- Learn how to create a simple arithmetic calculated field.
- Create a conditional expression to evaluate your data and return different results.
- Learn different approaches to implementing calculated fields.
Suppose you manage an online pet supply store. You might measure sales data, such product codes (SKU), item names, price, and quantity sold. Here's a simple example:
|D-001||Healthy Dog Dog Food||
|B-001||Pretty Bird Bird Seed||
|C-002||Hungry Kitty Cat Food||
|D-002||Playful Puppy Toy||
Happy Cat Catnip
Calculated fields in Looker Studio can help you manipulate and extend this data. In this exercise, you'll use calculated fields to:
- calculate the total value of each order
- apply a discount to orders over a certain amount
- categorize sales into departments.
A note on the solutions
There can often be more than one way to achieve a particular result with calculated fields, depending on your needs and how you want to use those fields. This tutorial walks you through one approach (using separate fields for the calculations). At the end of this article, you'll find some alternative solutions.
To complete this exercise as written, use the sample data below. Otherwise, use your own data (adjusting the field names accordingly). You'll need access to Google Sheets. Alternatively, you could use the File Upload connector to import the data into Looker Studio.
D-001,Healthy Dog Dog Food,79.96,16
B-001,Pretty Bird Bird Seed,31.96,20
C-002,Hungry Kitty Cat Food,29.98,3
D-002,Playful Puppy Toy,17.97,11
C-001,Happy Cat Catnip,14.97,4
Prepare the data
- Copy the sample data in the box above.
- Open a text editor, paste in the sample data, then save the file as
Be sure to save this file as plain text, otherwise Sheets won't be able to import the data.
On Windows, you can use Notepad.
On Mac OS, you can use TextEdit, then select Format > Make plain text.
On Chrome OS, you can use the Text app, or Docs and then select File > Download and choose Plain Text.
- Create a new Google Sheet.
- In Sheets, select FileImport.
- Select Upload, then upload the sample data file you created in step 2.
- Select Replace spreadsheet.
- Name your spreadsheet Pet Store.
Create a report and add the data
- Create a new report in Looker Studio.
- In the Add data to report panel, select the Google Sheets connector.
- Select the
Pet Storespreadsheet and worksheet you just created.
- Leave the default options selected.
- In the lower right, click ADD.
In a moment, you'll see the new report, with a table on the canvas that uses fields from the Pet Store data source.
Create the subtotal field
- In the menu, select Resource > Manage added data sources.
- To the right of the Pet Store data source, click EDIT.
The data source fields panel appears.
- On the top right, click ADD A FIELD.
The calculated field editor appears.
- In Field Name, enter
- In Formula, enter
Price * Qty Sold.Tip: The formula editor autocompletes dimension, metric, or function names as you type. You can also drag fields from the Available Fields list on the left into your formula.
- On the bottom right, click SAVE.
- On the left, return to the main data source editor by clicking ALL FIELDS.
Create the discount field
Let's say you want to give different discount rates depending on the value of the order. Create another calculated field, called
Discount, that evaluates the Subtotal field and applies the following discounts.
|Subtotal value||Discount rate|
|0 - 99||0|
|100 - 499||
|500 or more||10%|
- In this step, you'll only calculate the discount. You'll apply it in the following step by multiplying the Subtotal field by the Discount field.
- Use the CASE expression to evaluate the Subtotal field.
- Use a WHEN clause for each discount rate.
- Use an ELSE clause to return the full price (0% discount).
- Express the discount as a decimal value. For example, a 25% discount would be .25.
WHEN Subtotal > 499 THEN .9
WHEN Subtotal > 100 THEN .95
Note: WHEN clauses are evaluated in order, and the first one that is true is the one whose THEN clause is returned.
Create the total field
Create another calculated field, called
Total, that multiples the Subtotal field by the Discount field.
Subtotal * Discount
Create the department field
Create a final calculated field, called Department, that parses the SKU field and assigns new values depending on the SKU. You'd like to group dog, cat, and bird related items into separate departments.
Hint: use the
CASE statement again, this time, with the STARTS_WITH (or REGEXP_MATCH) function.
WHEN STARTS_WITH(SKU, "C") THEN "Cat"
WHEN STARTS_WITH(SKU, "D") THEN "Dog"
WHEN STARTS_WITH(SKU, "B") THEN "Bird"
See your data in a report
- After saving the Department field, on the left, return to the data source editor by clicking ALL FIELDS.
- In the upper right, click DONE.
- On the right close the manage data sources panel.
You can now add your new calculated fields to charts:
- Select the table.
- On the right, drag each calculated field you created from the Available Fields list to the dimension and metrics section of the Data panel, as shown below:
The solution above breaks the problem up into individual chunks and create discrete fields to handle each chunk, as you've done with the
Another approach is to perform all of the calculations in a single calculated field. For example, you could combine steps 3 - 5 of this tutorial into one field:
WHEN Price * Qty Sold > 499 THEN (Price * Qty Sold) * .9
WHEN Price * Qty Sold > 100 THEN (Price * Qty Sold) * .95
ELSE Price * Qty Sold
There are pros and cons to each approach:
Breaking down complex formulas into separate fields can make your formulas easier to read and write, and less error-prone. Separate fields can also be useful in more contexts. For example, using a separate field for the discount rate lets you use that field in other calculations or display it in your reports. One drawback to creating formulas with lots of discrete calculated fields is that it may not be obvious what each one does, so you'll need to edit them individually to see how they are calculated or make changes.
On the other hand, centralizing all the logic into one field can make simple formulas easier to understand and edit. But you also might have to do a lot of repetitive typing, and a complex formula may be harder to extend or maintain. For example, say you had 10 product tiers with different order quantity thresholds? Or say you wanted to use the same discounts for a different product line? In these cases, it might be easier or more efficient to use separate fields for those thresholds and discounts.
The middle path
This solution blends the 2 approaches described above. It keeps the main logic in a single field, while breaking out some of the dependent logic into separate fields:
WHEN Subtotal > Large Order THEN Subtotal * Large Order Discount
WHEN Subtotal > Medium Order THEN Subtotal * Medium Order Discount
For this solution, we've created separate fields to hold values for large and medium sized orders and corresponding discounts.
This solution has the advantage of being easy to read, flexible, and relatively easy to adjust as needed.