What is Google Data Studio?

Google Data Studio - People Reporting Google Data

Google Data Studio may just be your new favourite thing if you haven’t used it before. Granted, it’s been around for a fair few years but not many people actually know about it. I’ve had more clients asking about it recently and wondering how it can help them when it comes to seeing data in a more visual way.

Reports are useful but let’s be honest, how many people actually read them? Or perhaps your client’s are so confused by all the statistics and jargon that they’re actually of little use. Google Data Studio makes it easier and more aesthetically pleasing with minimal work on your part. Sounds too good to be true, right?

Die Hard Data Fanatic

In a perfect world, you’ll know exactly what data you want to see day by day, week on week, month on month and year by year. You’ll be able to spot spikes, trends and anomalies but finding all of that can actually take a long time. Especially if it’s not the main objective of your role.

Google Data Studio enables you to integrate your Google Analytics and Adword accounts to generate reports on the things that you really want to see. You can select a pre-made template or simply create your own but the great thing is that you can edit and filter to your hearts content. It’s not just about making your report look pretty but it does help! As much as I love Google Docs and Excel spreadsheet, it can sometimes just look like a series of numbers that doesn’t actually mean anything to anyone that you’re presenting to.

Google Data Studio Templates

Google Data Studio allows multi-access to reports without anyone actually messing the report up. So you can select dates and filters similar to how you would in Google Analytics or you can view the report in real-time. You may not be able to dig quite as far as you can with Google Analytics but seeing the surface level stats in a more concise and functional way is more helpful for everyone.

You can also integrate different data sources, not just Google Analytics but other Google Programs and also a few third party sources; Woo Commerce, Facebook Ads, Facebook Insights, LinkedIn Ads to name just a few. Once you’ve added the data source and chosen a template or created your own, you can go crazy with adding what you’d like to see or what your client wants to see. This could be fairly straight forward, looking at comparisons of users on a site from one time period to the next.

The thing that I like the most about Data Studio is the visual aspects; graphs, charts, maps, bold numbers, increases, decreases. It’s not only more appealing to the eye, it’s easier to follow when presenting to someone who really wants to see trends, positives and negatives.

Google Data Studio Integration

The main thing to do with Google Data Studio is playing around and familiarising yourself with the filters that you should already be accustom to in Analytics, Adwords, etc. You can change the chart style, colours, theme and more. Once you’re used to it, I’d recommend saving it as a template so that it’s easier to input the data for the next report, whether that’s daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly. It will save so much time and be easily accessible to your client/management.

Google Data Studio Demographics Report

The Downsides of Data Studio

I’m a big lover of Google Data Studio and have been for a while now, but that doesn’t mean to say it’s as amazing as I make it seem. It’s actually quite limited when it comes to integration. It could save everyone time when it comes to reports and I’m sure more people would use it if it had more functionality.

Unfortunately, many of the third-party integrations are limited and also will cost you. There’s a few exceptions but if they’re not owned by Google, you’ll probably have to pay for the privilege. It is saving you a lot of time when it comes to reporting after all.

It’s kind of a shock that Google doesn’t promote the possibilities of reports in Data Studio more and although it’s been around for quite some time, even now many people don’t know about it. I really do recommend trying it for yourself though, if like me you love seeing trends in data, it’s just that little more exciting than using Google Analytics alone.

Is Google Data Studio Worth Using?

The short answer is yes! The long answer is it really depends on what you would like to see. Don’t collect data just for the sake of it. If you truly want to see the peaks and troughs in your organic traffic, the rise in conversions from your Google Ads or user behaviour in graphs, charts and more, then use it. It also depends greatly on whether you’re using it for yourself or for someone else, Google Data Studio is a great tool if you’re presenting to a client/manager/senior staff because it’s user friendly.

If you think Google Data Studio could be beneficial for your business but you’re not sure where to start, then contact us and our SEO partner will be able to help.

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