The task at-hand is I coordinate the activity of 20 organisations, each of whom I need to collect monthly data from directly, about the tonnages and types of elecronic items they collected for reuse and recycling. They all use different systems and processes so it's not a case of plugging into an existing system.

Rather than have 20 separate templates they fill out each month that I then have to check, collate and organise every month, I'm hoping there's a better (automatable) solution.

What I'm aiming for is that each organisation has access to an online data entry portal (say a google sheet), and they just drop in the monthly numbers once per month. I can then review these altogether monthly or less frequently.

Ideally they each have access to a single tab within a sheet with 20 tabs so I can keep it all in one place. Alternatively, we may have to have separate sheets for each. Would consider other options too.

Please let me know if you think there's a fairly simple way to do this, also simple enough for some users with low-average computer skills. If you think it would be better to use other systems than sheets, I would also be interested to know thoughts.


  • You say they have different systems and processes, but are the materials, items etc that are collected / recycled the same?
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 9:39
  • Broadly yes; the items collected should all fall into the same categories. However, the level of granularity around collected items will vary considerably. For some, they will only be able to measure monthly tonnage data for the entire 'small electricals' category. for others, they can also say the frequency of different types of specific electricals collected (hairdryers, toasters...). Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 10:40
  • So, get the detail "as per" then use a summary sheet to consolidate into what you need. index() & match(), sumifs() can help there.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 10:53
  • Thanks for the ideas. However, there's still the time consuming aspect of gathering the data periodically, which I'm also working on. Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 11:33
  • Download the summary sheet periodically, after the 20 organizations have updated - a script could do that bit.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 11:36

1 Answer 1


one possible to solution is to create a Google Form that you could send to every party that will be filling you information. This way, all the information you need would be alterady formatted so it can be grouped in a single database.

Google Forms

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