Google Data Studio (GDS) is a great and free data visualization tool. Google Data Studio lets you build fantastic interactive and customized dashboards for modern reporting.
Several features of the Google Data Studio features are easy to use and allows for comprehensive sharing and to send out scheduled reports to stakeholders.
Google Data Studio has far more features than Google Analytics. It also lets you integrate other data sources to show more in-depth KPI reports. This allows you to create reports across various channels rather than just sharing website data from Analytics.
At this current moment, they offer access from around 800+ data sets from over 440 connectors. This makes Google Data Studio a great visualization tool for both companies and agencies.
Read more: What the best practices are for sharing KPI's internally
What are the benefits of using Google Data Studio?
The reason why GDS is such an efficient visualization tool is because of the numerous and vast features and data connectors. We will mention some key features that are important to know further down the article.
Here are benefits worth mentioning;
- Live data connection and access to over 400+ data sources
- Dynamic controls with report and page level filters
- Full control over customization of reports and visuals, including elements such as adding as many pages, charts, and graphs as you wish
- Advanced formulas such as calculated metrics and fields
How to use Google Data Studio
Data sources and connectors
Google Data Studio has already built-in over 400+ data sources which are ready to be used in a few clicks. This will eliminate the need to add data every single day or having to schedule data refreshes for your reports.
What does it mean to have a "live data source"? It means that you are not limited in terms of the data range you can look at. Depending on how far back your data goes, you can use any date range that satisfies your reporting needs.
People that work with generating reports know the value of having features that give them the opportunity to add their own branding, colors, and other customization elements to their dashboards.
You can use pre-filled themes or create a custom theme based on your own preferences and branding. You can also add images instead of colors which lets you flex your creative muscles. You have the opportunity to add a wide array of pie, line, and bar charts. In addition, you can also structure page layout, size, alignment as well as conditional formatting.
One of the main reasons why people love Google Data Studio is because of the dynamic control feature. That gives them the significant ability to slice and dice their data without having to update the report itself.
You have the ability to insert dynamic controls so viewers can filter through the content with different dimensions and date range selectors as well as excluding content with filters so that you can show exactly what you wish to do.
With the feature of advanced formulas, Google Data Studio goes from being a simple visualization tool to giving you the ability to transform your data as needed. This will allow for providing a more powerful report that has many details.
Read more: 5 tools that every modern CTO needs in 2021
Google Data Studio is not a business intelligence tool
One thing that is worth knowing is that Google Data Studio is not a business intelligence tool such as Power BI, Tableau, and others. While the tool is effective in terms of visualization and can produce in-depth reports, there are limitations. For deeper analyses into the numbers and what's behind them, you still do need a business intelligence tool. Google Data Studio is probably more geared towards marketers than business analysts.
Why Use Google Data Studio?
Google Data Studio integrates data from a variety of sources for reporting and analysis; share dashboards like you do Google Drive files, filter data at the report/page/chart level, and brand dashboards to your company, etc. If you are looking for a comprehensive, yet simple tool to visualize your data, Google Data Studio is a good tool to start with.
All in all, Google Data Studio is a great and versatile visualization tool that you can use to create reports and dashboards. Perhaps best of all you can use it for free while other vendors may only offer a freemium option, with GDS you get access to all features and functionality.
The tool is perfect if you want to start to create reports both for internal and external use. Check it out for yourself and see what the possibilities are.