What is Google Data Studio and how will it help your company?


9 September 2021

What is Google Data Studio and how will it help improve your digital marketing strategy?

There are many tools online to help website owners to improve, analyse and report on their digital marketing efforts and website performance. This blog will look at one of our favourites at Varn, Google Data Studio. We will look at what Google Data Studio is, what it can be used for, how it can benefit you and how you can get started using it.


What is Google Data Studio?

Google Data Studio is a free online tool that allows you to build customised reports to visualise data. Data Studio was launched in 2016 and has been out of beta since 2018, allowing anyone with a Google Account to use the tool to create data visualisation reports.  Data studio has many features and benefits, which are outlined in the next section.

Why use Google Data Studio?

Data Studio reports are fully customisable & interactive

The best feature of Google Data Studio is that it is fully customisable, allowing you to create reports bespoke to your brand, KPIs, and reporting requirements. Not only can you customise the look of the reports to match your branding, but you can also change all of the metrics being reported on (and in what format) as well as having the ability to add filters and segments. This means that the reports can be created to include only the data that is most useful to you, and you can ensure that it is presented in an easy-to-read format that meets the needs of your unique business. Data Studio also has the option of making your reports interactive, making reports more engaging, allowing the user to change date ranges, drill down into the data, add filters and better visualise the data.

GDS image

Saves time with Automated Reporting

We all know how time consuming it can be exporting data and creating and formatting reports, but reporting is essential for making smart strategy decisions. This is where Google Data Studio can really help you to save countless hours of reporting time, giving you more time to focus on analysing the data and actioning your strategy. Once you have built your bespoke report, you can set it to update automatically each month or to report with real-time data so that you can easily view and share your routine reports.

As there is a live data connection, your reporting date ranges are also unrestricted. Data Studio allows you to select any date range for which you have data collected.

You can view multiple data sources in one report

Most digital marketing strategies are not limited to one single platform or tool or marketing channel, which can make reporting difficult as you switch between Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook, Linked In, Google Sheets etc. in order to put together an overall report. In fact, Google Data Studio has built-in connections to hundreds of data sources (listed here) and there are options to pay for third-party connectors to link to other platforms.

Google Data Studio allows you to connect to multiple data sources to view statistics from a range of channels and platforms all within a single report. It also allows you to blend data from multiple sources so that you can get a better view of user behaviours and journeys.

GDS Screenshot

Formulas and Calculated Fields

As with an Excel Spreadsheet, Google Data Studio allows users to use formulas to create calculated fields. This lets you transform your data, making it more useful for analysis than raw data. You can perform calculations, create categories, create functions and use if/else logic.

Easy to Share

Google Data Studio makes it easy to share your reports, streamlining the process of collaboration when building reports (you can make changes in real-time), or making it easier to circulate reports to relevant teams and stakeholders once the report is complete. There are several ways to share reports including giving permissions using email addresses, sharing links and scheduling email deliveries. You can also set the level of permissions when sharing reports, stating if you want to give editor or viewer access.

How can Varn help?

It is clear that Google Data Studio has many benefits for visualising data; saving time, improving internal communication and reporting and analysing statistics to make informed digital marketing decisions. So now you know how it can help you, you may be wondering how to begin setting up reports.

Whilst the reports are easy to understand and view and are intuitive, depending on the complexity of the report you want to create, they can be a little bit tricky to set up. However, the experts are Varn can discuss your reporting needs with you and build the reports for your use, or we can help by training your internal team on how to use Google Data Studio and build reports.

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact our friendly team today.

Article by: Katie, Technical SEO Expert More articles by Katie

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