The U.S. Energy Information Administration created a free software tool in which users can import data from the agency’s application programming interface (API) into their own Google Sheets.

This Google Sheets add-on is not the first resource the EIA has made available in order to share data. The EIA previously created a similar Microsoft Excel add-in, which allows users to browse data or search for keywords involving domestic and international production and use of different fuels. This software also allows users to track the EIA’s short-term and long-term projections.

The Excel add-in receives about 100,000 requests a month to access API, which offers 1.2 million data series. The Google Sheets add-in, as well as the Excel add-in, are features of EIA’s open data plan.

“The Google Sheets add-on represents EIA’s latest step in the agency’s continuing efforts to share more of its energy data in easily updated, customizable ways,” said EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski.

The Google Sheets add-on, similar to the Excel add-on in that it includes spreadsheets for sorting and storing information, can be accessed anywhere through an Internet browser. It can also be accessed with an app downloaded to a phone or tablet. EIA’s release of this software tool marks the first government add-on developed for Google Sheets. EIA coordinated with Google to ensure compatibility and usability when developing this software tool, which is available through the Chrome Website.

This new software bears many similarities to its Excel add-on predecessor. As with the Excel add-on, users can browse, query, find, and update the data series. The key symbol on the EIA’s website indicates a link to a page with the API source key for that data series. This tool allows users access to any energy data EIA made available through the API.

Users can update all series within their spreadsheet to the latest EIA by clicking the refresh button. Like the Excel add-on, the Google Sheets add-on enables the users to download an entire time series with one click. The Google Sheets add-on also includes a feature that provides a spark-line chart so users can see a preview of a data series over time.

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Eleanor Lamb
Eleanor Lamb
Eleanor Lamb is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Big Data, FITARA, Homeland Security, Education, Workforce Issues, and Civilian Agencies.