Data is the currency of the modern world. It is what companies have been compiling since they started doing business. These data bundles allow them to predict market demands and trends, and they use the insights to develop the right business strategies.
Today, AI tools have taken over the management of data. After all, the amount of data generated every day today is more than the data generated across the last ten years combined!
But insights from data do not help if people cannot understand it. They also have to work with data in different ways to draw different types of insights.
Google Data Studio has revolutionized the way people interact with data and has changed how to leverage it. Google Data Studio is a platform developed by tech giants Google to help users transform their raw data into dashboards that display insights from data.
Let’s look at what exactly is Google Data Studio and how it is used.
1. Overview of Google Data Studio
Google Data Studio offers a way to visualize data from any source quickly and effortlessly. It is an AI-based tool that is free and highly customizable. It can pull data from multiple sources and turn it into interactive, responsive, and visually appealing dashboards.
Google Data Studio offers insights by gathering key metrics and performance indicators using data visualization. This information helps businesses create strategies and manage risk to predict outcomes and adjust business decisions.
Data Studio comes bundled as a part of the Google Marketing Platform toolkit. The toolkit includes many other marketing and business resources that can be applied to many business functions.
Even though 50% of users have access to business intelligence tools, only 20% use them in any organization. Out of the 20%, we are not sure how many use these tools effectively.
Disheartening, isn’t it?
The reason for this low adaptability is that not everyone is knowledgeable about available data tools, and not every department in every company runs data literacy programs.
So are companies oblivious to this fact? No. They are always searching for tools to fulfill their data insight needs without burning a hole in their pocket. Google Data Studio may just be the correct answer for many small and medium-sized organizations.
2. How to Use Google Data Studio
Here are some of the top actions that can be performed with Google Data Studio:
You can add data from multiple sources and bring them all to a central access point. It is possible to pull data from Google-based sources and other external sources. Some examples of supported data sources are:
Google Search Console
Google My Business
Such a wide range of data sources allows you to draw insights from different digital marketing areas.
Pro tip: Play around a little with this feature to get the hang of it.
Charts are one of the most widely known and easy-to-understand formats for representing data. You can choose the most suitable one from various types of charts available.
Pro tip: You can add and modify data by editing the data column.
Using Themes and Layouts
Data Studio offers a selection of themes and layouts for you to change the look and feel of your dashboard.
This feature becomes quite helpful when you share the dashboard with clients and maintain your brand’s visual identity. You can use your brand’s colors and apply a consistent theme across the organization.
Pro tip: Use different themes for different projects or teams but keep the layout the same to give a sense of uniformity.
The ability to blend data is of the most significant features of Google Data Studio. All you need to do is choose two or more data sources and blend them to get deeper insights.
For example, blending data from Facebook and Bing ads will give you an insight into your paid marketing budget ROI.
Pro tip: Blend complimentary or related data to get a better picture.
This is a pretty straightforward feature – you can add multiple pages to your report.
Pro tip: Name the pages intelligently to find the relevant ones later.
Editing and Viewing Data
This is a neat option that allows you to preview your report. You can see how your final report will look and how others will see it by clicking on the ‘view’ option. You can also add interactive features for other users like Date Range and filter and choose data.
Pro tip: Always preview your reports before sharing them with other users.
While it may seem simple, a Data Range feature allows users to look at data generated between a particular period. This view will enable users to match strategies with outcomes logically.
Pro tip: Use it often as it gives excellent interactability to the reports and helps users compare outcomes.
This option allows users to filter their views as per requirement. It pretty much works like the filter option anywhere else where you can view data that is ‘filtered’ using one parameter.
For example, in a digital marketing report, you may want to filter all users who have spent less than 1 min on the website.
Pro tip: Offer the option in all reports as it increases interactiveness.
A company would typically have different teams, and additional data types would be relevant to them. For example, the web developer team may not be too interested in e-commerce sales data.
By applying the data controls, different users can concentrate and view relevant data and ignore other sources.
Pro tip: Indicate other related data views for users if possible.
You can build reports and share them with multiple teams. You can invite collaborators and even share them with your clients to show them various insights.
It is also possible to download the reports s a PDF.
Pro tip: Test before sharing and always have a backup!
