Is it possible to track the number of times a record has changed?

I have a base that we use for activity management. I want to have a way to count the number of times a date field has been updated. I thought there might be a count() formula that could do this but it only counts current status rather than the number of historical record changes.

Does anyone know a workaround or how to do this? We are trying to see how many times a “Due Date” has been changed, and thus “Missed”.

Thanks!

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Hi Julien, did you manage to solve this? I’m currently looking into it and will share what I find.

@Alex_Radley,

Airtable is not known for its ability to produce change events. The only way I’ve been able to do this with precision is to continuously poll the data using the API and then snapshotting with date/timestamps so I can sense changes, and then track analytics separately.

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Hi @Julien_Clement , @Alex_Radley –––

One way to track the number of times a record has been changed is by setting up a system like this: https://support.airtable.com/hc/en-us/articles/218151657-Using-Zapier-s-Multi-Step-Zaps-to-find-and-update-records

What this does is creates a new table within your base. Think of this table like a “backend” or “admin” view. Each time a change is made to your “Frontend” table, the backend table will create a new record with a new timestamp, date field etc.

It’s really simple and straightforward to set up. Try it out?

Cheers,
Freedom

Okay, this sounds like a great approach, but I must ask - what is the definition of “change”?

  • Is it when someone adds a new record?
  • When they actually change a field in an existing record?
  • When they change a field and then set it back to its original value?
  • Are deleted records counted as changed?
  • Do changes based on formula adjustments cause all records to be reported as “changed”?

These are each key distinctions that should be known before embarking on any analytics implementation strategy, right?

Hi @Bill.French:

Yes to all except the part on “deleted records”. Not sure about that.

Have a great day,
AFGF.

Okay - that’s a very cool approach - it’s essentially giving us a change list for everything. But, there are some issues that come with this - for example - one formula adjustment to a single column in a table of 15,000 records will trigger a landslide of new “change” records. Imagine changing three fields.