Question

Setting Up Slack-to-Google Sheets Automation for Utility Management

  • 9 February 2024
  • 1 reply
  • 55 views

Hello,

I'm setting up an automated process for tracking utility usage in our corporate housing company, involving Slack for data capture and Google Sheets for analysis. We're looking to automate the transfer of data from Slack to Google Sheets, specifically for utility meter readings captured at the end of each guest's stay.

Process Overview:

  1. Data Capture: Field manager uploads meter reading images to a Slack channel, including stay dates and property name.
  2. Data Processing and Storage: We plan to use OCR technology to extract readings from images and store this data in Google Sheets for billing and analysis.

Zapier's Role:

We need Zapier to:

  • Trigger when new images are posted in Slack.
  • Use an OCR tool (supported by Zapier) to extract data from images.
  • Update a Google Spreadsheet with the extracted data.

Need help with setting up this Zap, especially on triggering the process from Slack, choosing an OCR tool, and formatting data for Google Sheets. 


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1 reply

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Hi @Arbak, welcome to the Community! 👋

In order to trigger a Zap when an image is attached (uploaded) to a Slack message you’d need to use the New Message Posted to Channel Slack trigger. That trigger will have the image file available to select from the Files 0 File field, where it’s shown as “(Exists but not shown)”. For example:

ca2ceaf463784fd8a6e6a97492f001c2.png

You can learn more about sending files between different Zap steps here: Send files in Zaps. And please see this related topic in Community for more details on how to access images that aren’t attached but instead contain a link to the image within the Slack message:


After that, you can pass that image file over to an app with OCR capabilities. For deciding which OCR app to use you might want to check out this guide that was posted in the Community:


For the updating of the Google Sheets spreadsheet are you looking to add a new row or update an existing row? To add a new row you’d use the Create Spreadsheet Row (Google Sheets) action. To update an existing one you’d need a Lookup Spreadsheet Row (Google Sheets) action to find the row, followed by an Update Spreadsheet Row (Google Sheets) to update it.

​​​Hope that helps to get you started. Let me know if you run into any trouble on that or have any further questions at all! 🙂