How to Get NSE and BSE Real-Time Prices in Google Sheets

Learning how to obtain prices from the NSE and BSE markets in Google Sheets is useful for when you need to create a financial portfolio and monitor it in real-time.

The National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) is the leading government-owned stock exchange of India, which is also the first dematerialized electronic exchange in the country. On the other hand, the BSE Limited, previously known as the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), is another Indian government-owned stock exchange. It is Asia’s oldest stock exchange.

Trading and investing in stocks is appealing for some as it may serve as a means to gain income. Some treat it as a hobby, while others use it as a way to plan for retirement, with the expectation that stocks will increase in value over time.

The behavior of stock prices, however, is very unpredictable. Due to several factors, they may fluctuate up and down every hour or minute, with high-volume stocks changing as frequently as every second. As such, a tool to monitor stock prices is needed to gauge performance.

Google offers Google Finance as a way to view stock data, which includes charts that allow you to see company performance over time. This gives much detail about a given company’s stock performance, one at a time. For multiple investments, checking each company individually may become tedious. A dedicated function in Google Sheets may help as it allows you to import data directly from Google Finance. Being able to insert data into a spreadsheet also allows you to manipulate it in the way that you need.

This function is called the GOOGLEFINANCE function. It is a powerful function that lets you get live and historical data, mutual fund data, and currency exchange rates. In this tutorial, we shall focus on how to use the GOOGLEFINANCE function to extract real-time data from NSE and BSE.

Now, let us get to know more about the GOOGLEFINANCE function!


The Anatomy of the GOOGLEFINANCE Function

So the syntax (the way we write) of the GOOGLEFINANCE function is as follows:

=GOOGLEFINANCE(ticker, [attribute], [start_date], [end_date|num_days], [intervals])

Let’s dissect this thing and understand what each of these terms means:

  • = the equal sign is just how we start any function in Google Sheets.
  • GOOGLEFINANCE() this is our GOOGLEFINANCE function. It fetches current or historical securities information from Google Finance.
  • ticker represents the ticker symbol for the security to consider. To achieve accurate results and prevent discrepancies, both the exchange symbol and ticker symbol must be used. If the exchange symbol is not specified, GOOGLEFINANCE will use its best judgment to choose for you.
  • attribute specifies the type of data to fetch about ticker from Google Finance. The square brackets ‘[]’ indicate that this is an optional parameter, but is required if a date is specified. By default, the function returns the “price” parameter. Available GOOGLEFINANCE attributes are different for real-time, historical, and mutual fund data.
  • start_date indicates the start date when fetching historical data. The square brackets ‘[]’ indicate that this is an optional parameter. When start_date is specified and end_date|num_days is not, only the single day’s data is returned.
  • end_date|num_days indicates the end date when fetching historical data. The square brackets ‘[]’ indicate that this is an optional parameter. Alternatively, the number of days from the start_date may be used.
  • interval specifies the frequency of returned data. The square brackets ‘[]’ indicate that this is an optional parameter. Values may be “daily” or “weekly”, alternatively, 1 or 7.


Some Notes About the GOOGLEFINANCE Function

To use the GOOGLEFINANCE function properly, some things should be noted:

  • All parameters must be enclosed in quotation marks or be references to cells containing text. Note: An exception is when parameters are specified as a number (interval of 1 or 7, end_date|num_days as the number of days).
  • Some attributes may not yield results for all symbols.
  • Quotes are not sourced from all markets and may be delayed up to 20 minutes.

As we will only be learning about extracting real-time data, details regarding historical and mutual fund data are not discussed. For more information about the GOOGLEFINANCE function, check the official GOOGLEFINANCE function guide from Google Docs Editor Help.


What is a Ticker Symbol

Looking at the GOOGLEFINANCE function’s syntax, only the ticker and attribute parameters are relevant to extract real-life data, with the ticker parameter being the most important part of the function. But what exactly are ticker symbols?

A ticker symbol or stock symbol is an abbreviated name used to uniquely identify traded securities such as stocks, shares, currency, etc. It may consist of letters, numbers, or a number of both. As stated above, both the exchange symbol and ticker symbol must be used to achieve accurate results.

There are multiple ways to obtain the ticker symbol. One way is through a simple google search. Simply type out the company name supplemented by “stock price”. For example, looking up “google stock price” on google gives the following result:

As you can see, the google search method already gives both the exchange symbol and ticker symbol (NASDAQ:GOOGL).

