Interactive filters are a great way to allow your report users to explore and answer questions on their own. How does my campaign perform on mobile? Can I see the conversion rate from paid search? What volume of sales is from returning customers? Rather than creating different pages and charts for every possible permutation, filters allow your reports and dashboards to be much more dynamic and effective.
In Data Studio, you can add interactive filter controls for just about any dimension in your data source. Controls come in several different types, providing flexibility for a variety of filtering use cases. However, just looking at the list of available controls, it may not be obvious when you should use each type. Input box? Advanced filter? Slider? In this post, we will take you through each type of control and demonstrate how to use it as a filter in Data Studio.
Adding a Filter Control to Your Report
- Click to “Add a control” from the toolbar.
- Select the desired type of control. Then add the control by clicking on your report canvas.
- In the properties panel, select the dimension that you wish to filter on as the Control field.
- Configure other data and style options as desired in the properties panel.
Types of Filter Controls
Let’s go through each type of filter control and demonstrate a potential use case. Click through each image or link below to view the interactive report in Data Studio:
A drop-down list is probably the most commonly-used type of filter control. As the name suggests, it creates a drop-down menu of values for a selected dimension. A drop-down list control allows multiple selections by default, but can be configured as single-select. Here’s an example with multiple drop-down filters:
A fixed-size list control is a variation of the drop-down list. Instead of being collapsed into a drop-down menu, all the dimensions values are shown as an expanded list. Here’s an example with 2 fixed-size filters, where the first is set as single-select:
The input box is essentially a search box. A user can enter a value into the text field to filter the report. When you configure the input box, you can set the search type as Equals, Contains, Starts with, In, or Regex. In this example, the input control allows you to filter a Page table with a “contains” match, similar to how you may filter your All Pages report in Google Analytics:
The advanced filter control works the same way as the input box, except the user can choose the match type themselves:
Slider controls can be used to filter a report based on a numeric dimension. The slider lets the user choose the range of values to include in the report. In this example, we use Days to Transaction and Count of Sessions as filters on a table of ecommerce data:
Checkbox controls can be used to filter on a boolean dimension. This control acts like a switch and is best used to toggle between two segments that do not overlap. That said, we had difficulty coming up with a common use case for this checkbox control as a filter. The drop-down and fixed-size list controls are generally better options when you want to have a checkbox for each value, even for boolean dimensions.
Here is a proof-of-concept example that uses a checkbox filter to show or hide a “last month” comparison. Rather than the native date range comparison, this report uses 2 separate charts so that the checkbox can filter the prior month chart.
How do you use filter controls in Data Studio? Do the available filter options meet your needs? Let us know in the comments below!
Complete list of posts in our 2020 Data Studio series:
1. Visualizing the COVID-19 Pandemic in Google Data Studio
2. Creating a Google Analytics Dashboard in One Click
3. Using Google Maps in Data Studio
4. Visualizing BigQuery Public Datasets in Data Studio
5. Measuring Web Vitals – Part 2: Monitoring in Data Studio
6. Using Parameters in Data Studio
7. How to Style Links in Data Studio
8. Using Filter Controls in Data Studio (this post)
9. Extracting a Theme from an Image in Data Studio
10. Building a Google Analytics 4 Dashboard in Data Studio
11. How to Convert Text to Dates in Google Data Studio
12. 12 Tips for Enhancing Your Tables in Data Studio