Have you heard of Google Data Studio?
If not, we’re going to tell you what it is and how you can be a data rock star just by using it. If you have heard of it, you’ll enjoy our advanced tips that break it down into something that is easy for your business to use.
What is Google Data Studio?
What if we took it a step further and told you that these reports would be easy to read, easy to share and easy to customize?
In Google’s (beta) Data Studio, you can create up to five custom reports that are always updated.
You can even choose how you want to deliver your data – line graphs, charts, bar graphs and more. And, you can even add your own branding.
Just like Google Drive, the reports update in real time and can enhance how you share and view your analytics.
Since the reports are dynamic, they update when the data source is updated. Any new info or changes you add show up on your reports.
You’ll find enhanced reporting as all of your data is easily accessible and instantly updated for everyone with whom you choose to share the reports.
While analytics have long been a challenge for most digital marketers, with Google Data Studio, you can create reports that everyone can understand.
It’s Not Just for Google Analytics
One of the coolest things about Google Data Studio is that you can pull in data from virtually any source as long as that information is housed in a Google Sheet.
So, yes, that means you can import your Facebook data or insights from any other social media platform that is housed in a Google Sheet.
If the item is Google-owned, such as Google Analytics, it doesn’t have to be on a Google Sheet.
Google Data Studio Outline
Now, let’s break Google Data Studio down a bit. The Data Studio helps you do three things really well.
- It allows you to connect different data points in one spreadsheet so all of your analytics are available in one place. So, the first thing you have to do before preparing your analysis is to make sure you have gathered all of your data. While you can pull Google data in naturally, any other data sources must be compiled on your Google Sheets.
- Next, you can visualize your data by pulling it all together. Think of it like your very own dot-to-dot. You bring all the pieces into your Google Data Studio, and the program creates a beautiful report.
- Finally, you can share your reports so you can collaborate with people all across the globe. It’s just like Google Docs and Google Sheets. Your co-workers or your boss don’t ever have to wait for you to send them a report because it updates in real time.
Google Data Studio is Free
Right now, for all of you data gatherers, Google Data Studio is free. You will find some restrictions, though, if you aren’t paying for Google 360.
You can currently only have five reports per account, or email address, associated with Data Studio. You can of course always add another email.
But, like Google Sheets, there is another solution. You can add additional pages on each of your reports thus increasing the amount of data you can represent.
Data Source Options
We told you that you can bring data from a myriad of other systems into Google Data Studio.
What we haven’t touched on is an advanced feature. You can use data sources in three different levels:
- At the report level, you’ll find this is the highest level component in the chain. When you attach data sources to a report, you can use it across all of your pages. You’ll even find that you can have multiple sources attached to a report. You do have to choose one as the default.
- At the page level, you’ll find this is a component of your report. When you set a data source to a page, you make it the default to that page even if another data source is set as the default in the report level.
- At the chart level, you see a beautiful, usable graphic representation of the data within your page. This is the lowest level in the chain. You’ll enjoy the fact that you can set data sources to specific charts at this level.
How to Make a Usable Report
Now that we’ve looked at Google Data Studio and defined it, let’s look at some advanced tips for you reporting.
First, filter controls give users power. You’ll find your analysis is more effective when you have chosen the right filters.
Consistency is key so your reports make more sense.
Next, when looking at the design element of your Google Data Studio report, pay attention to your headers and page dividers.
Use these elements for organization and to maintain the consistency of your report. Be clear in your headers so content is easily find-able.
Mix it up when designing your report. For example, don’t make everything into a bar graph. Use pie charts, line charts and tables.
Finally, tap in to your inner designer and add some color to your report. Color can help define sections and headers. Don’t overdo it, though, as too much color is off-putting.
Remember that the purpose of your report is visual in nature. You want co-workers, clients and bosses to be able to see at a glance how your digital marketing is working.
With improved data reporting and increased visualization, you’ll find that Google Data Studio has the ability to make a whole new generation of marketers more comfortable with digital marketing reports.
So, how do you know if Google Data Studio is right for you?
If you want to present beautiful, easily readable spreadsheets, but you find them cumbersome and confusing to create, it’s the program for you.
Google Data Studio helps your data make sense and look good. In an easily understandable format, you can hold your business accountable and see if your digital marketing efforts are panning out.
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