How to automatically convert Excel to Google Sheets

Automatically Import Excel Data

Written by Valentine Schelstraete

Jun 9, 2020

Spreadsheets of the past were offline desktop files, but today’s cloud-based software allows for location-independent collaboration. And Google Sheets has been leading this innovative front. We can now store these spreadsheets online and share them with colleagues using access controls: allowing different people to view or edit the file. While Google Sheets has covered a lot of ground with these advancements, not everything is hassle-free…yet. For example, data transfer between Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel is not exactly seamless. But here we’ll explain how you can easily convert Excel to Google Sheets.

Why convert Excel to Google Sheets?

Even though Excel and Google Sheets are competitors, your team might still use both of them.

  • Some people are used to Excel spreadsheets; others enjoy the collaborative and flexible Google Sheets.
  • Working together, and sharing your data with each other, can be difficult. Therefore, it is useful to know how to automatically upload Excel to Google Sheets, and the other way around.

Challenge

Meet Judith. She’s an economic research analyst and her job requires her to gather insights from data sets. She travels a lot to gather data on the field. Due to the nature of her job, she needs to use different devices to collect data while on the run. Sometimes an iPad. At times, her Thinkpad. And, once she is done with fieldwork, she uses a heavy-duty desktop at her office. Given the convenience of accessibility from anywhere and any device, she uses Google Sheets to store her data.

However, she has associates working at her office who do not travel. And, they use Microsoft Excel for their spreadsheet needs. And everybody in their office, including Judith, uses Microsoft Outlook for email. Judith usually receives individual datasheets from them, and she strings the pieces together. To date, their approach has been the following:

  • The associates send Excel files via email.
  • Judith downloads them onto her computer.
  • She then imports the downloaded Excel spreadsheets to Google Sheets.

That is certainly a time-consuming process (including possible communication delays) and the system needs manual intervention every time. With a lot of other important things going on, Judith would rather not have to worry about repeating this process day-in-day-out. But, how can she accomplish that?

How do I automatically upload Excel files to Google Sheets?

In this case, the configuration is a simple two-step procedure:

  1. Upload your offline Excel file(s) automatically to your preferred Cloud storage using a back-up and sync software provided by the storage solution.
  2. Create an automated connection between the uploaded Excel file and Google Sheets file, using Sheetgo.

How to automate Excel data import with Sheetgo

Convert Excel to Google Sheets: Configuration Process Diagram

While the first step means the associates don’t need to send Excel files via email, remember that you need to have permission to access the file on Google Drive (the correct share setting must be activated). The second step automates the downloading and importing process—saving Judith time!

In the example below, we show you how to upload your offline Excel files to Google Drive automatically. Note that any other Cloud storage has similar automatic upload solutions.

I. Upload Excel file to Google Drive

Ken is Judith’s associate. He’s got an important data set ready to share with Judith, who will combine this with her existing research data. Here’s what the Excel file looks like:

Sample Tourism Statistics Data in Excel

Upload approach

You can upload this Excel file to Google Drive with the help of Google Drive software on PC/Mac. If you do not have this installed, you can download the software from here and install. If you simply want to use Gmail, choose to download the Personal option, or if you need to use all G Suite applications, choose to download the Business software.

Now, going back to our example, all that Ken has to do is drop the above-mentioned Excel file onto the Google Drive folder on his computer! This can be done by simply adding or dragging the file to Google Drive, or installing the Back-up and Sync software if he wants to automatically upload each file (stored in a particular folder) to his Drive.

And, Ken can grant Judith access to this file by doing this: Right-click on the file name > Choose Google Drive > Click Share.

On the resulting pop-up window, enter Judith’s email address and hit the Send button.

Convert Excel to Google Sheets: Navigation to Share Excel File

II. Create a connection using Sheetgo and automatically import Excel data.

Now that Judith has all the dependent tasks done, she follows these next steps to establish a connection and automatically convert Excel to Google Sheets that Ken shared.

(Please note that Sheetgo supports XLS, and XLSX formats). Install Sheetgo here.

Step 1: Select your source file

Inside Sheetgo, click on +Create workflow and then Connect to start the connection between Excel and Google Sheets.

Choose your Excel file as your data source.

Convert Excel to Google Sheets: Connecting Spreadsheets Using Add on

Step 2: Choose your data destination

In this step, click on Google Sheets as your data destination.

Here, you can choose an already existing file from inside any of your Cloud storage solutions. Or, let Sheetgo automatically create a new Google Sheets for you.

Convert Excel to Google Sheets

Step 3: Save the connection

In this example, we let Sheetgo create a new Google Sheets.

Give the new spreadsheet and its tab a name before saving the connection.

Click on Finish and Save to finish the connection and convert Excel to Google Sheets.

Step 4: Automate the workflow

Finally, once the connection is finished, set automatic updates. Click on Automate on the floating bar of your workflow.

Here, choose when Sheetgo should update the workflow: hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly.

Convert Excel to Google Sheets

Conclusion

We have automated the entire process from uploading the Excel file to automatically importing Excel data into Google Sheets using Sheetgo.

Learn how to back up data from Excel file to Google Sheets in the following blog post: Backup data from Excel file to Google Sheets.

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