Google Data Studio: pros and Cons
For marketers and entrepreneurs, web analytics has always been formidable. It can be difficult to obtain professional, thorough, and easy-to-read reports. Downloading Google Analytics data and putting it into Excel spreadsheets to generate charts is a common method of reporting. Is this something you’ve heard before? All of that is no longer a problem owing to a powerful new product from Google: Data Studio, a free data visualization and reporting tool that allows you to build comprehensive and easy-to-understand professional reports.
As the best digital marketing consultant in India, I prefer using Google Data Studio as it makes the job lot easier and simpler. Storing data on excel was a tedious job for many but Google Data Studio saved us.
Data Studio is a free Google application that allows users to create custom or bespoke reports using data from Google’s marketing services as well as data from other sources. It’s a reporting tool for Google Analytics customers that wish to go beyond the basics.
Google Data Studio was originally included in the Google Analytics 360 suite. Since 2017, it has been a completely free and unlimited service.
What can you do with Google Data Studio?
You’ll have many options for creating reports, live data, and interactive controls using Data Studio. In terms of data visualization, it’s a tool that will let you go a little farther than Google Analytics. Data Studio is just an amplified version of the Google Analytics dashboard, which is severely limited in features.
You’ll have a lot of options for developing reports using Data Studio, and you’ll have everything you need to turn data into accurate and intelligible reports. Customization options, live data, and interactive controls are all available with this tool. Google tools such as Analytics, AdWords, Search Console, and YouTube are among the data sources. You may even import data from Google Sheets or other data sources. You can integrate your data sources into a single reporting experience using Google Data Studio, and you’ll get easily configurable reports:
In addition to creating reports also allows you to develop useful and attractive dashboards to analyze your projects or make the best decisions possible. You can use this tool to turn large amounts of data into accurate and understandable reports, link to numerous data sources inside a single report, and visualize data from multiple datasets.
When you use a live data source, you don’t have any restrictions on the time period you can look at. You can select any date range that meets your needs, depending on how far back your data extends.
How to use Google Data Studio?
Even if you don’t have Google Analytics set up, you can use Google Data Studio for free for the most part—more on that later for which the link is https://datastudio.google.com/. To get started with this tool, choose a template, add data sources, select the metrics you want to utilize, and then start sharing reports.
Choose a template
A large number of templates are available in Google Data Studio. However, it is critical to select one based on the type of data being displayed. Your company has unique requirements, and your reporting should reflect that.
Add data sources
To produce a good report, you must connect data sources. In Google Data Studio, there are countless connections that can sync any data. You have the option of adding data sources at the start of the report creation process or later.
Choose the right metrics
Google Data Studio can be customized to your liking. You do not, however, need to see all of the metrics accessible. Metrics that are related to your goals and objectives should be included.
Sharing the reports
Make sure to double-check the settings when you’re ready to share reports with clients. Sharing email (user must have a Google account associated with email), editing rights, and emailing the report link are all options accessible. You can use the beta option to restrict additional sharing choices and prohibit editors from modifying access or adding new persons.
Pros of Google Data Studio
Let’s look at the pros of using Google Data Studio below:
The customization options are the first thing that comes to mind. Google Data Studio has a lot of choices for different kinds of visualizations. As a result, you can tailor the report to the parameters that matter to you. This is especially crucial for digital marketing agencies because each customer is unique.
- Cloud-based service
Unlike the majority of popular business analytics software. Data Studio was created as a cloud-based service, which eliminates the need for the user to handle any infrastructure or installation.
- Integration with Google’s ecosystem
Data Studio’s most significant benefit is its ability to interact or integrate with Google apps such as Google Analytics, Big Query, and Google Sheets, among others.
- Dynamic control
One of the features that our clients love about Data Studio is the dynamic control feature, which allows them to scrutinize their data without changing the report layout. You can do the following with Data Studio:
Insert dynamic controls so that users can use dimension and date range selectors to filter through the content.
If you don’t want all of the content on the page to change, you can include and exclude content from a filter.
- Advanced formulas
Google Data Studio evolves from being a simple visualization tool to allowing you to alter your data as needed, allowing you to paint a powerful image with your data, thanks to all advanced formulas.
- Ease of use
This application offers a user interface that makes it simple to build reports and dashboards in just a few clicks.
- Free tool
Data Studio is now available for free and is packaged with Google cloud services. The expenditures of data storage and transformation processing are not included.
- Sharing and access control
Because it is part of the Google family, it inherits the Google office suite’s access control and sharing methods. Data Studio makes it simple to share reports and dashboards with multiple users and to restrict access to a high degree of detail
- Supportive of live connections
The latest data will be displayed whenever a report or dashboard is opened or refreshed in the UI. With a live data source, you don’t have any restrictions on the time period you can look at.
- Filters and view
Google Data Studio allows you to report in a much more engaging way. Clients or executive teams can use this option to dig deeper into their research.
Cons of Google Data Studio
Here’s a list of limitations of Google Data Studio.
- Does not support Excel
Because Data Studio is a Google product, it ignores typical business intelligence data formats like Excel in favour of Google-based services. Excel can be converted to a CSV file or a Google Sheet for use.
- Absence of real-time updates
Despite the fact that most data sources offer live connections, there is no built-in solution to keep a dashboard or report view automatically refreshed. So you’ll have to go beyond the built-in Data Studio features if you want to build a real-time updated dashboard.
- Slow speed during live connection
The platform slows down when you load the dashboard due to the increased complexity of the view’s capabilities. This is an unintended consequence of the live connection system.
- Limited data sources
While Google Data Studio has no trouble connecting to other Google-Suite systems, it is limited when it comes to synchronizing with other data sources, with many third-party connectors needing additional payments to utilize.
- Difficult to integrate with other platforms
It can be difficult to integrate data with certain systems that are not Google-owned.
- Lack of comprehensive support
Data Studio is still far behind Tableau and Power BI in terms of the quantity of built-in data processing methods. It also lacks some simple operations, such as SUMX, which is included in Power BI and allows you to compute the sum of columns while taking into account both rows and columns.
- Complicated visualizations are not possible
Even though Data Studio makes it simple to create basic graphics, it lacks the flexibility and customizability that tools like Tableau provide.
- It is not a business intelligence tool
Data Studio’s analysis capabilities aren’t up to par with the best business intelligence (BI) products on the market right now. While it effectively visualizes your data, it does not provide you with nearly as many options for slicing and analyzing your data as those programs offer.
Being a Digital Marketing Consultant, I can say that Data Studio, like other Google tools, can be difficult to grasp, but it is well worth the effort. You can use it to create gorgeous and insightful reports for your clients, coworkers, or leadership team once you’ve been familiar with its features.
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