How to Combine Multiple Answers Into One Column With CONCAT

In: BlogDate: Nov 20, 2023By: Henry Stewart

If you had multiple records across different columns, how would you combine them into one? Rather than having to do this manually, you can use the CONCAT function. Find out how it works in this short blog by Happy’s Chief Happiness Officer, Henry Stewart.

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The Happy helpline got a call yesterday from somebody wanting to combine a range of columns into one.

As a result of a survey, she had a spreadsheet with over a dozen columns for ethnicity:


This probably results from the survey being designed to allow more than one choice for this question, although they were looking for one answer. However, it is too late to redesign the survey.

There is a really easy way to combine them, using the CONCAT() function. This is designed to bring together text in different columns. You might, for instance, combine first name and surname to produce a full name, inserting a space in the middle: CONCAT(A2,” “,B2)

For the above example, on ethnicity, you simply enter every column which you want combined:

CONCAT(T2,U2,V2,W2,X2,Y2,Z2,AA2,AB2,AC2,AD2,AE2)

This will result, in the above example, in one ethnicity column.

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Henry Stewart, Founder and Chief Happiness Officer

Henry is founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Happy Ltd, originally set up as Happy Computers in 1987. Inspired by Ricardo Semler’s book Maverick, he has built a company which has won multiple awards for some of the best customer service in the country and being one of the UK’s best places to work.

Henry was listed in the Guru Radar of the Thinkers 50 list of the most influential management thinkers in the world. "He is one of the thinkers who we believe will shape the future of business," explained list compiler Stuart Crainer.

His first book, Relax, was published in 2009. His second book, the Happy Manifesto, was published in 2013 and was short-listed for Business Book of the Year.

You can find Henry on LinkedIn and follow @happyhenry on Twitter.

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