Airtable as a Database

Airtable is an online platform that’s very easy to use for creating and sharing databases. The interface is straightforward and allows anyone to spin up a database in minutes. You can store, organize, and collaborate on information about anything—like employee directories, product inventories, and lead generation.

Creating a new database

Login to your Airtable account then you can sign in using your username and password or with your Google account. If you do not have an account yet, you can simply sign up on their website for free.

Once logged in, the first page would have your bases ordered by workspaces. So go to your workspace and create a new base.

You can also import your data directly on Airtable and it will save you time. If you don’t have one, you can just simply click on import data.

Start organizing your workspaces on the left side of the main page. It’s useful if you’re working with many bases for different projects.

Adding Tables

Add Tables in Airtable Database

In this example, it’s a customer database for an e-commerce store that sells shoes. The tables here would be “Customers”, “Products”, and “Purchases”.

Once you have this clear, you should be setting up the attributes.

Step 3: Set Up The Fields With Proper Formatting

Attributes are the features that define the tables. In Airtable, you add attributes by creating fields in your tables.

Setting up Fields in Airtable Database

Here, you can add as many fields as you need, and format them according to their type.

For example, field types can be either number, a checkbox, select options, simple text, currency, phone number, and so on.

Plus, you can also add formulas to process data, and link them to records with other tables to create relationships and eliminate data redundancy.

In the Customers table,you should add the following:

  • Customer’s name (single-line text)

  • Customer ID (single-line text)

  • Email (single-line text)

  • Address (long text)

  • Phone Number (Phone)

  • Last purchase (Date)

With all the fields in your tables properly set up, you can start adding data.

Step 4: Insert/Import Data

There are 3 ways to add records:

  • Importing your data from a .csv file, google sheets, or other platforms (you have to import data before creating a table).

  • Integrating Airtable with other apps, like Shopify, to add all the purchase information on autopilot (more on this later).

  • Adding them manually.

In the customer database, this is how it looks when you fill the customers and products tables:

Adding customer details in Airtable Database

Adding product details in Airtable Database

For other tables, such as the Purchases table, it’s better to add data after linking records from other tables and grouping them up properly.

Step 5: Link Records To Visualize Your Data

Linking records is necessary to share data between tables in order to avoid data redundancy.

In your database, link records by creating a new field, click on “Customize field type”, and select “Link to another record”.

Visualize data in Airtable

You’ll be able to choose the table you want to link to, and the attributes you want to retrieve from it.

After successfully linking your tables, it will be easier to visualize and manage your data by changing the view.

Here’s how to do it on customer base, click on: Group then pick a field to group by then buyer

Group the data in Airtable Database

Getting a view of your customer’s purchases, see how much they’ve spent, lifetime value, and add new purchases right away with ease.

Purchase details in Airtable

From here, you’re free to add more views, tables, fields, as you start getting more data and expanding your business.

As an example, if you’re going to build a content database, you’ll find yourself adding more attributes and formulas as you get to publish more and more content.