Setting up auto adjusting filtering in Google Sheets

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Once I built out my custom dashboard using Google Sheets (read my blog post on this topic) I decided that I wanted to look at the data for only the last 30 days. While it's important that I have historical data dating back to when I initially put the dashboard together, on most days, I wanted to see quick snapshots of various trends for only the last 30 days.

Initially I set up a filter in Google Sheets (Top menu > Data > Filter) and my filtering was set on the date column to include only the last month's data. The annoying issue with this approach, though, was that the filtering did not auto-adjust itself as days went by. So, if on 2/1 I was looking at filtered records for the past 30 days, on 2/2 I was looking at the past 31 days and if I didn't refresh the filter every so often, before I knew it I was looking at way more data than just the past 30 days.

I was convinced that there has got to be a better way and I eventually came across a solution that works. The solution entails using the "filter" formula and the wonderful thing about this approach is that my filtering auto adjusts itself!

Let's say that you have 2 columns of data in your Google Sheet document, like this:

1 Date # of Errors
2 2/1/2017 26
3 2/2/2017 31
4 2/3/2017 15
5 ... ...

Leave Columns A & B untouched since these columns are meant to store all of your historical data. Designate Column C as the filtered data for Column A & Column D as the filtered data for Column B, like this:

1 Date # of Errors Date - Filtered # of Errors - Filtered
2 2/1/2017 26
3 2/2/2017 31
4 2/3/2017 15
5 ... ...

Let's say you want Columns C & D to show data for only the last 30 days. You can use the following formula for Column C:

=filter(A2:A, DAYS360(A2:A, TODAY()) < 30)

and the following formula for Column D:

=filter(B2:B, DAYS360(A2:A, TODAY()) < 30)

If you don't care to look at the unfiltered data in Columns A & B, you can simply hide these columns by right-clicking on the column headers and selecting "Hide columns ...".

See the following Google Doc I've put together for an example of this:

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