Other ways include using tools like Yahoo Finance lookup and Google Finance. Looking up alphabet, inc. on Yahoo Finance, only the ticker symbol will appear beside the company name.

Similar to the google search, both the exchange symbol and the ticker symbol will show up on the Google Finance tool. These will show up at the search bar. The ticker symbol is also emphasized in a red box.

Although results from google search are extracted from Google Finance, using the tool provides a faster way of obtaining the needed symbols. Even when just typing out the company name, a list is shown of possible companies and at different markets. Just note that the symbols below the company name from the search list are arranged ticker symbol first followed by the exchange symbol. As such, they have to be reversed when inputted into the GOOGLEFINANCE function.

Using the Google Finance tool also acts as a way of determining if the GOOGLEFINANCE function can return data. Since quotes are not sourced from all markets, if a given company is listed down on Google Finance, you can be assured that a value will return. This is because the GOOGLEFINANCE function fetches data from this site.

We are interested in obtaining data from NSE and BSE, specifically. It is important to input the ticker symbols with the exchange symbol “NSE” for obtaining from NSE and “BOM” for obtaining from BSE. Notice that ticker symbols used for BSE are composed of numbers. The function will still work if only the ticker symbol is used; however, there may be instances where the same ticker symbol is used for different exchanges.

Looking at the search result from Google Finance earlier, Alphabet, Inc. is present in various exchanges. While not all exchanges use the same ticker symbol, the NASDAQ Stock Market and Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV) do. GOOGLEFINANCE will use its best judgment to select where to obtain data from if the exchange symbol is not specified. This will not be an issue if you want to obtain from NASDAQ, but what if you need stock prices from BMV? Specifying the appropriate exchange symbol will eliminate this issue.

Now that we know what a ticker symbol is and how to obtain it, let’s check out what kinds of real-time data we could obtain using the GOOGLEFINANCE Function.


GOOGLEFINANCE Function Real-Time Data Attributes

The list below shows the available attributes that you could use for real-time data using the GOOGLEFINANCE function.

  • price – Real-time price quote, delayed by up to 20 minutes.
  • priceopen – The price as of market open.
  • high – The current day’s high price.
  • low – The current day’s low price.
  • volume – The current day’s trading volume.
  • marketcap – The market capitalization of the stock.
  • tradetime – The time of the last trade.
  • datadelay – How far delayed the real-time data is.
  • volumeavg – The average daily trading volume.
  • pe – The price/earnings ratio.
  • eps – The earnings per share.
  • high52 – The 52-week high price.
  • low52 – The 52-week low price.
  • change – The price change since the previous trading day’s close.
  • beta – The beta value.
  • changepct – The percentage change in price since the previous trading day’s close.
  • closeyest – The previous day’s closing price.
  • shares – The number of outstanding shares.
  • currency – The currency in which the security is priced. Currencies don’t have trading windows, so open, low, high, and volume won’t return for this argument.

Another useful attribute is “name” which pulls the listed company name in Google Finance for the given ticker. This could act as a means for you to check if the GOOGLEFINANCE function has selected the company you want.


A Real Example of Using the GOOGLEFINANCE Function

Let’s look at an example to see how the data looks like from both Google Sheets using the GOOGLEFINANCE function and the Google Finance website. For this example, we shall be looking at NLC India Ltd. The picture below shows all the data obtained using the GOOGLEFINANCE function.

As you can see, the GOOGLEFINANCE function will work even if the ticker or attribute is typed in or cell references are used. For the ticker parameter, not specifying the exchange symbol for the ticker symbol “513683” yielded the same results as this ticker symbol is not used in other exchanges. However, always include the exchange symbol to accurately obtain the results you need.

Looking at the Google Finance website, you will first be greeted with a large chart showing how stock prices fluctuate over a period of time. Time intervals of 1 day, 5 days, 1 month, 6 months, year to date, 1 year, 5 years, or the whole lifespan of the company can be selected.

This section shows the company name, current price, price change, and percentage change for the day. Scrolling down also shows a Key stats section where most of the data the GOOGLEFINANCE function pulls. These include: high, low, marketcap, volumeavg, high52, low52, and closeyest.

Lastly, a financial performance chart may be located, where quarterly or annual data may be seen. From the annual chart, the earnings per share (eps) value that GOOGLEFINANCE pulls may be located.

Now that we have learned all about the GOOGLEFINANCE Function, let’s now move to a real-life scenario where real-time data from NSE and BSE is obtained.


