Building custom reports in Airtable

We love good data—the insights, understanding, and decision-making it unlocks. That’s probably why you’re using Airtable. But “more data” isn’t always the solution. In fact, sometimes you need to cut things down and simplify your view or add a chart to tell the full story. This guide will walk you through how you can use Airtable Extensions to easily create custom, visual reports that highlight what’s most important for different stakeholders at different times. Or put more simply, how you can take the data in your grid view and turn it into a visual report that tells a story in just a few clicks. 

Building reports with Airtable Extensions 

Extensions allow you to further visualize and take action on the information in your base. They can be used to create a variety of dashboards or reports, fully customizable based on your team’s needs. Plus, creating reports directly in Airtable ensures you’re using the latest data and saves your team time spent working across multiple third-party tools. 

The most popular extensions for building reports in Airtable are page designer, chart, summary, and pivot table. We’ll get into each of them in detail below, but here are the main things to keep in mind as you choose which extensions are right for your report(s): 

Create beautiful reports with page designer

The page designer extension is easier to explain once you’ve seen it. So, here it is. Take this table, and turn it into a page from your next catalogue.

Customers use page designer to create everything from meeting decks to exec reports, and customer-facing invoices to product catalogs—and then they embed the results right in their websites. 

Page designer provides the most flexibility and control over how information is presented. You can choose the size of the report, add custom branding, and add text to provide more context around your data.  

Page designer reports are optimized for sharing either in presentation mode, as a PDF, or printed. And once you’ve designed the perfect report, you can save it as a template. After that, you can publish new reports with just a few simple clicks.

Data-driven reporting in Airtable

Airtable has other ready-to-use extensions for reporting: summary, chart, and pivot table. These extensions are built on top of views and can be used individually or all together, depending on your needs. You can also customize how data is presented with options to adjust colors, sizing, and more. 

Let’s cover a few examples of when each of these extensions can be most helpful. 

Summary extension

The summary extension is great for drawing attention to specific values within your report—like number of applicants, total revenue, counting inventory, or anything, really. Once you add the extension, select your table and what you want to summarize: 

  • Count: displays the number of records visible—like sales per store, units in stock, etc. 

  • Summary: displays a sum, average, or maximum value for a specific field. For example, call out a new largest order or the average daily revenue

  • Budget: use the summary extension to keep track of how much money you’ve got left to spend at a glance

From there, customize your summary by picking a color and adding a label for additional context.

Chart extension

The chart extension allows you to create bar, line, pie, or donut charts directly in Airtable. Compared to visualizations in the summary extension which draw attention to one main value, charts are helpful to communicate patterns or trends in your data. 

The chart extension has all the functionality you’d expect when it comes to configuring your visualizations. You can define how your data is grouped and displayed, label your data points, and toggle between chart types.

Creating charts directly in Airtable isn’t just more efficient. It also allows stakeholders to get additional context not possible in standard reports. Simply clicking on a point or bar in your chart will bring up relevant record(s) for you to get more information—all from the same tool.

Pivot table extension 

Further summarize your data by grouping information together in meaningful ways. Pivot tables allow you to further slice and dice your data to view it in different perspectives. It’s especially helpful when you want to compare subsets of data or identify trends. For example, use a pivot table to understand which types of furniture are selling best for different room types. 

Once you’ve added visuals to your view, you’re ready to share your report. There’s a range of edit or viewing permissions for you to choose from, too. That way, you can control who can make edits and who only needs to view the report.

Before you give it a try for yourself, here’s a handy cheat sheet for the main differences between page designer and the summary, chart, and pivot table extensions in Airtable:

Page designer

Summary, chart, and pivot table apps:

Standalone report, view in Airtable or exportable as a PDF Built on top of views; requires granting minimum of read-only access to your base
View detailed information for one record at a time (e.g. customers, product, project) View information or trends across multiple records at once
More robust design customization options, including ability to add static images and textSupports multiple visuals (e.g. summary + chart) in one view

Additional ways to report in Airtable

We’ve listed a few ways you can use extensions to build a highly visual, automatic report in Airtable. But that’s by no means the only way to report on your data. Here are two other ways you can easily report in Airtable:

✅ Use a rollup field

You can use a rollup field to summarize data in any table’s linked records. For example, if you’re publishing a series of stories, you can use a rollup field to determine the last publishing date so you can easily share when your team is ready to take on a new series.

✅ Check the summary bar

If you’re looking for a summary of the data in any table, check out the summary bar at the bottom of your base. Maybe you want to see how many total records there are in a table or the sum total of your budget field. The summary bar will provide this information at the bottom of any grid view, at a glance.

Give it a try 

As the saying goes, sometimes a picture says a thousand words. As you can see, the same applies here tenfold, but for charts, summaries, and more.

Now that you know some of the different ways you can create reports in Airtable, go ahead and try it out for yourself. You can start by clicking the Extensions icon in any base to open the pane—from there you can explore our Extensions marketplace to select and install the extension of your choice. 

We’re excited to see what you report on with Airtable Extensions. If you need additional help, you can view step-by-step directions in our support center.


About the author

AirtableOur mission is to democratize software creation by giving everyone the power to create—and not just use—the tools they work with every day. Learn more at https://www.airtable.com/product.

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