Can Airtable solve equations with variables?

Topic Labels: Formulas
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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I’m trying to figure out if AirTable can solve equations with unknown variables.

For instance, a break-even analysis based on data in the table.

(Revenue per unit ⨉ Units sold) − (Fixed costs + Cost per unit ⨉ Units sold) = 0

(200 ⨉ Units Sold) − (1000 + 100 ⨉ Units sold) = 0

Where Units sold is the unknown variable (“x”), and I would like to know the value of “x” where the equation returns 0 (break-even).

A normal equation solver would give:
(200x)−(1000+100x) = 0
x = 10

So, could I get “10” to display using an AirTable Formula?


8 Replies 8

As far as I know, there currently isn’t anything so sophisticated. But in case of a single variable, you can usually reduce the equation into a simple formula. In this case, you can get the desired result by restating the equation in terms of x = ?, which would be ={Fixed Costs}/({RevenuePU} - {CostPU})

6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Agreed. The question depends on whether or not it is a binomial equation, I think. There is no single variable equation for which you cannot isolate the variable. This is not so much an Airtable question as it is a math homework question. Airtable has all the basics that you would need without going to scientific calculator functions, but if you need regression analysis or something like that then Airtable is not the correct tool for the job, as it does not do graphing.

Depend on your technical proficiency, you may find it easier to set up an API call to perform the calculation using a different method (JS or Google Sheets).

Or a low-tech way is to set up a custom view that displays records where the {Calculation Result} field is empty, a sheet with the equation solver set up in Google Sheets, and then have Zapier action that monitors the custom view in AirTable, pushes any new records that appear over to Google Sheets, then pulls the result back to AirTable.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Just use the javascript module on the automation section
it’s very easy

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I’ve only used javascript within MSFT Office products. When using javascript in the AirTable automation section, is there something similar to the excel analysis tool pack? Specifically the regression tool kit? That would be awesome.

Scripting actions in automations are limited to the code in a single file. You cannot use any libraries or import any external tools/code. Scripting actions also cannot use eval(). However, sometimes you can find a minified version of a library and copy/paste the entire minified library into your script.

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Thank you. A colleague suggested using the AirTable API to get data into Google CoLab for analysis.

If anyone has done that, I’d appreciate any pointers.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Hi Guys, 
I've got a similar challenge, I'd like to calculate BEP for a retail store sales, however it takes an iteration method to do that, in Excel or google sheet I'd use the "Goal seek" formula, is there anything similar in Airtable?