Best practice: one huge table or accessory tables


I wonder what are the pros and cons of having one huge table with multiple columns vs having one master table with accessory ones.

In my project, i have one master table with a P&L: revenues, cost, interest, depreciation, ebitda etc.

In parallel, I have multiple tables with details. For example, one table is called Revenues Detail and i have the three sources of revenues plus a total revenue column which I Lookup to the master table. The key to connect tables is the month/year.

I find it easier to organize this way, but feels like i am breaking a basic rule of databases.

Would love to hear your opinion on pros and cons.


Each setup is different, and there isn’t a single right answer, so it’s definitely up to you as far as what works best for your flow.

In general I’d say that information in a master table is easier to work with and use in other ways. A strategy I use is to figure out what the smallest, or most detailed, chunk of info that I need is, then include anything that matches that level of granularity in that master table.

A financial example of this might be a per-trade level. For this I need to know bought or sold, amount, price, date, item, etc. Anything that I need to understand that particular trade I would include in that table.

Then, for summary items, a monthly roll up or total, I would use a separate table that uses filters and lookups to the master table. So purchase totals per month could be a separate summary table, but using data from the master table.

Lastly, I make good use of lookup columns in Coda. If I have a company listed, I might use a separate table for companies with all of the company info I need, then reference that table in any others where I need companies listed.

Again, every doc setup is different and has its own requirements, and there are quite a few ways to make the same thing happen. If you have an example that you can share here publicly, we might be able to help a little more.

Thank you for the reply.

Here is the balance sheet version with dummy numbers

As you can see, the first table has the balance sheet, and after that I have one table with details for each column in the balance sheet.

Would be great to have your perspective.


Can you share that so “Anyone with the link can view”, then we can check it out. Right now it says we need to request access.

And just a reminder that this is a public forum, so if this has personal info, you might want to create an example doc instead.

I think now it will work


Hello Ben, I hope everything is well with you. Were you able to take a look in the doc I shared?