What is Airtable? A Comprehensive Guide

on Airtable, Data Integration, Project Management Tool, Relational Database, Spreadsheet Application • November 13th, 2021 • Write for Hevo

Airtable Cover

Each organization has different departments like Finance, Sales, Marketing, etc. and each of these departments uses multiple software for their daily operations. With every organization generating data from multiple data sources, it’s essential to ensure that all the data is properly organized. Poor organization can quickly derail a business’s focus and leads to poor communication and, ultimately, lower productivity. Hence, data from different sources must be organized properly to cater to business needs.

Airtable, a Modern Database, is used by many businesses today to organize their data. It also integrates with different apps and services to meet your business needs. If you are seeking ways to enhance your business productivity, Airtable is here to help you order and sort the data of your organization. Let’s discuss this in detail in order to boost your productivity and save more time to spend on value-added activities.

Table of Contents

What is Airtable?

Airtable logo
Image Source

Airtable is an easy-to-use Project Management application that unifies and stores data in the form of Spreadsheets and helps business teams organize and structure their data workload. Yes, you heard it right, Spreadsheets. It is a modern Spreadsheet tool with Database functionalities. It is a Cloud-based collaborative data platform that businesses can use to store, share and manipulate data, in a way similar to Relational Databases. Airtable, as a Database tool, can help people who are setting up their first real business. Whereas, established businesses use the platform to align their business goals across all departments.

An Airtable file looks pretty much like a Spreadsheet, but they are not technically the same. It actually handles data that links to each other, in other words, a Relational Database. But that doesn’t mean you need a Relational Database to start using Airtable, you just need “Some Data” to buckle up. Using Airtable especially when working with a large amount of data is just a lot easier to process visually than Google Sheets. Data types supported by Airtable far exceed Spreadsheets. You can also create an attachment field and drop in literally any kind of attachments from images, PDFs, presentations, and even large videos.

It is a simple, user-friendly tool, and hence you don’t even have to know any scripting to create a Database.

Is Airtable a Relational Database?

The term “Relational Database” was mentioned quite a few times in the last section. So, an obvious question arises, “Is Airtable a Relational Database?”. Yes, it is a Relational Database which means it has the ability to link records from one Table to another. It is designed to create relationships between different components and/or objects.

For example, you have a Database in your organization. These are some of the common Tables an organization usually requires:

  • Teams
  • Engineers
  • Managers
  • Projects

All of these Tables will be related to at least one other Table. A Team consists of Engineers and Managers. A Project might require two or more Teams to work on. It is possible to establish a link for each of these relationships.

Although Airtable is a Relational Database, it allows users to upload information in cells, just like Spreadsheets. However, unlike Spreadsheets, the cells in Airtable have types like Phone Numbers, Checkboxes, and Dropdown Lists.

Simplify Airtable ETL and Data Integration using Hevo’s No-code Data Pipeline

Hevo Data is a No-code Data Pipeline that offers a fully managed solution to set up data integration from Airtable and 100+ Data Sources (including 30+ Free Data Sources) and will let you directly load data to a Data Warehouse or the destination of your choice. It will automate your data flow in minutes without writing any line of code. Its fault-tolerant architecture makes sure that your data is secure and consistent. Hevo provides you with a truly efficient and fully automated solution to manage data in real-time and always have analysis-ready data.

Get started with hevo for free

Let’s look at some of the salient features of Hevo:

  • Fully Managed: It requires no management and maintenance as Hevo is a fully automated platform.
  • Data Transformation: It provides a simple interface to perfect, modify, and enrich the data you want to transfer.
  • Real-Time: Hevo offers real-time data migration. So, your data is always ready for analysis.
  • Schema Management: Hevo can automatically detect the schema of the incoming data and map it to the destination schema.
  • Scalable Infrastructure: Hevo has in-built integrations for 100’s of sources that can help you scale your data infrastructure as required.
  • Live Monitoring: Advanced monitoring gives you a one-stop view to watch all the activities that occur within Data Pipelines.
  • Live Support: Hevo team is available round the clock to extend exceptional support to its customers through chat, email, and support calls.
Sign up here for a 14-day free trial!

Key Features of Airtable

  • Familiar Workspace: As discussed, an Airtable file looks pretty much like a Spreadsheet. It makes it easy for anyone who has used Microsoft Excel to adapt to the interface quickly, without much hustle. You can observe the Excel-like rows and columns in Airtable as well.
  • User-friendly: No scripting, yes you heard it right. With the drag-and-drop feature, you can manage rows and columns seamlessly as per your business data needs.
  • Automation: It can help businesses perform their operations faster and prioritize the work by creating custom notifications, organizing work, and automating redundant tasks.
  • Seamless Integration: It allows users to connect with many of the popular pre-built tools out there and provides templates that allow users to centralize their information and perform a vast number of operations in real-time.

