What Is Google Data Studio?

August 23, 2020

Google Data Studio is a free web application from Google that collects data and organizes it into reports. Google Data Studio consolidates all of your data sources into a single reporting environment. It allows users to construct useful and visually appealing dashboards that are simple to understand, share, and adjust.

It pulls all of the data from Google’s marketing tools, such as Google Analytics, and then generates a report. Detailed reports may be created in just a few clicks and shared with your staff, clients, or anyone else who is interested.
If you’ve never heard of Google Data Studio or aren’t sure how it works, we’ll go over everything you need to know.

What Is Google Data Used Studio For?

Anyone who utilizes Google Analytics or other data collection applications, such as AdWords or Search Console, will find Google Data Studio extremely handy. Not only can it generate reports, but these reports are entirely customized and may include numerous things, such as a company’s logo.

Google Data Studio can communicate with Google Marketing Platform features like Ads and Analytics, as well as Google consumer products like spreadsheets, YouTube, and Search Console. It can also link to databases like BigQuery, MySQL, and PostgreSQL, as well as third-party sources like Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and Twitter Ads.
It’s also worth mentioning that Google Data Studio reports are saved in Google Drive, making them much easier to save and distribute.

Benefits of Google Data Studio

Why is Google Data Studio so good, you may think. The following main functionalities are available while using Data Studio.

  • It is completely free to use.
  • Connect to a data source of your choice. Google, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so forth.
  • Fully configurable - the opportunity to alter reports to meet the demands of each customer.
  • Access to over 220 connections and a live data connection
  • Complete control over the report and graphic customization, including the ability to add as many pages or charts as desired.
  • Report and page level filters are included in the dynamic controls.
  • Calculated metrics and calculated fields are examples of advanced formulae.

Google Data Studio’s 10 Key Advantages Explained

  1. It is a free tool - Google Data Studio is a FREE application that is easy to use and available to anybody.

  2. Dashboard with customizable reports - Google Data Studio allows users to create unique reports with a wide variety of themes, styles, formatting, and graphs. If you are new to Google Data Studio, pre-designed templates might be beneficial.

  3. Up-to-date and interactively linked data visualizations

  4. Automated Real-Time Data Reports - Manually preparing reports and exporting data might take a long time. Google Data Studio assists you in producing automatic routine reports in less time.

  5. Shareable dashboards - Google Data Studio has report allocation, distribution, and collaboration tools that facilitate communication among your users and business partners.

  6. Google Data Studio Exports — Once your report dashboard is complete, you may export it to the following documents: Email, Google Sheets, Excel, and PDF are all options.

  7. Connects to a Variety of Data Sources

  8. Tools for filtering - campaign, account, location, date period, and so forth.

  9. Calculation fields – Basic math, Statistical operations functions) case statements

10 ) Dig Down Capabilities - Google Data Studio gives you the ability to dig down into your data inside a single piece.

Working with Google Data Studio

To use Google Data Studio, you must first register. Once this is completed, you may produce reports using its user-friendly interface. You must also link this tool to the ones that will act as data sources (Google Analytics, Google Ads, Search Console or Facebook Ads, etc.). It is not feasible to produce reports without this link since Google Data Studio requires information to be extracted from a single location. The only thing left to accomplish after this stage is to build.

Templates Gallery

The collection of prepared templates is the quickest and easiest way to get started with Google Data Studio. You may extract information instantly by utilizing these templates. To begin, simply click on the one that interests you. Each of them will display data in a different way, but they may be modified to meet your needs.

Connect your data to Data Studio from over 800 different sources.

Google Data Studio can extract data from over 800 different sources via connectors, which are free as long as they are produced by Google (community connectors often come at a fee). Simply choose the information sources to be utilized to produce reports.

Discover New Data Visualization Methods

One of Data Studio’s advantages is the ability to mix data from several sources inside a single graphic, making it easier to compare or combine data. You may also combine many charts and pick what and how to display.
Simply go to the main page to view all elements of this product. Because it is extremely graphic and straightforward, it is simple to use and access all of the settings.

Steps in Google Data Studio

Using Google Data Studio to create a report is a breeze. Here’s how to accomplish it in 5 easy steps.

  1. Access Google Data Studio by logging in. Before you can access the platform, you must first log in to your Google account and link it to Data Studio. You must also agree to the terms of service.
  2. You have two choices for creating a custom report. It may be made from a blank sheet or a template. The latter is the simplest and quickest method, and it allows you to make changes. 
  3. Determine the data sources. You will need data to generate a report, so choose the sources from which you will extract the information. Google Data Studio will request access to that application before adding the data. You will also be able to select from a variety of presentation choices such as tables, graphs, and bars.
  4. Set up the display. You may select the qualitative values and metrics you wish to work with and apply filters to emphasize the information you want to work on or find useful or intriguing.
  5. Distribute the report. You may share the reports you’ve generated with your team, clients, or anybody else. They are kept on Google Drive, so all you have to do is provide access. You may also choose which reports each individual or team can view, allowing you to control what data they have access to.

What are the limitations of Google Data Studio?

Data Studio, like other tools, has its own set of limitations.

Formatting Is Important

Formatting in Data Studio is specific to Data Studio, which means it does not operate the same way as it does in Google Sheets, for example. As a result, users frequently have problems with their data not working as intended because they have not structured their data appropriately.

This is not a Business Intelligence tool.

