Google has released a whole suite of analysis tools in the last year, which will complement classic Google Analytics. The icing on the cake is Google Data Studio, the place where all your data can take shape, and be displayed for an audience. A big point of the tool is that you can easily connect a number of data sources and present them in the same report, everything from Google’s own products to Facebook and your own manual data.
Getting started is simple and free, but there are still things you need to think about. Christofer Fager, head of Marketing Tech at Spoon, shares 8 tips.
1. Make a plan for your presentation
Sure, Data Studio is a tool that encourages creativity. Yet it’s not right to just throw yourself at it and dust off a bunch of graphs. Put aside 10 minutes on a handsketch, where you draw the story you want to tell. Make a square for each report page until you have get the whole picture.
2. Put aside time to create a design template
Google Data Studio has fine presentation features: form, colour, images, and so on. Put aside some time to create all the design elements you need – before you work your way through the whole report. As a result, it will become more unified and you’ll save time from added work later.
3. Be overexplicit and educational
Many analysts like to stuff their report pages with numbers. Many of Data Studio’s ready-made templates look the same. But the audience – the people who are quickly trying to grasp what it’s all about – prefers simplicity. Instead use few graphs per page, with clear points and descriptive headlines. The exception, of course, is a few pages where you want to sum up the whole picture.
4. Lighten up the tables
The tables you recognise from Google Analytics are pretty grey and boring. Data Studio includes several design features to make your tables more colourful, alive and clear. For example, heat maps. Use these when you’re making tables! It pays off every time.
5. Choose the right connector
There are a number of ready-to-use connectors to connect Data Studio to the sources. They’re free. But there are also commercial connectors that you can subscribe to. Third-party developers have developed these connectors. Think carefully whether you truly need such a connector to for instance connect to Facebook.
Maybe it’s better to create a connection between Google Sheets and Facebook instead (and then take the data to Data Studio), considering that each subscription is quite expensive…
6. Get more control of the data with Google Sheets
Google Data Studio is built on you using one data source per diagram. You can’t mix. This creates issues when you for instance want to show goals (data that comes from you) together with results (data from the data source).
You can, however, circumvent this problem by first submitting the data to Google Sheets, where you combine it with whatever other information you wish. After that, you connect Sheets to Data Studio.
7. Make your own calculations
Are you missing data? Keep in mind that you can make your own calculations and create brand new fields for use in the graphs. Maybe then you’ll find exactly the KPI you’re looking for. Google Analytics was the first of its kind to offer a calculation field a few years ago. Consider, however, to make a formula in Data Studio instead, where the interface is much simpler and more intuitive.
8. Embed your reports
So, you don’t want to force your users to log in to Google Data Studio? Why not test embedding the report on a site? You’ll find the code in the top menu, on the right.
Google’s own introduction video gives you a solid overview of the tool.
Will you get started with Google Data Studio?
Google Data Studio is a powerful tool that helps you better understand your content marketing efforts. Spoon’s department for Marketing Tech offers training and reports for Google Data Studio. If you’re interested in that, you can find out more here.