When logging into Google Data Studio, you will notice several default chart options available for your visualization needs. From bar charts to pie charts, scatter plots to bullet charts, there are many ways to slice and dice your data. Heat maps, however, are not one of the standard chart types.
A heat map, as Stephen Few describes, “uses variations in colour to represent variations in quantity.” These types of charts can be useful to visualize changes in metrics for periods of time. Perhaps you want to visualize popular conversion times on your website during the week. Or maybe see the seasonality of visitors to your site.
Whatever the case, heat maps are a great way to visualize these changes—you may have even noticed this type of chart on the Google Analytics home page, displaying the number of users by time of day for your site! Here’s how you can recreate this chart type in Google Data Studio:
Creating Heat Maps in Data Studio
- Once connected to your Google Analytics data, create a new pivot table. This chart type allows you to visualize a metric broken down by two or more unique dimensions.
- Adjust the Data tab settings for your pivot table to reflect the data you would like to display. To view the trend of sessions for the work week, as we have below, you would:
- Add Day of Week as the Row Dimension.
- Add Hour as the Column Dimension.
- Add Sessions as the Metric.
- Adjust the Sorting to ensure the data displays as desired.
- Filter the data as necessary. In this example, we have filtered to show data for Monday-Friday, 9AM-5PM.
- On the Style tab for your chart:
- Change the Metric #1 setting from Number to Heatmap. This will transform your pivot table into a heat map!
- Adjust the colour beside the metric as necessary.
The below sample heatmap chart looks at the trend of sessions throughout the workweek for Google’s Merchandise Store:
Let us know what you are creating heat maps for in Data Studio!
Complete list of posts in our 2018 edition 12 Days of Data Studio series:
1. ClickInsight Data Viz Gallery
2. Comparing Multiple GA Segments on a Chart in Data Studio
3. Exporting to PDF from Data Studio
4. Using Bookmarks Links in Data Studio
5. Keyboard Shortcuts for Data Studio
6. Creating Heat Maps in Google Data Studio (this post)
7. Using Charts as Interactive Filters in Data Studio
8. Creating Diverging Bar Charts in Data Studio
9. Creating Thumbnail Images of Data Studio Reports
10. Embedding URLs in Data Studio
11. Open Source Community Connectors for Data Studio
12. Create Custom Charts with Data Studio Community Visualizations