The analysis capabilities of Data Studio fall short of those of the leading business intelligence (BI) solutions on the market today (Tableau, Power BI to name a few). While it successfully visualizes your data, it does not allow you to slice, dissect, or analyze it in nearly that many ways as those tools do.

Data Blending Feature is incomplete

It may be used to combine data from many sources to create better dashboards and more detailed reports. However, you can only blend up to 5 data sources in a chart at a time, and blending data presently only supports left outer join procedures.
Functionally, it may require some experimentation with formatting and the joins themselves to get your joins to function, but we only anticipate this feature to develop and become stronger.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Google Data Studio

Let us begin with the positives:

  • It is a completely free tool, therefore no financial commitment is required to use it as part of a marketing plan.
  • All reports are customizable. To make the report more visually appealing and to link it with your brand, any sort of material, such as graphs, tables, logos, photos, typefaces, and so on, may be included.
  • There is no limit to the amount of data that may be incorporated, allowing for extensive reporting and analysis.
    As previously said, data from various sources, as well as all of your brand’s channels/platforms, can be integrated.
  • All reports allow for the addition of notes and comments.
  • Google Drive is where the reports are kept.
  • It is a pretty simple and straightforward application.

However, there are a few things that might be improved:

  • Payment connections are required if you wish to obtain data from external sources.
  • When creating extremely complicated custom fields, the tool may become unable to parse the input.
  • The option to submit data on a regular basis is not currently available.

Top Features to Use in Google Data Studio 

Connection to a Live Data Source

Data Studio currently includes links to over 200+ data sources (a complete list of data sources is available here), removing the need to arrange frequent data refreshes for your reports.
Having a live data source also implies that you are not restricted in terms of the date range you may examine. You may choose any date range that meets your needs, depending on how far back your data extends.
Within the same report, you may connect to numerous data sources and view data from many databases.

Full Customization Controls

Data Studio allows you to add as many pages, charts, and tables as you need (though there are certain restrictions with scorecards in particular) and modify them to your heart’s content.

  • Depending on your preferences, you may select from pre-populated themes or create a custom theme. You may even extract a theme from photographs if you want to be very creative.
  • You may alter the layout by changing the page size, orientation, and so on.
  • Data Studio provides a diverse set of charts and visuals to work with, ranging from the fundamentals like bar charts and line charts to the recently launched Google Maps visual.
  • You may use conditional formatting to demonstrate pacing in relation to objectives and targets.
  • You may customize your dashboards by utilizing the colors of your organization or your clients.

Dynamic Controls

One of the reasons webmasters enjoys Data Studio is the dynamic control function, which allows them to slice and dice their data without having to alter the report design. You may use Data Studio to: Insert dynamic controls that allow visitors to sift through the material using dimension and date range pickers. If you don’t want all of the material on the page to change, you may include and exclude items from a filter.

Drill Down Hierarchy:

This feature allows you to examine extra features inside a chart; you may access more detailed information by “drilling down” into a chart, for example, from Country to City, or “drilling up” from more granular information to more high-level statistics.
According to Google, “adding drill-down charts to your reports may make them more dynamic, decrease the number of different charts necessary, and make it simpler to uncover insights in the data at various levels of detail.”

Optional Metrics:

You may give the user an extra degree of control by allowing them to access Optional Metrics and adjust what they’re looking at without having to edit the original report.
To get optional metrics once you’ve picked a chart, switch on Optional metrics in the properties panel under Metric. Then, from the Available fields panel, click +Add metric or drag the metric into the chart as an optional metric. When users hover over the graphic, they can now access optional metrics. 

Custom Bookmarks:

All of these dynamic options are fantastic, but what if you use the report frequently and want to keep your settings? Data Studio, on the other hand, includes a custom bookmark function that allows you to do just that.
By bookmarking the link, your readers will have a simple method to return to their favorite view of the data.”
Select File > Report Settings to allow custom bookmarks. Click Enable viewer options in the report link under Custom Bookmark Links.

Advanced Formulas

With sophisticated formulae, Google Data Studio transforms from a simple visualization tool to one that allows you to change your data as needed and build a strong picture with your data.

Calculated Fields: 

Use when your standard fields and metrics aren’t cutting it. Calculated fields in Google Data Studio allow you to generate new or custom metrics or dimensions from existing data. With calculated fields, you can conduct calculations, define categories, and modify your data.
In addition, I’ll go through one of the most effective uses of calculated fields in the form of case statements further down.

Case Statements: 

Conditional expressions are used to return dimensions and metrics. A CASE statement allows you to add new fields and use conditional reasoning to decide their values. CASE is most commonly used to generate new data categories or groupings.
Case statements might be used to group your sources/mediums into new Channel Groupings in Data Studio (which are retroactive, unlike Google Analytics’ Default Channel Groupings).

Conclusion

Google Data Studio is an invaluable tool in any marketing plan. If the process of producing reports has grown increasingly tedious and difficult, we advise you to begin utilizing this tool. It will save you and your team time, which you can then devote to other critical aspects of your business and marketing initiatives.
Google Data Studio is an extremely valuable tool that may be very beneficial to your marketing plan. It rapidly and easily turns data into reports and displays it in a very visual and easy-to-understand format.

The majority of Google Data Studio’s capabilities are simple to use and enable quick report sharing and scheduling. This introduction to Google Data Studio should have given you more confidence in producing tailored reports for your clients, brands, or personal use.


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Written by Dev Baidya