How to Get NSE and BSE Real-Time Prices Using GOOGLEFINANCE Function

For the following scenario, the companies whose real-time stock data I want to pull are Indian Railway, Zee Media, and Wipro for NSE, and Reliance Industries, Ashirwad Capital, and Himalaya International for BSE.

  1. Using Google Finance, search for the ticker symbols of the companies whose stock data you want to pull. Input these values with the exchange symbol “NSE” and a colon “:” before companies from NSE, and “BOM” and a colon “:” before companies from BSE.
  2. Create new columns corresponding to the kinds of data you wish to pull. For this example, I wish to obtain the complete name of the company (for verification), the stock’s current price, day range, previous close value, and percent change from this value.
  3. Insert a new row directly below the header row. In this row, type in the corresponding attribute parameter for the data you wish to pull.
  4. Simply click on any cell to make it the active cell. For this guide, I will be selecting C3, where I want to show my result.
  5. Next, simply type the equal sign ‘=’ to begin the function and then followed by the name of the function, which is our ‘googlefinance’ (or ’GOOGLEFINANCE’, whichever works). You should find that as you are typing, an auto-suggest box appears with the names of the functions that contain the text that you have typed. Get NSE and BSE Stock Prices in Google Sheets
  6. The one we want is the GOOGLEFINANCE function, so make sure to click on the GOOGLEFINANCE function. Alternatively, you may select the function by pressing the arrow down keys then pressing Enter or Tab to use the function (the currently selected function will be highlighted in grey and have a brief description below). Get NSE and BSE Stock Prices in Google Sheets
  7. Upon selecting a function, a large text box appears that gives details about the function, and how to use the function. In some instances, a blue question mark will appear on the left side of the cell. If you want this text box to appear, simply click this question mark to show the large text box. Clicking on the arrow at the top right-hand corner will minimize the box while clicking on the x mark close the text box and the blue question mark will appear.Get NSE and BSE Stock Prices in Google Sheets
  8. Now, let’s select the ticker parameter. For this cell, we want to pull data from Indian Railway. Type the “NSE:IRCTC” symbol enclosed with quotation marks. Note how values enclosed in quotation marks will be colored green.Get NSE and BSE Stock Prices in Google Sheets
  9. Now, let’s select the attribute parameter. For this cell, we want to obtain the complete name of the company. First, type a comma “,” to indicate that we have finished inputting the ticker parameter and would like to input the attribute parameter. Next, type out “name” enclosed with quotation marks. See how even before finishing the formula, a text box pops up showing the value the GOOGLEFINANCE function has obtained.Get NSE and BSE Stock Prices in Google Sheets
  10. Press the Enter key to finish the formula. This process may be repeated for the rest of the values, but doing so would be time-consuming and inefficient. Therefore, let’s use relative cell references to make this task easier!
  11. After pressing the Enter key, we are now in cell C4. Repeat steps 5 and 6 to select the GOOGLEFINANCE function. This time, instead of typing out the ticker parameter for Zee Media, let’s use cell references. Select Cell B4. This will highlight the selected cell while also inputting “B4” in the formula.Get NSE and BSE Stock Prices in Google Sheets
  12. To convert this cell reference to a relative cell reference, press the F4 key three times. Doing so will change the “B4” value in the formula to “$B4”. This means that when the formula is copied, the function will always pull data from the B column, even when this formula is copied to other columns. Alternatively, you can also simply type a dollar sign “$” before the column you want to keep.Get NSE and BSE Stock Prices in Google Sheets
  13. Now, let’s select the attribute parameter. Type a comma “,” then select cell C2. We also need to convert this cell reference to a relative cell reference where the row is kept constant instead of the column. Therefore, the dollar symbol must be before the number corresponding to the row. Press the F4 key two times. Get NSE and BSE Stock Prices in Google Sheets
  14. Press the Enter key to finish the formula. Finally, simply copy the formula from cell C4 to the remaining cells to fill the table. Looking at cell G7, we can see that the correct values have been obtained through the use of relative cell references.Get NSE and BSE Stock Prices in Google Sheets


We’re done! Expect some differences between the results that you obtain from the ones obtained in this tutorial. As stated earlier, this is due to stocks fluctuating in value. If you want to practice some more, make a copy of our spreadsheet and give it a try:


Or browse our other numerous Google Sheets formulas to create even more powerful formulas that can make your life much easier.


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