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Creation of interactive tables with flexible settings

13 Oct, 2020

Today we want to share some tips for creating the most flexible and interactive tables using a real example from our work. We will also try to explain why this is needed and why it is convenient.

We were faced with the task of collecting a list of the customer’s competitors and a selection of sites where these competitors posted their advertisements or other information. To do this, we used the Similar Web and Google Docs tools. By the way, we advise you to read our article about using Similar Web for market analysis. We will omit the search for information in this article and talk specifically about the design. But how do you style the spreadsheet for maximum efficiency? This is where the element of creativity comes in, the design can depend on what you want to achieve from the resulting data in the end. We took the following approach.


  1. Block 1: Information about a competitor
    • Competitor’s site;
    • Competitor’s name;
    • Traffic by competitor per month (SimilarWeb).
  2. Block 2: Information about the advertising platform
    • Position in the ranking of the most effective sites;
    • Link;
    • Name of the site;
    • Website traffic per month (SimilarWeb).
  3. Block 3: Contact details of advertising platforms
    • E-mail 1;
    • E-mail 2;
    • Form on the site;
    • Telephone;
    • Facebook;
    • VK;
    • Skype;
    • Telegram.

Separate the blocks visually using a stroke, we get the following table:
Excel table customization 2

Thus, for each advertising platform within one competitor, information about the competitor will be duplicated. But why?
Excel table customization 3

The answer is simple: let’s include filters on the description line. Now, regardless of how we set up the filters, all the information will be available to us.
Excel table customization 1

A simple example: we want to understand which competitors are hosted by a particular advertiser. In the column “Link to site” we will remove all positions except the site of interest to us. There will be only lines for each of the competitors – we will immediately see the values we need.

In this format, all data will not only be available for use in a convenient form, but will also become interactive. Want to see all the sites you can contact on Telegram? Please select a filter by Telegram, clear the value “-” – you’re done, you will see all sites with the corresponding contact information. Do you want to build advertisers’ websites by traffic? Please select sorting A to Z by similar web traffic for advertisers sites. Do you want to first contact the sites that occupy the first lines in the given traffic for different competitors? Choose to sort from A to Z by rating. The possibilities in this situation become almost limitless. Finally, we will give a couple more tips for the greatest convenience:

  • Enter numbers only in numbers without additional characters, and arrange their display using google docs tools – only in this form you can use all the filtering functionality. Forget about the different “100k, 100,000, 100,000”. Only 100,000. Further using Google tools;
  • Minimize possible designations. For example, if you want to indicate that there is no data on the site, always use “-” or another, but always the same indication. If you use “no”, “did not find”, “-”, “not available” it will make the table less interactive;
  • If you want to share your spreadsheet with strangers or those who do not trust editing, select the “view only”, “comment only” modes. Consider the edits, but make them out yourself with a clear understanding of what rules you have adopted for the design of the tables.
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