What is Google Data Studio?For those of you who don’t already know, Google Data Studio is a dashboard and reporting tool that is easy to use, customize, and share. It allows you to transform your data into appealing and informative reports for your audience. It’s a great tool to track KPIs that support business objectives and generate periodic reports. Right now, Data Studio beta is offered for free to Google account users and Google Cloud Platform customers. Data Studio is like Google Analytics dashboards on steroids. With Google Analytics dashboards, you are limited to 12 widgets per dashboard and can only connect to the data in the particular view the dashboard is in. When using Data Studio:
- You are not limited to just 12 widgets
- You have the ability to add as many report pages as you would like
- You can connect reports with multiple Google Analytics accounts and views.
How Does it Compare to Other Tools?Compared to top business intelligence (BI) tools currently in the market (Tableau, Microsoft Power BI to name a few), Data Studio’s quality doesn’t compare. It doesn’t offer as wide of a range of capabilities and features as other BI tools. However, it’s a very user friendly tool with drag and drop features, connects easily with your Google Analytics data, and is as easy to share your work as other Google collaboration tools. If this is what you are looking for in a reporting tool, Data Studio may be the tool for you.
Live Data ConnectionOne of the major challenges with reporting is connecting to your data. Data Studio already has built-in connections to several data sources (listed below) eliminating the need to schedule periodic data refreshes for your reports. Another benefit of a live data connection is the ability to toggle between date ranges. Depending on how far back your data goes, you can use any date range that satisfies your needs. List of Data Connectors:
- Google AdWords
- Google Analytics and Google Analytics 360
- Google Attribution 360
- Google BigQuery
- Google Cloud SQL
- Google Sheets
- YouTube Channel
- Data Uploader
Calculated MetricsSometimes your raw data isn’t enough to generate those meaningful reports you desire. Calculated metrics allow you to create custom metrics using formulas. Formula types range from simple to sophisticated, covering a broad range of logical, mathematical, and other typical functions.
Dynamic ControlsNothing is better than a report where viewers can interact with the visualizations. With Data Studio, you can:
- Insert dynamic controls so viewers can filter through the content with dimension and date range selectors
- Include and exclude content from a filter if there’s ever a situation where you don’t want all the content on the page to change.