Our review of google data studio

You can quickly publish nicely laid out dashboards

The primary benefit is the rapid delivery of working dashboards. It is a time saver for a web analyst, and gets web data into the hands of the business user.

Someone who uses Google Data Studio can produce a dashboard with only a few hours of effort.

Google Data Studio uses Google Drive to publish dashboards which makes it easy to share among collaborators with a moderate degree of data integrity.

How do you feed and maintain the data to your dashboard?

Google data connectors give access to data. Among its offerings, services such as of Google Analytics, Adwords, YouTube, and DoubleClick each have a connector. Additional data connectors support Google database as well as remote databases. Google Spreadsheets and uploaded files are also supported.

Keeping the databases and spreadsheets up to date is the ongoing activity for the web analyst. You’d want to automate that as much as possible.

Data Cleanup and Conversion is the first step

You start with a specification for how data is to be converted. Things that you know about at the start include:

  • Which range of days and frequency of the reporting periods for which you need data
  • Which dimensions to use, and which ones need their terminology replaced with better names (search/replace)
  • Custom math operations
  • Custom analysis, such as comparisons with previous periods

The backbone of analysis is comparison, trends, and outliers.

  • Which dimensional values to create subtotals for, and should it be sum, percent-of, min, max, average.
  • Multi-period comparisons, showing actuals, previous, percent of, net change, growth
  • Trends, across the days, weeks, months, quarters, and years in your reporting period.
  • Segment comparisons, how two or more dimensions relate (cohorts and distributions)
  • Data blending and joining, integrating data from multiple queries and sources.

The goal is to identify which dimensions are improving, and which have outlier data points need attention. This is what business intelligence tools do well.


How do you do this with Google Data Studio?

You have a range of options, and you can use any of these on a per connector basis.

  1. If you are using a Google service, then you probably will choose to use one of Google’s own specialized connectors;
    1. Google Analytics
    2. Adwords
    3. Doubleclick
    4. YouTube
    5. File Upload
  2. If data volume is high, then GDS expects you to use a database and a query language such as SQL;
  3. If the volume of data is low, then GDS expects that you can implement Business Rules with Google Spreadsheet;
  4. GDS itself can support conditional logic that can convert data using GDS specific script language

As a bonus, if you find any of these choices difficult, you can use NEXT Analytics to analyze your data and provide easily consumable data to Google Data Studio. For the low cost and great support, it often makes sense to do this.

How does NEXT Analytics Software Add Value?

NEXT Analytics is an engine that connects to and downloads data many data useful sources, more than the connectors provided by Google.

  • Google Analytics
  • Adwords
  • Bing
  • Facebook Ads
  • Facebook Pages and Posts and Groups and Domains
  • Facebook Insights
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

NEXT Analytics downloads data to your computer, has built-in search/replace of dimension values, and a very powerful numeric engine. It can fully automate the conversion of raw data to business intelligence delivered in a Google Data Studio dashboard.

Plus, you get support and years of satisfied customers, which means you can go forward with confidence knowing you won’t hit any hard-to-resolve situations.