27. June 2022

Interactive GRID features for engaging teamwork  

GRID was built for interactive exploration. So when you consider ways to engage your team or better communicate spreadsheet data across your organization, GRID may just have the perfect combination of features for you. Smart, collaborative, and easy to share, interactive GRID reports and models can actively help to align your team and build cohesive understanding across departments.

1. Buttons

These little beauties are as easy to use as they are versatile. Buttons set a target cell or range to a defined value and can be used to increase or decrease that value, generate random values within a given range, and a multitude of other actions. In this lottery odds calculator & simulator a button is used to recreate the behavior of a random number generator with the RANDBETWEEN function. This can also be achieved by adding a Recalculate button to initiate a recalculation of random values.

Lottery GIF 2

Include a Reset button to let your team members return a GRID doc back to its default values. Knowing that they can simply switch back to the original scenario will help everyone feel more confident in exploring all the possible outcomes of the model.

Radio buttons are slightly different in that they offer viewers a short list of options to choose from. If we’d like to view the difference between annual paid and organic signups in our marketing report, radio buttons make it easy to see the numbers for each option without having to go back and forth between charts or make changes to the underlying spreadsheet model.

2. Input Fields

Alright, so no one said that input fields were the most thrilling of elements, but this easily underestimated feature can actually help you perform pretty nuanced analysis.

input field gif

Since input fields allow for direct input of a value to a target cell and can be formatted to increase or decrease that value incrementally, they’re an open invitation for your colleagues, executive team, or board of directors to interact with your model.

Let’s say that your Growth team needs feedback on a SaaS user retention model. Your company’s Finance team can jump into the model, input certain values, and find out how these factors might affect the numbers of new and retained users. Everyone involved arrives at a clear decision.

3. Dropdown selections

Dropdown selections set the value of a target cell based on a range of available options defined in your spreadsheet. In this Break-even analysis, the dropdown selection lets you view total cost, total revenue, and profit/ loss for each of three products in the line chart, as well as their combined total. If you implement hierarchical selections using the FILTER or UNIQUE function with your dropdown selections, this feature gains even more specific capabilities.

Dropdown selection

4. Checkboxes

Checkboxes let viewers select one of two available values/options and can be useful in helping viewers navigate data. In GRID, they’re great for controlling the visibility of specific charts, text blocks, or even entire columns in your documents.

In this Saas KPI dashboard template, we’ve added checkboxes to each column, making it possible for viewers to see more detailed charts and information when they select the checkbox. Apply this method to blocks of data narrative, images, or almost anything else you can think of.

5. Sliders: everybody's favorite

You might be surprised by how powerful a single slider can be when used in conjunction with a complex model like a scatter plot. This stunning, GRID-built recreation of Hans Rosling’s “Bubbles” animation at TED 2006, allows viewers to easily navigate through a complex set of chronological data — all thanks to a slider.

Multiple sliders invite a beautiful interplay between viewers and the model they’re interacting with. The use of more than one slider exponentially increases the precision with which you can define values, helping your team assess projections, for example, at any level of nuance.

If you’re working with a large number of variables, sliders are the perfect element to encourage independent exploration. Give your board members the chance to assess a project in their own time, manipulate the range of options, and arrive at a decision without needing to request further information or analysis.

This company valuation template employs 11 sliders representing a variety of assumptions, and shows sliders and input fields working in tandem to facilitate both specific analysis based on input values and exploration of possible outcomes.


Building better customer relationships

Interactive GRID features are extremely effective in enabling collaborative analysis — especially when used in combination. But the bottom line? They’re an awesome way to support strategic decision-making. Align your team, department, or perhaps even your entire organization through a deep and collective understanding of the numbers.

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