authentication is ready.
The next step is to choose the format of your app. Based on the automatic analysis, the platform will offer you a couple of options. For example, you may be able to create a list, dashboard, or calculation app, among others. The presented variants will depend on the type of data that you input – i.e. if it’s a list of names, formulas, etc.
When you make the format selection, it’s time to take care of the app’s appearance. You can choose among the ready-made design templates within Open as App. Once you’ve selected your preference, you can further tweak the app in the Open as App portal. You can rearrange the different fields, get rid of some or add extra ones, and add buttons and drop-down menus, as well as cells, charts, or lists based on your original data source. You’re also able to change the color scheme and make the app match your branding.
There are extra functionalities that you can add to the app as well. For example, you can add maps and surveys, allow PDF generation, and more.
When you have shaped the app in all respects – from content to design – you can publish it. However, if you don’t wish to show it to others immediately, it can stay private at first. This allows you to test it and share it only with trusted partners. Afterward, depending on your goals, you can make the app public and even share it on social media or keep the app private within a protected group.
Your security considerations are respected at all steps of the app creation. You can fully control the sharing levels of the app that you build. At the same time, your source data is also where you want it to be. It stays in Google Sheets and is not hosted in Open as App.
Combining the functionalities of Google Sheets with the powers of automatic app creation provided by Open as App is bound to boost the digital innovation of your business.
Ready to create an app with your Google Sheets data? Just open up our app wizard and start experimenting with your business app ideas.