Data should be the driving force behind any business decision. It provides insights that highlight weaknesses to be addressed and opportunities to be taken advantage of.
Of course, it’s one thing to simply have the data. It’s another to have the ability to visualize it in a way that’s easy to understand. It’s neither efficient nor advisable to make decisions based on siloed, raw data. Rather, a comprehensive overview complete with graphs, charts and trends is the type of report that can be easily acted upon.
Reports can be compiled manually, but it’s painstaking and time-consuming. Many companies have instead chosen to utilize one of the numerous reporting tools available to expedite the process. Of all the options, Google Data Studio stands out above the rest.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of Google Data Studio and shine a spotlight on the key features that make it a reporting hub you’ll love to utilize.
What is Google Data Studio?
Google Data Studio is a free reporting tool that enables the creation of visually appealing, informative reports. The reports are customizable and easy to understand and share. Reports and dashboards can be created with just a few clicks and can be made accessible to key individuals or the entire organization.
To access and explore Google Data Studio you must have a Google account. To log in, click here.
Key Features of Google Data Studio
What makes Data Studio the best option for reporting? There’s a long list of features that allow you to focus your energy on analysis and strategy as opposed to data compilation. Below is a summary of the highlights users find most appealing.
Hundreds of Integrations
The title of this article is not an exaggeration. Google Data Studio is designed to be your reporting hub, your all-in-one source of data. Integrations exist for web traffic, conversions, online purchases and more.
Among the hundreds of data connections that can be made are:
- Google Analytics
- Google Ads
- Google Search Console
- Google Business Profile
- Facebook Ads
- YouTube Analytics
- LinkedIn Ads
- Twitter Ads
With Google Data Studio, you can report on pretty much anything associated with your online presence. See it all in one place and compare channels to identify what is working the best and what could use improvement.
Established Reporting Templates
If you are new to Google Data Studio or just need to generate a report fast, you can expedite the process by utilizing premade templates. It’s as simple as selecting the template you want and updating it as necessary to fit your needs.
There are more than 100 ready-to-use templates available — some of them simple and others more complex. To view them, click here.
Custom Graphs & Charts
While templates are convenient and sometimes necessary, Data Studio also allows users to make reports unique with the option to customize graphs and charts. This is especially helpful to make complicated data easier to understand by presenting it visually.
Not only that, but reports can also be made interactive with filters. This means you aren’t limited to a single version of the report. Rather, whomever the viewer is can use the filters (by date range, for example) to see the data in a way that fits their needs.
Graphs and charts aren’t the only things you can customize with Google Data Studio. You can brand your reports uniquely for your company.
Options include the ability to add your company’s:
- Color scheme
With Data Studio, you don’t have to worry about your reports looking generic. Make them one-of-a-kind and reflective of your brand for a more professional presentation.
We refer to Google Data Studio as a reporting hub because it’s a central location people can access with ease. It eliminates the need to request a report Excel file, Google Sheet or PDF from the company’s “report keeper” or hunt around for it among a cluster of other files on a company server or cloud.
Reports can be exported as PDFs or images from Data Studio or shared through Google Drive. You could also do what we do for some of our clients and store the reports in a reporting portal, a website designed specifically for data reporting.
Access controls enable you to make reports available only to select departments or individuals, and the level of access determines what they can do with the report:
- Owner – Gives the user complete control over the asset
- Can view – Allows the user to see the report and interact with any filters or date range controls that are enabled, but they cannot edit the report or data source
- Can edit – Allows the user to modify the report or data source
Users can be added or removed when necessary, and the level of access can be modified by the owner if needed.
Automated Report Delivery
If you generate and distribute reports on a consistent schedule, Google Data Studio can make your life a little easier. You can automate and schedule reports ahead of time so you don’t need to manually share them.
You’re able to deliver the report to up to 50 recipients, enter a custom subject line & message and set the date, time & frequency of delivery. For instructions, click here.
Get the Whole Picture with Google Data Studio
Ready to unlock the value of your data and see insights that can drive your decision-making? Then give Google Data Studio a look and see how it can serve as your sales and marketing information hub.
Have questions about Google Data Studio or want to learn even more? Call us at 815.431.1000 or submit this form to contact us. Also, check out our other related articles: