January 14th 2020
Google’s dashboard tool, Data Studio, allows marketers, business analysts, data analysts, and senior-level managers to view data from several sources in one place. It’s a tool within the same realms as Datorama or Tableaux, although Google gives it to you for free, providing you are only connecting other Google sources. Other costs are associated when you have the need to bring in data sources from elsewhere, such as Facebook or Adobe but you pay for third party applications here, not to Google directly, but more on that topic in another post.
Google Data Studio – The Basics:
Data Studio is a cloud based platform which lets you ad widgets such as single figure scorecards, tables, pie charts, and others from linked data sources.
Important Features To Know About:
Data Sources – The information sources that need to be connected to your Data Studio dashboard
Widgets – These are the things you’ll add to your dashboard in order to display data, widgets can range from single metric ‘scorecards’, text only widgets, or tables containing multiple dimensions and metrics.
Filters – This is the option to filter certain bits of information from a single widget or a dashboard, this is handy if you want to provide information on a specific piece of activity, such as cost of a single keyword, or ad group.
Styling – Every dashboard or individual widget can be styled according to your requirements, you can bring in your brand’s colour scheme, font, change the font size, and other individual widget styling features. You can find styling on the right side when you are in edit mode.
Let’s say you are running marketing campaigns across paid search, display advertising through the Google display network, and video advertising across YouTube. GDS allows you to connect your Google Ads account to your GDS account seamlessly, from there, you can create widgets and tables to display various metrics and dimensions as you choose and slice up the data according to the parameters that you would like to set.
Connecting a data source – Google lets you connect seamlessly to a number of different platforms that are also within their suite of products:
If you are signed in to the same account in GDS and the same one you want to connect, then simply follow the prompts, name your data source and away you go, you can then add your data source to a working data studio dashboard and add your widgets.
Filtering Your Widgets
In this particular example, want to connect your Google Ads account to bring in the cost search, video, and display. You could add a single widget and allocate the metric ‘cost’ to this widget. By default, this will give you the cost for the whole account, rather than split into those various campaign type categories. Now as all of this data is housed within a single Google Ads account (presuming that it is) you’ll need to filter that scorecard widget to show costs that relate to the campaign type of search, display, or video. In order to do this, you’ll need to filter the widget so that it only includes one of these types. To do this, you would need to click the widget and scroll down the right side, then add a filter to the widget:
From there, you can add any rule you require in order to filter the widget, in this case, we’ll add a filter to only include campaigns types that include display:
Once you’ve created the filter once, that’s it, you can use it for any widget moving forward, check that it works and away you go!
Data Studio Pro’s – GDS makes it extremely simple to build a nice looking dashboard to share with internal stakeholders or customers/clients. Naturally it works very well with other Google products and allows seamless integration between them all.
Data Studio Con’s – The flip side of the above is that other data sources become a little bit more complicated to add, Facebook being the most obvious one. It’s possible, it just means you have to utilise Google Sheets more with 3rd party tools.
For more information on Google Data Studio, you can visit the official website here.