Many digital marketers spend a lot of time writing reports.
Google made it easy for them by releasing the free Data Studio tool.
We conducted a detailed analysis of the tool, evaluated all its advantages and disadvantages, compared the official and beta versions.
Monthly reports are always time-consuming, as they need to export data from different sources, visualize and possibly customize individual calculated indicators.
To make it easier for digital professionals, we recommend using Data Studio Is a free tool from Google that turns data into informative dashboards and reports. Beta was released in 2016 and only recently came out of beta.
Reports are easy to create, customize and share access. Data Studio is free and does not require additional software installation, which can be considered its strongest advantages.
It is the best reporting automation tool.
Data Studio has a friendly, intuitive Google design that is very easy to work with. The program works great with data sourced from Google such as Google Analytics, Google Ads, YouTube Analytics and others, but it doesn’t have a lot of pre-built connectors for data from other sources.
Data Studio provides a number of templates that you can adapt and use. They give a good idea of how you can visualize your data and are examples of some scenarios for which you can use this tool, such as showing the performance of your Google ads.
However, you probably want to tailor the report based on your goals, which means it needs to be personalized somewhat. Ultimately, you need to decide what you want to render and what it will do for you. The tool is relatively flexible in terms of formatting (text size, colors, font, etc.), but the customization process can take some time. However, if you have a template, you can use it later, which also reduces the time it takes to prepare a new report.
If you connect a date range control to your report, your data sources will automatically update when the user changes the date. Publishing reports on a regular basis will ensure that information is quickly updated.
Thanks to filters, you can display data by certain parameters, which is very convenient when dividing data by different traffic sources.
When it comes to visualization and analysis capabilities, Data Studio offers a rather limited number of options compared to other analytics suites. Previously we already wrote about this tool in their blog and described its pros and cons, of which there were quite a few.
Data Studio is officially out of beta and has undergone a number of changes that we would like to talk about, thereby deleting a few points from the previous article:
1. Now you can download the report in pdf. Now you can create a one-time report and upload and send it to the customer every month.
2. Added the ability to compare data with any periods (previously, it was only available to compare with the previous period with the same number of days or the previous year).
3. Added a table with a heat map and a pivot table, which made it possible to combine data from different sources into one table. That is, now it is possible to find those relationships between data points that are difficult to detect with surface analysis.
4. Added a row with table totals. Previously, this had to be implemented in a separate table.
Free connectors for third-party systems never appeared. There are paid ones, for example, from Supermetrics.
Added the ability to automatically send reports to e-mail. This is very convenient, since it will be enough to create and schedule a report once for your manager, client, team or for yourself.
Added “Version history”. It happens that you have made changes to the report, but after a few days you need to discard the changes. Previously, you would need to redo everything, but now you can simply select an earlier version of the report.
In day-to-day work with the amount of reporting that needs to be submitted on a regular basis, this tool saves a huge amount of time.
Setting up Google Data Studio takes time, but it will pay off in the long run. And do not forget that its tools may not be enough to solve serious analysis problems, so you should pay attention to more advanced tools.
We managed to adapt to it for simple tasks and found how to beat some of its disadvantages. Most likely, the refinement of the tool will not stop, and very soon we will prepare another article with new updates.