Google Sheets

This page describes how to use Census with Google Sheets.

🏃‍♀️ Getting Started

In this guide, we will show you how to connect Google Sheets to Census and create your first sync.


1. Create a Google Sheets connection

Our Google Sheets connector behaves a little differently than other Census connectors. Instead of going through an OAuth connection flow, we provide you a Google Identity address you use to share the correct Google Sheets docs. This lets you be very specific about which Google Sheets you give Census access to.

  • In Census, navigate to Destinations

  • Click the New Destination button

  • Select Google Sheets in the dropdown list

2. Share your target Google Sheet

Now head to the Google Sheet you'd like to sync to. If you don't have one in mind, you can create a new one. Either way, make sure your target Google Sheet has an empty tab inside it that Census can sync to, as the contents of which ever tab you select will be replaced by Census.

To give Census access to your Google Sheet, press the Share button and then add paste the Google Identity email from Census into the share dialog and confirm.

3. Connect your data warehouse

If this is your first Census sync, you'll also need to connect your data warehouse. Follow one of our short guides depending on your data warehouse

After setting up your warehouse, your Census Destinations page should look like this:

4. Create your first Model

Now navigate to the Census's models page.

Here you will have to write SQL queries to select the data you want to send to your Google Sheet. Your model can be a complex query selecting details about customers and generating metrics, or as simple as a SELECT * FROM ..., it's up to you. Once you have created your model, click Save Model.

5. Create your first Sync

Now head to the Sync page and click the Add Sync button

In the " What data do you want to sync?" section

  • For the Connection, select the data warehouse you connected in step 3

  • For the Source, select the model you created in step 4

Next up is the "Where do you want to sync data to?" section

  • Pick Google Sheets as the Connection

  • For Object, pick the Google Sheet you gave permission to in step 1 and select the tab within it that you want to sync to. As a reminder, Census will replace the contents of the tab you select so we recommend you only select a tab that's empty.

  • Under Advanced you can toggle whether or not you want to allow Google Sheets to parse the data that gets synced. By letting Sheets parse data, each cell will be treated as if the user had manually typed that data into sheets. This means things like strings in a date format will be converted into a date object in the Sheet but also that any string that starts with an '=' symbol will be treated as a formula. If you just want your data to be preserved raw as it comes from your warehouse then toggle this feature off.

For the " How should changes to the source be synced?" section

  • Mirror will be preselected

Finally, select the fields you want to update in the Mapper in the "Which Fields should be updated?" section

  • Here Census will pre-populate all the columns from your model in step 4. But you can choose to remove any of the fields you don't want.

  • If you plan to add more fields in the future, you'll need to edit this sync and return here to add them.

The end result should look something like this:

Click the Next button to see the final preview which will have a recap of what will happen when you start the sync. If you're happy, check the Sync Now checkbox and save the sync. We're off to the races.

6. Confirm the data is in Google Sheets

Once the sync has completed, return to your Google Sheet and the specific tab you selected. If everything went well, you should see your data in Google Sheets!

That's it! In 6 steps, you've connected Google Sheets and started syncing data from your warehouse 🎉

Is It Possible to Enforce A Sort Order?

Unfortunately, no. Census can not guarantee a preserved order from your model, even if your model has an ORDER BY statement. When we unload the records, we just use a normal SELECT, so the records can come back in any order. We recommend treating the Google Sheet that is receiving data as the "raw data" and doing any necessary transformations, like ordering, in a separate sheet within the file. The IMPORTRANGE function in Google Sheets can be a great solution for this use case - you can find the documentation and best practices here.

My sync failed because it was too big?

Syncs to Google Sheets as a destination are limited to 5M updated cells to ensure the reliability of the syncs_._ A cell corresponds to a column-to-field mapping so if your source data for the sync has 100 rows and the sync uses 4 columns, that will end up being 400 cells that are updated.

If Census determines a sync will update over 5M cells the sync will fail with the following error: Sheets prohibits updates of over 5M cells. Please try modifying your source data to limit the total cell count.

This is a runtime error and will not be caught at the time of Sync creation.

🗄 Supported Objects

Google Sheets support is pretty straight forward!

Object Name


Sheet Tabs

Contact us if you want Census to support more Google Sheets functionality.

🔄 Supported Sync Behaviors

Learn more about all of our sync behaviors on our Core Concepts page.





Sheet Tabs

Contact us if you want Census to support more Sync behaviors for Google Sheets.

🚑 Need help connecting to Google Sheets?

Contact us via or start a conversation with us via the in-app chat.

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