Knowledge Base

How and When to Use Calculated Columns in Reports | BEGINNER

Calculated Columns in Reports – Background

A calculated column can be added to any Quick Base report. They can be used to create anything a normal formula field could. However, the new column is only defined within its report. It is not a field in the Quick Base table and cannot be added to other reports (except if you create a calculated column in another report and copy the formula).

This limitation is actually incredibly useful. Many times, a calculation only has to be performed once or it is only relevant for one report. It does not make sense to create a new formula field in the table if the formula will only be used on one report. If this inefficient practice is followed, eventually, there will be dozens of unnecessary, one-off formula fields that clutter up the field list of a table. Calculated columns are an convenient solution to get the information you need while not adding too many formula fields to a table.

EDITORS NOTE: If you find yourself copying and pasting the same calculated column into multiple reports, it may be time to create a new formula field in the table.

Calculated Columns – Navigation

From any report, click the ‘Customize this Report’ in the top, right-hand corner.

✓ For Table, Grid Edit, and Timeline reports, scroll to the ‘Columns to Display’ section;

✓ For Kanban reports, scroll to the ‘Card Details’ section;

✓ For Summary reports, scroll to the ‘Summarize Data’ section;

✓ For Chart and Calendar reports, scroll to the ‘Options’ section;

✓ For the Map reports, scroll to the ‘Pin Details’ section.

EDITORS NOTE: For Table, Kanban, Grid Edit, Map, and Timeline reports, the ‘Custom columns’ radio button must be checked. Then the ‘Define a calculated column’ checkbox can be checked and you can enter your formula.

Once a calculated column has been made, it can be used any way a normal field in a report can: summarized, grouped, filtered, sorted, etc. The only additional limitation is the formula you write.

If you want to learn more about writing formulas, check out these two articles: Using If-statements in formulas and Using the CASE function

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