Group your data columns (and don’t hide ’em!)

Use Grouping to hide data you don’t want to show – but in a responsible way!

In the example below – we have some data about a Car dealership. The data contains the number of types of cars, the total number of cars, the avg price of each car, a total average price and the amount of $ in inventory.

There’s no need to present all the rows – a user would probably just care about the “Total Cars”, “Avg price of cars” and the “Avg $ value of inventory”. A natural tendency might be to “Hide” these rows, but it has a downside – its not obvious that there is more data there! It has another unfortunate effect that a person adding columns with hidden rows, will get different results than expected – because of the hidden data.

The solution here is to useΒ Grouping. Select rows 3,4,5,6 and go to Data->Group, like below. The keyboard option is Alt+Shift+Right Arrow on Windows, Command+Shift+K on a Mac.

The Group icon now appears on the left!

Click that and you will no get your data grouped! It’s hidden, but its still obvious its there. People can just click the icon to ungroup it quickly!

So group your data rather than hide it!