Working with number and the CEIL function in Looker Studio

Working with number and the CEIL function in Looker Studio

Looker Studio's (formerly) CEIL function is a powerful mathematical tool designed to equip users with the ability to round up numbers to the nearest whole integer. The function guarantees precision and enables a user to present data more intuitively, especially when working with complex datasets that include fractions or decimal points.

CEIL Function Syntax

The syntax for the CEIL function in Google Data Studio is quite straightforward:


Here, 'X' signifies a field or expression that encompasses at least one field. This function ensures that the output is always equal to or greater than the input 'X'.

How the CEIL Function Works

On execution, the CEIL function rounds off the field or expression value to the nearest integer that is greater than, or equal to the provided value. This can be particularly beneficial in scenarios when data requires simplification for easier comprehension.

Examples of CEIL Function Use

Let's take an example in the context of a sales-based business. Suppose you’re tracking the average number of units sold per transaction in your online store and the data yields a decimal value. Say, the value calculated equals 5.67 units. While the precise figure may be useful for analytical purposes, when it comes to reporting, it's sometimes beneficial to use the CEIL function to simplify the data for non-technical viewers.

In this case, by using the following syntax based on the CEIL function—


The result will be rounded up to 6. This is easier for stakeholders to understand: for every transaction, an average of roughly 6 units are being sold.

Limitations of the CEIL Function

While certainly useful, it's important to recognize the inherent limitations of the CEIL function. It's particularly important to be aware that since CEIL rounds up values, using it could potentially result in overestimation.

Tips for Using the CEIL Function

When applied consciously, the CEIL function can be a powerful tool. Remember, it's all about context. When precision is key, it may be more useful to use raw, unrounded data. However, when your audience values simplicity and the differences aren't materially significant, CEIL can be your best friend.

In conclusion, whether you're creating customized reports in Google Data Studio or wrangling large datasets to provide more audience-friendly outputs, the CEIL function serves as a handy instrument in your data tool kit.

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