3. Top Features of Google Data Studio
A typical BI solution can only compare the actual status to the planned status of a business strategy and indicate the gaps as found. An AI-enabled platform doesn’t just compare the current position but can also analyze all existing data and predict the potential risk that may crop up down the line.
All businesses continue to face certain common challenges, and top among them are:
It is true that data drives business. However, it is equally valid that data also presents different situations when managing or leveraging it to tackle the above challenges. Needless to say, everyone is looking to find ways to combat these challenges, especially those involving budget restrictions.
With Google Data Studio, you can get:
Business insights to maintain competitive edge and branding
Predictive analysis to optimize costs and improve business outcomes
Easy-to-use, real-time access to source data for deeper insights
Let’s look at what Google Data Studio can do with your data.
Every organization understands that insights from clean and complete data sets are most valuable.
Because it allows the company to leverage multiple sources of data. This flexibility improves the data analytics process and delivers better business outcomes.
Multiple data types and sources make it very difficult to drive any meaningful insight. It makes sense to use a tool to pull data from various sources.
Once the data gets integrated, a dashboard is created to deliver visualizations to different users. It becomes possible to view the data patterns in various views and track the KPIs.
Integrated data gives a complete and transparent view. With increased transparency, business processes also became easier to manage.
Raw data is powerful, but it can only take you so far. Transforming data into more manageable formats before they get turned into visualizations is also very important.
Google Data Studio uses the Explorer tool to further work with the data by adding mathematical functions, dimensions, formulas, and other parameters. You can transform your data, make it more intelligent, and prepare it for analysis.
This aspect is private and is not shared. It is a great place to begin understanding the Studio and learning how data works on the platform.
Data visualizations convey insights drawn from data in a way that is easy to understand and digest for a large segment of users.
It is easy to misinterpret data visualizations, and we usually need an analyst or specialist to summarize precisely what the data represents. The insight is lost in jargon and speculations, and the cycle continues with one constant – all available data is never leveraged efficiently to generate meaningful, actionable insight.
With Google Data Studio, every user can customize the way they see the data, removing all confusion.
This is where a platform like Google Data Studio can make a huge difference. A business user can drag-and-drop components to create a dashboard that works for them. No need to write a complicated query or understand the intricacies of data management!
A typical business has multiple data sources that may be situated across the globe. It may also employ different types of users to access different systems to record, edit, and update data at all times.
To effectively monitor metrics such as KPIs, it is necessary to sync data across all the different systems that record data.
It is critical to have real-time access to all data sets to get an accurate view of how a particular metric is performing. An AI-enabled platform like Google Data Studio can bring in data from various sources, standardize it, and make it available.
With Google Data Studio’s AI, it is possible to go beyond measuring KPIs and work towards reducing operational and financial risk.
4. Benefits of Using Google Data Studio
The most significant function of a business intelligence (BI) tool is its ability to take the data available today and predict outcomes for tomorrow. Such foresight into upcoming market trends is invaluable for any business worth its salt.
But these insights matter only when they are available to decision-makers to develop or change business strategy. Google Data Studio fulfills the need to access accurate and quick data analytics right from the flexible, intuitive, and easy-to-use dashboard.
Data Studio gives you many advantages, and the top ones are listed below.
Ability to Analyze Data from Multiple Sources
You can it to run a deep analysis of your data. You can create different visualizations and reports to understand various performance trends.
You can analyze data like:
social media ROI and budget
competitive market analysis
Monitoring KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
KPIs are the metrics assigned to various strategies or processes. Using Google Data Studio, you can keep an eye on the performance of multiple marketing initiatives and adjust them as needed.
Insights from KPIs inform you of the potential success or risks of following a particular marketing strategy. You get better clarity and keep the wastage of resources and money to a minimum.
Developing Business Strategy
A business can develop better strategies to ensure a competitive edge with better clarity and higher visibility. You can also adjust your strategy in real-time with the help of data collected.
For example, you can quickly stop promoting a campaign that’s doing poorly and immediately switch focus to a better-performing one.
Most small and medium organizations have already realized that they can leverage their data assets to help solve some of these issues. But the tools that promise to do so are either too expensive or do not have enough customizable options.
Some require the user to have significant technical expertise, making businesses willing to leverage their data unable to do so.
With Google Data Studio, such businesses get access to a powerful and flexible BI tool that can help them truly becomes a data-driven enterprise.