Main Components of Airtable

There are certain components that every user should know before working on this software. 

Table

Airtable Table
Image Source

A Table is used to hold a list of data about a specific type of project. Your Tables should be made up of related items. Tables are considered to be the building blocks of Bases. Each Base can have any number of Tables.

Field

Airtable Record and Field
Image Source

Each column in a Table is called a Field. Fields can store a wide variety of information like Long Articles, Single-line Texts, Phone Numbers, File Attachments, Numbers, Photos, Formulas, Currency, URLs, and Emails. Each field has a name and is designed to bring consistency to your data.

Record

Just like how Fields represent columns in a traditional Spreadsheet, Records represent the rows. Records are equivalent to rows in Spreadsheet, and each row in a Table can be termed a Record. Each Record is a unique iteration of data represented by the Table’s rows.

Base

Airtable Base
Image Source

In simple words, Base is a group of Tables. All the information you need for a collaborative project must be stored in one Base. You can start with a Base by selecting any of the Airtable’s templates and modifying it as per your needs or you can even create a new Base from scratch.

Workspace

Airtable Workspace
Image Source

A Workspace is considered to be a group of related Bases. Although each and every Base is focused on a specific category, a number of Bases can fall into similar categories. Airtable uses Workspaces to categorize and consolidate Bases. Depending on the size of your business, you may use one or more Workspaces.

Views

Airtable Views
Image Source

Views are sets of selected Fields that users create to present to their audience. You can also save a view for future purposes. Simply put, Views represent the different ways in which the same data in your Table can be displayed.

Airtable Pricing

Airtable Pricing Plans are very competitive and reasonable. Airtable Software has a varied range of Pricing Plans. Unlike other Cloud-based collaboration tools, Airtable offers a Free Plan which provides basic functionalities to the users for free of cost. In addition to the Free Plan, it offers 3 different types of Paid Plans depending on the use cases. Below are the 4 Pricing Plans offered by the software.

Airtable Pricing
Image Source
  • Free Plan: The Free Plan makes core features of Airtable accessible for free for 14-Days. The Free Plan has no limitations on the number of Databases that you want to create. You can further share these Databases easily with as many users as you want. However, there are certain restrictions in the Free Plan. You can create only 1200 Records and the storage space is limited to 2 GB. This plan can be an ideal choice to get a glimpse of the app and use it for small experiments.
  • Plus Plan: The Plus Plan is an extension to the Free Plan and allows you to create 5000 Records, and the storage space is increased to 5 GB. Apart from the features provided in the Free Plan, Plus Plan offers automatic synchronization of the Tables. The Plus Plan is priced at $10 per user per month. The Plus Plan can be a suitable choice for small enterprises.
  • Pro Plan: This Pro Plan can be a suitable choice for large businesses as it allows you to create 50,000 Records, and the storage space is increased to 20 GB. It provides all the features of the Plus plan, and on top of that, you can install various applications from the Airtable Workplace. The Pro Plan is priced at $20 per user per month.
  • Enterprise Plan: The Enterprise Plan allows you to create 1,00,000 Records and the storage space is increased up to 1000 GB. It provides all the features of Pro Plan, and on top of that, you also get a dedicated Account Manager for handling the data requests. The biggest advantage of Enterprise Plan is that it can be customized based on the business requirements.

Airtable Integrations

Airtable Software offers integrations with various third-party apps and services. You can connect Airtable with popular apps, and automate repetitive tasks. You can connect Airtable App with the below-mentioned apps.

  • Asana: Project Management
  • Basecamp: Project Management
  • Box: File Management
  • Dropbox: File Management
  • Facebook: Social Networking
  • GitHub: Development
  • Gmail: Communication
  • Instagram: Social Networking
  • Mailchimp: Communication
  • Trello: Project Management
  • YouTube: Media
  • Zendesk: Customer Support

And more.

Conclusion

Airtable Software is one of the best options for handling Databases. This article provided you with an in-depth understanding of what Airtable is. In case you want to integrate data from Airtable App into your desired Database/Destination, then Hevo Data is the right choice for you! It will help simplify the Data Analysis and Management process of both the Data Sources and the Data Destinations.

visit our website to explore hevo

Hevo Data with its strong integration with 100+ Sources & BI tools such as Airtable App, allows you to not only export data from sources & load data in the destinations, but also transform & enrich your data, & make it analysis-ready so that you can focus only on your key business needs and perform insightful analysis using BI tools.

Give Hevo Data a try and sign up for a 14-day free trial today. Hevo offers plans & pricing for different use cases and business needs, check them out!

Do you use Airtable App? Share your experience of working with it in the comments section below.

No-code Data Pipeline For Your Data Warehouse