We all know that in the world of digital marketing, data is undoubtedly one of the most important things, right? It gives you valuable and practical information about the market, customers, competitors, and everything else so that you can develop more efficient plans & work towards your goals.
Today we have more access to data than ever, making it completely overwhelming to make practical use of this information for your business. This is why Data Visualization is an essential tool in the digital marketing toolbelt. It will keep you organized and turn seemingly random data into structured and valuable insights for your business.
But Data Visualization is no walk in the park! It is a tiring and challenging task, so tools like Data Studio exist to make your life easier.
Google Data Studio is a powerful tool for building reports and dashboards that you can use to analyze, present, and make smarter decisions.
What is Google Data Studio (GDS)?
Google Data Studio is a free tool for designing visually appealing, customizable, interactive, and responsive dashboards. It has a user-friendly interface that can help you in data visualization.
It is a Business Intelligence (BI) tool that helps businesses turn raw data into actionable information. Google Data Studio gathers metrics and indicators that help make decisions and strategies, allowing businesses to take fewer risks and achieve their objectives.
GDS is part of the Google Marketing Platform toolbox that helps small and large businesses by making it easier to analyze and manage data. Google Data Studio’s first free version was released in October 2018, and data Studio was previously known as Google Data Studio 360.
7 Reasons to use Google Data Studio
1. You Can Connect Multiple Data Sources
Someone who starts using GDS would think that Google Data Studio is a decent alternative to Google Analytics’ standard interface. While it can import Google Analytics data, it can do SO MUCH more.
Whether you’re reporting on social media, SEO, or Google Ads with Google Data Studio, you can easily do so by connecting multiple data sources. Within a single dashboard, you can import data from various sources like Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Search Console, YouTube Analytics, SQL, etc.
It also allows you to connect 3rd party apps, which can help you collect more real-time data. You can connect apps like:
- Facebook Ads and Insights and much more.
2. It’s Easy to Customize
So you’ve got all your data connected…now what? Well, it’s time to bring some order to the mix. You’ve got all the tools you need to easily customize your Google Data Studio dashboard – and let me tell you, there are little to no limits! Some of the customization tools include:
- Add and text editing
- Customization for easy emailing and printing.
- Create vivid data visualizations using bar graphs, pie charts, and more
- Change the colors according to your taste, giving it a personalized look.
- Easy interface to drag and drop different elements within the dashboard.
- Ability to extract data from numerous sources and report on important KPIs for your company’s ROI.
Users can use Google Data Studio to design custom reports with various designs, styles, graphs, and formatting options. Otherwise, you can start from scratch and create a unique reporting style (just like you are! :P). You can customize a page layout, text, metrics, graphs, etc.
Power users can really make this their own. Here are a few examples of dashboards that really stand out:
(Add, style texts & fonts as per your taste)
(Manage filters and formatting options as per your choice)
(custom reports with various designs, styles, graphs & charts)
3. Effortless Sharing & Collaboration
GDS’s sharing feature is a huge time saver. You can give your team access, designate permissions, and allow them to view and interact with any dashboard in real-time. If you like it the old-school way, you can save and share the dashboard as a PDF. With the feature, you can do things like:
- Assign permissions and grant access.
- Edit and save in real-time
- Make a copy of your dashboard
- Email or print the dashboard
Report sharing and collaboration features in Google Data Studio can help you communicate more effectively with your colleagues and business partners. You can also choose between the viewer or editor access and share your reports via Link sharing, Email permissions, etc.
4. You Can Build Interactive Reports in Real-time
Your dashboard becomes a living tool that you can slice and dice as you see fit. You can create an exciting and visually stunning dashboard that will “wow” your clients and audience in clicks.
Not only do they look nice, but you can also incorporate interactive features that allow the report user to do things like:
- Changing the date range
- Applying various filters
- Sort by various metrics
- Drill down into the data
Data Studio reports can be broken down to 20 pages, showcasing the flexibility and customization of Google Data Studio. It adjusts to your company’s specific requirements, making data sharing a stress-free experience. And a bonus is that you can change the layout of your report as per your need whenever, wherever!
To make each report simple to read & analyze. You can modify the fonts, colors, themes, sizes, etc. You can add up to 10 widgets to each page. This allows you, your team members & clients a 360-degree view of your campaign.
Remember, the dashboard will always be up to date every time you log in. And the best part is, that you can create fully automated reporting dashboards with real-time data with GDS.
You can also use filtering to see the specific data set you to need to report on. You use filters like User Type, Date, etc., to segregate your data according to your need.
5. It’s Easy to Drill-Down into the Data
The drilling down feature simply allows you to show more levels of detail within a chart. Let’s try to understand it like this. Assume you wish to report on sessions by country and city. Instead of including two charts in your report, you can include a single chart with the drill-down feature.
As you enable this feature, you can:
- Drill down from a greater level of detail to a lower level (e.g., from Country to City).
- Drill up from a lower level of detail to a greater level (e.g., from City to Country).
Drill-down charts may make your reports more interactive, minimize the number of separate charts required, and make it easier to identify insights at different levels of the data
6. It is absolutely free
Yes, you heard it right! Google Data Studio is available for free! Google is doing an incredible job of creating tools to make our jobs easier & more efficient without burning a hole in our pockets.
7. Use free templates
Not an expert on Google Analytics or reporting in general? It’s okay; we get it, which is why GDS is perfect for you. Google Data Studio includes pre-made ready-to-use templates to assist you with your reports.
It includes templates for Google Analytics, YouTube, Google Ads, and many other services. It even has themes for certain businesses, such as eCommerce. This feature makes it perfect for making reporting simple and quick.
How does Google Data Studio work?
Let’s take a look at how this tool works in real life. We’ll go over everything you need to know to get the most out of Google Data Studio.
To simplify it, you can understand it like this:
- The platform gathers data from several platforms so that you can make graphs, tables, and other visual representations.
- You can then work with metrics and parameters to design dashboards based on your objectives.
- After that, you can share them with other users.
Google Data Studio’s features are divided into four categories:
- Integration: Google Data Studio collects all the information from various platforms and consolidates it using data connectors.
- Transformation: Google Data Studio tries to turn unstructured data into simpler parts & meaningful information that can be used to create graphs and tables.
- Visualisation: Data visualization uses raw data to create reports and dashboards. Here, the information is explained through graphs, charts, maps, etc.
- Data sharing: You may exchange data and reports with Google Data Studio. Depending on the level of access you’ve set, you can invite other users to see or change the dashboards. Others can work on the same reports collaboratively.