Google Data Studio is a feature-rich and powerful tool. However, most marketers use only a few features. A part of the reason is not many would have the time to explore all available options. Hence, we decided to put together Google Data Studio tips to help marketers and analysts.
This article covers advanced tips for marketing analysts to help them uncover rich insights hiding in their campaign data. Although this is for advanced users, beginners in Data Studio can also hone their skills with a few of the features listed here.
No matter whether you are a beginner or advanced user, try out these features first on a dummy template. Once you are confident, move to the real business template.
Advanced tips to better use Google Data Studio
1. How to use date range filters in Google Data Studio?
As a marketer, you would want to evaluate campaign performance over a specific period. Date range filters allow you to group data by dates. However, data sources must have a date dimension to apply this filter.
How to add a date range filter?
- Select the icon, mark on the report where you want the filter added.
- Click on the ‘Data’ tab, under the date range properties panel.
- Use the default date range selection.
- Use the ‘Style’ tab to change the appearance.
- Select a range from various options or choose a custom range.
By default, the date range filter applies to every element on the page. Here’s how you can limit the filter to either a single element or a group, to apply it to specific elements.
- Select elements you want to group.
- Right-click on the set, and select “Group”. You may also do it through Arrange.
- To apply the date filter, click on the icon and select the widgets.
You can also add the date range filter to multiple pages
- Select the date range control icon.
- Under ‘Align’, select the ‘Make report level menu.
2. How to add multiple pages?
Google Data Studio lets you add multiple pages to a single report. For example, a paid campaign report can have different pages for Facebook ads, Google ads, and so on. The pages can also be customized for different levels of detail. A campaign manager might want to know which creative performed well, but a CEO would be interested in marketing spends and ROI. You can also build a paid campaigns dashboard for different stakeholders with various data points.
You can add a page in two ways – by clicking on Add a page option in the toolbar below the menu or through the ‘New Page’ option under ‘Page’ in the top menu.
After creating the page, you can change the Data Sources and Style with options under ‘Current Page Settings’. Click on ‘Select Data Source’ to see available data sources and add them to the report.
At times, duplicating a page could help you save time by carrying over certain elements from the original page. You can do this by clicking on the ‘Duplicate Page’ under the ‘Page’ option on the menu.
Pro-tip: Label your pages as soon as you create them, lest you end up duplicating effort or getting confused.
3. How to add blended data fields in Data Studio?
Data Studio allows you to blend data from up to four different sources. However, the data sources must have a common data point. Without a common dimension or ‘join key’, you cannot blend dissimilar data from different sources.
If the fields contain the same type of data but have dissimilar names (say, clicks, impressions, CTR) across sources, combining them is relatively easy. Just start with a primary data source and add others to it.
4. How to blend data from multiple sources in Data Studio?
Under ‘Resource’ select ‘Manage blended data’.
Next, add a secondary source with at least one common dimension as a ‘join key’.
After selecting ‘join key’, click Save on the bottom right of the screen.
Now you are ready to start adding data to the report and create charts.
5. How to create calculated fields in Data Studio?
Calculated fields are essentially combinations of multiple dimensions or metrics, united by a formula.
For example, the formula REGEXP_MATCH() returns a specific value if X matches Y, or CONCAT() can be used to combine text strings.
Here’s you can do it:
- Edit your data source.
- Add a new field by clicking on the blue ‘+’ button above the ‘Field’ column, and name the field.
- Enter the formula for the new dimension or metric.
- Create the field.
Now you can apply the calculated field to a row of data within a chart.
Please note that Calculated field formulae use Functions or Arguments syntaxes.
- Functions are for formulas with mathematical equations, logical comparison, text strings, and more. A formula can itself use multiple functions.
- Arguments tell functions to act upon a certain condition or command.
The entire range of Functions can be found in Data Studio Help.
6. How do you change the layout and add a theme?
You can change layout and themes easily on Google Data studio. For both, either you can pick from the set of default options available, or tweak them to match your purpose/preference.
Simple and Simple Dark are the default themes in Google Data Studio. You can change it by exploring various theme options available in the right-hand-side bar. Else, you can customize it based on your brand colors.
7. How to combine several Google Analytics properties in Data Studio?
With multiple Google Analytics properties, and perhaps under different accounts, creating a single comprehensive report could be a challenge.
Data Studio’s blended data feature can address it with ease. It can import data from different sources, properties, platforms, and accounts into a single report. You can find it under ‘Resource’ in the top navigation bar.
8. How to embed reports in existing Data Studio templates?
This is one Google Data Studio tip that can make your report interesting.
You may want to embed live reports from various other sources, Google Sheets, web pages, or YouTube. The URL embed feature helps you do it. Moreover, you can also embed video from YouTube if you want to share in your report.
Steps to embed reports in Google Data Studio
- Click ‘Insert’ in the top navigation bar and select ‘URL embed’.
- Select the area, create a placeholder on the dashboard
- Paste the URL
This is one Google Data Studio tip that can make your report interesting.
9. How to use Data Studio connectors?
While you easily connect and import data from Google’s platforms, connectors can help you fetch data from other platforms. Windsor.ai has a whole range of connectors and data integration options to this end. You can connect Data Studio to various sources like:
- Social media platforms
- Ad networks
- Payment solutions
- Content management solution
- CRM platforms
- Databases and data warehouses
10. How do you customize data visualization?
If you are an advanced user or a beginner, here’s one of the most popular Google Data Studio tips you will surely find useful.
You would want the reports to carry your brand elements. Also, various stakeholders would want different views of data. Usually, such requests need a developer, but not in Google Data Studio.
You can pick one from Windsor.ai’s various data studio templates. For any advanced level of customization, you can get a few minutes of your developer’s time. Alternatively, you can learn it yourself on Community Visualization Codelab by giving it some time.
Also read: Why we use Google’s data studio templates
11. How do you use metric sliders to filter data?
While adding data, switching on the metric sliders button helps you filter data by value range. For example, you may want to check data for a given range, or you may want to check CPM for a certain number of views. Adding metric sliders helps you slice and dice data to draw better insights.
12. How to add reference lines in the Data Studio report?
Reference lines in Data Studio charts show how the data in this chart compares to a value. These can be either horizontal or vertical lines. You can add as many as 10 reference lines to every chart.
With reference lines, you can better analyze time series, line, bar and column charts, scatter and area charts. For instance, a reference line can help you track the increase in sessions to track the impact of SEO efforts.
How do start using these Google Data Studio tips?
These features allow users to fully tap into the strengths of Google Data Studio. Learning it by doing will help you remember these tips better. So, sign up for a free trial now!