MOD: Google Sheets Formulas Explained

Hey, fellow spreadsheet enthusiasts! Do you ever find yourself staring at a blank screen of a Google Sheets document, wondering where to even begin with your data? Yeah, me too. But fear not! Today, I'm going to introduce you to one of the most remarkable features of Google Sheets - Formulas! I know what you're thinking, "formulas aren't the sexiest aspect of spreadsheets", but I beg to differ. Formulas are the magic that turns simple data into meaningful insights, and Google Sheets has some seriously powerful formulas, sometimes referred to as MOD (short for "Modified column operations") Let's start by exploring some basic examples of MOD formulas:

Sum and Average

Summing or averaging a column in Google Sheets is quick and easy. Let's say we are tracking the revenue for our exceptional marketing team. To find the total revenue generated, the formula will be simple. We follow this pattern - “=sum(B2:B27)” where B is the column we intend to calculate.

Similarly, if we are interested in the average revenue generated per sale. We will use the formula “=average(B2:B27)”. This will give us the average revenue per sale for our entire data set.

IF Statements

If you want to perform complex calculations based on certain conditions in your data set, you might come across the IF formula. This allows you to specify conditions and checks a given value against them.

For example, let’s say you want to know who in your sales team met their targets. You only want to show the names of those whose sales exceed $10,000. The formula would read: “=IF(B2>10000,A2,””)”. In this example, if the value in B2 is greater than 10,000, the formula will return the corresponding value in column A. Otherwise, it will return a blank cell.


VLOOKUP is an incredibly powerful tool in Google Sheets, which lets you search for a value in your data set and find its corresponding value in another column. Here's an example - Let's say you have a table with a few columns, like name, email, phone number, and so on.

But let's assume we only know the name of a person. How can we find their phone number without scrolling up and down manually? This is where VLOOKUP comes in. Using this formula, you can find the corresponding phone number for a given name value in a separate column. The formula would read: “=VLOOKUP(H2,A2:E10,5,FALSE)”. In this example, H2 is the name of the person we are searching for, and A2:E10 is the range of cells in which we want to search for that name. The 5 indicates which column we want to return the phone number value from, and the FALSE specifies that we only want to return exact matches.


INDEX and MATCH are a dynamic duo of formulas in Google Sheets that are used in combination to perform a lookup that's a little more flexible than VLOOKUP. With this formula, you don't have to worry about things like left or right lookups.

For instance, let's assume you have multiple tables with different data sets and want to combine them into a single sheet. INDEX and MATCH formula will help to combine these sets accurately. You can use this formula to search for the desired row or column and return its corresponding value to the field. The formula would look like this: “=INDEX(B2:F10,MATCH(“Abbott”,A2:A10,0),MATCH(G2,B1:F1,0))”. In this formula, there are two MATCH functions used to specify the rows and columns you want to return. You can define which column or row to return based on the criteria you want to apply.


COUNTIF is a fundamental formula for any data analysis. This formula will count how many times a specific value appears in a particular range. With this formula, you can analyze how many times a specific event occurs in a particular dataset. To use COUNTIF, you would begin with "=COUNTIF(range, criteria)". For example, =COUNTIF(A2:A10,"Okoro"). It will count how many times "Okoro" appears in column A between rows 2 and 10.


While they may seem intimidating at first, MOD formulas can unlock all kinds of insights from even the most basic data sets. Hopefully, this overview has given you a sense of what's possible and inspired you to experiment with these formulas on your own. Remember, the sky is the limit with Google Sheets, and these formulas will unlock the full potential of your data.

Happy formula-making, folks!
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