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Google Sheets Formulas

IMPORTDATA Function in Google Sheets: Explained

In this article, you will learn how to use the IMPORTDATA formula in Google Sheets. By understanding the IMPORTDATA function, you can import data from publicly available data sets and process and analyze it on your Google Sheets.

How does the IMPORTDATA formula work in Google Sheets?

The IMPORTDATA function in Google Sheets allows users to easily import data from a URL in CSV (comma-separated value) or TSV (tab-separated value) format into a Google Sheets worksheet. This can be useful for quickly importing data from a website or other online source into a spreadsheet for further analysis or processing.

How to use the IMPORTDATA function in Google Sheets

To use the IMPORTDATA function, simply enter the URL of the data you want to import, surrounded by quotation marks (when it is manually input instead of cell reference), in the formula bar of a cell in your worksheet. The general syntax of the IMPORTDATA function is as follows:

=IMPORTDATA(URL, delimiter, locale)

URL is an URL from which to fetch the .csv- or .tsv-formatted data, including protocol (e.g.,  'http://').

Delimiter [Optional] is used when parsing the data. It must be a single character and may not be a double quote or whitespace character other than a tab. If you leave this parameter blank, the delimiter is inferred from the file name: comma for CSV, tab for TSV.

Locale [Optional] is a language and region locale code to use when parsing the data. If left blank, the document locale will be used.

For example, if you want to import data from a CSV file located at "https://example.com/data.csv", you would enter the following formula into a cell in your spreadsheet:

=IMPORTDATA("https://example.com/data.csv")

Once you have entered the formula, the data from the URL will be imported into the cell and any cells below it, creating a new table in your spreadsheet. You can then use the data in this table for further analysis or processing, just like any other data in your sheet.

It's important to note that the IMPORTDATA function can only import data from URLs in CSV or TSV format. If the data you want to import is in a different format, you will need to use a different method to import it into your Google Sheets spreadsheet. Additionally, the IMPORTDATA function can only import data from URLs that are publicly accessible, so you cannot use it to import data from a password-protected website or a website that requires a login.

What is the difference between the IMPORTRANGE and the IMPORTDATA formulas?

The IMPORTRANGE and IMPORTDATA formulas are both functions in Google Sheets that allow users to import data from external sources into their spreadsheets. However, there are some differences between the two formulas. The IMPORTRANGE function is used to import data from one Google Sheets spreadsheet into another. This can be useful if you have multiple related spreadsheets that you want to combine or if you're going to share data from one spreadsheet with other users. In contrast, as described above, the IMPORTDATA function is used to import data from a URL in CSV or TSV format into a Google Sheets spreadsheet. This can be useful for quickly importing data from a website or other online source into your spreadsheet for further analysis or processing. 

What are the other useful functions in Google Sheets?

If you don’t get the solution to your question in this article or you are interested in learning the other useful functions in Google Sheets, you may find the answers in the following articles.

Read the following articles to make some cases for your analysis.

How to Use CHOOSE Function in Google Sheets

How to Use SWITCH Function in Google Sheets

Move on to these articles if you are interested in them.

How to Use RANK Function in Google Sheets - Organize your dataset by ranking items

ARRAYFORMULA Function in Google Sheets: Explained - Use arrays in non-array formulas

SEQUENCE Function in Google Sheets: Explained - Create a grid of sequential numbers

VALUE Function in Google Sheets: Explained - Convert a number, date, and time string to a number

Go to the articles below to learn how to generate random numbers in Google Sheets.

RAND Function in Google Sheets: Explained

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Navigate to the following posts to learn how to make a hyperlink and import data from another Google Sheets file or a web page.

HYPERLINK Function in Google Sheets: Explained

How to Use IMPORTRANGE Function in Google Sheets

IMPORTHTML Function in Google Sheets: Explained

Check the articles below if you want to use translation-related functions in Google Sheets.

GOOGLETRANSLATE Function in Google Sheets: Explained - Translate one language to another.

DETECTLANGUAGE Function in Google Sheets: Explained - Identify the language used in a specified cell.

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