What is the fastest method of filtering and sorting data in Google Sheets? Not the fastest to set up, but the fastest to run. Another way to put it would be which method uses the least processing power?

Some context: I have a Google Sheet where data is being uploaded in real time, and I need to summarize it in different ways to create a sort-of dashboard. I currently have ~7000 rows to process, and several pivot tables that feed charts and formulas. New rows are added about every 2 minutes. I've tried adding more pivot tables, but the whole sheet eventually gets bogged down. I'm wondering if it would be faster to use =sort(filter()) formulas instead of pivot tables to produce the same charts. I've also heard of database functions, but haven't explored them much.

  • Do you need the dashboard updated in real time? Is it ok to update your presentation every 5 seconds or 5 minutes or does every second count? Wanting to have a responsive presentation or as instant as possible updating are two different things.
    – CodeCamper
    Dec 11, 2019 at 6:09
  • No, it doesn't have to be in true real time. Ideally it would update at least every 2-3 minutes, but I haven't found a way to limit the recalculation cycle in Google Sheets. The calculation options in the Spreadsheet Settings menu only affect the today(), now(), and rand() functions, everything else updates when the sheet is edited.
    – Brian
    Dec 11, 2019 at 12:22
  • I have a possible work around for you but it's not exactly in the context of your question fastest way to filter and sort. Maybe you should ask a seperate question about specifically handling massive amounts of data being updated and triggering all your reports to reload.
    – CodeCamper
    Dec 11, 2019 at 17:30
  • Thanks, I asked a new question here.
    – Brian
    Dec 11, 2019 at 18:15


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