DSUM: Google Sheets formulas explained

Have you ever suffered with data mess in spreadsheets? Fear not, my spreadsheet geeky friends! Today, I’m going to introduce you to the magic of DSUM formulas with Google Sheets - you’re going to love it!

DSUM stands for Database SUM, and it’s a formula that lets you sum specific data that satisfies particular criteria. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities when working with spreadsheets - let me guide you through it.

Why DSUM is a life-saver?

Okay, let me paint you a picture. You’ve got a huge spreadsheet full of numbers and data. It’s hard to make sense of it all, and you need to add up certain numbers that meet specific criteria - this is where DSUM comes in! It's the perfect tool for the job, and you don't even need to use the auto-sum function again. Hallelujah!

Before we begin, let's set the scene: My company, Marketing Magic, has a spreadsheet of online sales data over the past year. I’m trying to see how much we’ve sold from our email campaigns, specifically. The data includes sale dates, campaign names, sales figures, and other sales-related data. Here’s how I would use the DSUM function to get the job done:

Step one: Setting up the criteria range

This is about telling DSUM what bit of information we want to select for our sum. In our case, we want to calculate the total amount of sales from our email campaigns. Our criteria range will cover the sales dates column and the campaign name. To keep it simple, we can create a new range on a different sheet called ‘criteria’. Here's how you can do it:

  1. Click on a new sheet and call it ‘criteria’. Next, add a table that includes the headers for the columns "Sales date" and "Campaign name" under which you'll add the criteria that you want to sum.
  2. Add all the criteria to your new range. For us, that would be "all campaigns" in the Campaign Name column and all of the dates for the last quarter in the Sales Date column. You should end up with something similar:

Once you've got that sorted, it's time to continue with step two:

Step two: Writing the DSUM formula

Now that we’ve set up our criteria range, it's time to create the DSUM formula. Here’s what it looks like:

=DSUM('Online sales'!A1:F1111,"Sales",'criteria'!A1:B2)

Seems complicated, right? Not so much if you break it down!

Before diving into each piece of the function, let's take a high-level view of what the formula is supposed to do:

  • It sums the "Sales" column from the range A1:F1111 in the sheet "Online sales" that meets the criteria specified in the range A1:B2 on the sheet "criteria".

See? Not too bad. Now, let's analyze the different pieces of the function:

  • 'Online sales'!A1:F1111: This tells the function that we’re using data from the sheet called "Online sales" and from the A1 to F1111 cell range. You can substitute these values for your sheet's name and your selected cell range.
  • "Sales": This is the column header of the data we want to sum. You can substitute this value for your column header's name.
  • "criteria"!A1:B2: These are the cells that contain the criteria data that we want to sum. Just like before, you can substitute these values for your chosen range and criteria.

Step three: Check your results

We’ve got our formula ready to go. Time to see the magic happen! Press enter and voila! The function will return the sum of all sales corresponding to the criteria we specified. Check it out:


And there you have it! The life-saving DSUM function. Not so complicated after all, is it? It opens up a whole new world of possibilities when working with spreadsheets, and I hope I’ve convinced you to integrate it into your daily work routine. Creating great marketing content starts with understanding your data, and DSUM is the perfect tool to help you do just that.

Once you’re comfortable with formula basics like DSUM, go on and experiment with other formulas and functions! There are countless ways to adapt them to your unique needs. Trust me, with Google Sheets by your side, the sky’s the limit!

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