Are you tired of wrangling your Google Analytics data into presentable reports and dashboards?
Do you spend hours and hours exporting, filtering, and formatting your data?
Do you wish you could spend less time building reports and more time finding insights?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then Google Data Studio is for you!
Here are 7 reasons that you should use Data Studio with Google Analytics:
1. It’s free… and now unlimited!
- Data Studio is free for everyone, and you can now create and share as many reports as you need!
- Before today, it was free but you could only create 5 reports. Today, Google removed the 5 report limit and access is now unlimited.
2. Customize the appearance of your reports and dashboards
- Data Studio gives you a blank canvas on which you can create single-page dashboards or multi-page reports. There are no fixed column sizes or widget areas. You can literally drag-and-drop items anywhere on the canvas.
- The formatting and style options allow you to match your organization’s branding and colours. This makes it easier to create professional-looking reports for managers, directors, and executives in your organization.
- The built-in charts provide more options to visualize data than are available within Google Analytics. You can choose from bar, line, pie, and area charts, scatterplots, bullet graphs, and geo maps. Each chart takes only a few clicks to create.
3. Combine data from different views and sources
- One limitation of viewing data within Google Analytics is that there is no way to combine data from multiple views or properties on the same dashboard. In Data Studio, you can set the data source individually for each chart. This lets you pull together data from any number of views on the same dashboard.
- Data Studio has a variety of data connectors in addition to Google Analytics. You can bring in data directly from AdWords, DCM (DoubleClick Campaign Manager), BigQuery, or YouTube. You can connect to MySQL or Cloud SQL databases. Or you can use the Google Sheets connector to access any data that can be uploaded as a CSV or spreadsheet file, such a social media or call centre data.
4. Create calculated dimensions and metrics
- Is your page data fragmented by URL parameters, login tokens, or other “noise” that creates multiple rows for the same page in GA? Using calculated fields in Data Studio, you can clean up and aggregate your page data retroactively. (Note that you will need to recalculate any ratio or average metrics like bounce rate and avg. session duration.)
- Calculated fields can also be used to cleanup inconsistent campaign parameters, for instance upper and lowercase versions of the same medium (e.g. email, Email, EMAIL)
- A calculated field can be used to create a customized channel grouping. Currently, there are limitations on where you can use custom channel groupings within Google Analytics, and they cannot be extracted via the API. In Data Studio, you can use a CASE function to specify all the rules for your desired custom grouping.
- And of course, you can create calculated metrics in Data Studio without being limited to only a certain number per view.
5. Break the 12-widget limit
- Google Analytics allows you to add a maximum of 12 widgets to a dashboard. With Data Studio, you can add as many charts and tables as your heart desires!
6. Share reports easily
- Just like a Google Doc, you can share a Data Studio report with anyone by sending them a link. You can also share reports with specific people and set View and Edit permissions accordingly.
- Users who want to interact with Google Analytics data no longer have to have login to Google Analytics, and learn which reports to go to to find the data that will answer their questions. Once you’ve figured out the questions you want answered regularly, create reports to serve this up regularly to you, with the typical filters and breakdowns that are meaningful to you.If you need help setting this up, let us know. We can help you set these up.
7. Avoid GA Reporting API restrictions
- The Google Analytics API limits you to 7 dimensions and 10 metrics in a single API request. Since Data Studio doesn’t use the API, you don’t have to worry about this limit. Once you connect to your GA property, you will have access to all of your GA data at once.
As they say, the best time to have started using Data Studio was 9 months ago. The next best time is today!
So what are you waiting for? Get started with Data Studio now at datastudio.google.com. Tutorials are available on the site.
Let us know if there are any specific aspects of Data Studio you would be interested in learning more about!
If you’ve never seen Data Studio in action, you might find it worthwhile to watch this webinar replay with Google Product Manager Nick Mihalovski, titled “How to Use Google Data Studio (beta) for Data Reporting, Visualization, and Collaboration”. Registration is required with the Digital Analytics Association to view the webinar, which is free to members and non-members.