Looking to draw deeper insights from your data, but don’t know where to start? Google Data Studio’s Explorer creates a virtual sandbox, allowing you to dig into the data, draw insights, and create beautiful visualizations—all in one experience.
You may wonder why you should use the Explorer rather than simply creating a report, and adding various charts to see what works best. While it may not be obvious at first, there are several key features that distinguish the two.
Key Differences Between Explorer and Reports
- A Unified Experience
If you are familiar with building reports in Data Studio, you have likely experienced the frustration of having to switch between Edit and View modes, which can take time to fully load. In Explorer, however, users have the ability to create and update charts, interact with them, and play around with filters within the same screen.
- Quick Filtering
Explorer makes adding filters to data even easier with its single-panel experience. Simply click the View icon, drag and drop a dimension or metric into the top panel, and click the dimension/metric to view your filtering options—no need to flip between Edit and View screens. Filters in Explorer work like the Filter Control option in Data Studio reports.
- Temporary Exploration
Unlike Reports, everything created in the Explorer is temporary in nature. As such, the Explorer simply acts as a place for brainstorming and testing, allowing users to dive into the data before having to worry about report formatting such as fonts, colours, or chart alignment. If users wish to retain the work, they will need to manually save the Explorer sheet. If you wish to share your work with others, you can export your explorations to a Report.
How to Use Data Studio’s Explorer
- Locate the Explorer
Once logged in, navigate to the Explorer tab located in the Data Studio control panel on the home page
- Add a Data Source
Using the + Add a Data Source, add a data source to explore.
Once a data source is added, you can toggle between the Selection and View options at the top. View allows you to apply multi-select filters, as if you were in View mode of standard reports, while Selection Mode allows you to move and change the report.
- Copy to a Report
Once you are satisfied with a chart, exporting it to a report is easy: navigate to the export button in the top right corner and select Create new report or Copy to existing report.
How are you using the Data Explorer feature? Let us know in the comments below!