Google Data Studio is the new platform, available for some months now also in Italy, which allows you to create reports in a simple and fast way.
Say goodbye to a thousand anonymous sheets and spreadsheets: with Data Studio you can insert tables, images and attach customisable graphics, both in terms of font and colours.
Another peculiarity of this platform, which makes it even more exciting, is the fact that it is a Google Drive application, so sharing reports will be even easier and faster.
In this article we will try to clarify the connection between the database, or Data Source, the Data Connector and the Data Set. Which tasks and connections, in our opinion, are fundamental to make the best use of the tool. Finally we will propose an example of how to use Data Studio with Google Analytics database, step-by-step.
Start a new report with Data Studio
To start using Data Studio connect to the platform via your Google account and click on “Start New Report”. This will open a blank page. At this point you have to inform the software about the Data Source, which is the database to access to compile the report. This is where the connection between Data Source and Data Connectors comes into play.
Another way to connect the data is to click on “Data Source” from the homepage in the menu on the left.
Of course, we would like to point out that you can only use the databases you own or those shared with your account.
Data Origin and Data Connectors
Data Connectors and Data Sources are always used together. In order for one of them to be usable, the other must also be used. In fact, without the connector, the data source cannot reach its destination, and without the data source, there is nothing to enter in the reports.
The Data Connector is just the interface between the database and Data Studio.
Obviously you will never have access to the Data Source, but you will always have access to any type of Data Connector available.
Currently the Data Connectors available in Google Data Studio are the following:
- Attribution 360;
- Big Query;
- SQL Cloud;
- Google Spreadsheets;
- Youtube Analytics;
- Search Console.
When you need to import your data into Data Studio reports, the first thing you need to think about is where the data comes from, so figure out if it matches the currently available data connectors.
This list may, at first glance, seem rather short, but it doesn’t. Data Studio’s ability to connect to SQL and Big Query databases will allow you to connect almost any type of data. You will simply need to transform the format of your data into an SQL or Big Query format.
In the future we should expect improvements, integrations and expansions of Data Studio and the list of available data connectors will only increase.
Example using Data Studio with Google Analytics database
Now we would like to go more into the use of Data Studio, so we will explain step-by-step how to use Data Studio with Google Analytics database.
Obviously, to begin with we have to add the Google Analytics database. After that, Data Studio will show all available dimensions and metrics in a table. As you can see from the image in the table various columns are shown, let’s see in detail what they indicate.
The “Field” column where all the dimensions of the measurements are located. That is, what the metric actually measures.
The “Type” column expresses the unit of measurement or the type of metric used for the measurement. It can be a number, a text or even the latitude, longitude of a location.
The “Aggregation” column defines how the metrics are aggregated. Some metrics such as longitude and latitude cannot be aggregated.
Once all the parameters of the table are defined, you can move on to the actual work, i.e. create the report. Clicking on “Create new Report” will open a blank space that you can fill with tables, graphs, pie charts and also geographical maps. You can also create your own template: Google Data Studio will guide you through the process.
Finally, you’ll be able to add filters for any size, so you’ll be grateful to display only the data you consider interesting, instead of all the aggregated data. For example, if you add a graph showing a website’s total number of sessions and a geographical filter, you’ll be able to include or exclude sessions for certain countries.
And that’s it! With a few simple steps you’ll have a clear and complete report for your customers.