Google Data Studio is one of the most commonly used marketing reporting tools with agencies and in-house marketers. It allows marketers to use more than 600 connectors as data sources and create reports from a template. If you consider using GDS to create your first report - this article is for you. It will guide you through the report creation process and offer 5 of the very best reports you can create with Google Data Studio.
Google Data Studio reports are documents created in Google Data Studio that marketing agencies use to gather marketing performance data and turn them into visual representations. GDS reports are a popular choice among marketing agencies and in-house marketers because of two main reasons:
1. GDS reports allow marketers to view Google Analytics data, Google Ads + connect and pull data from third-party connectors.
2. GDS offers many great features available for free:
All Google Data Studio reports are stored in Google Cloud Storage. This means that a storage place needs to be purchased. So, if you consider using GDS, keep in mind that it is not completely free.
If you want to find out more about Google Data Studio pricing, we have an article that you’d want to take a look at.
There are a couple of ways you could create Google Data Studio reports. We’ll cover all of them here so you can make a quick choice based on your time and preferences.
First off, of course, you need to get access to the platform.
You’ll be asked to enter basic info like country and company name.
Google Data Studio has over 600 connectors, allowing marketing agencies to pull data sets from any popular marketing platform. 20 of these connectors are completely free and they are provided by Google. The remaining 600+ are paid so the total cost of Google Data Studio will entirely depend on the integrations you use on a daily basis to report on your marketing activities.
You can even make your extra connectors if you can't find what you're looking for. You can create your own connector in the Partner Connectors section, too.
After that, you'll be prompted to authorize Google Analytics or whatever "connector" you've added. Simply log in, authorize, and connect.
If you are a newbie with Google Data Studio, you have the option to go through the ‘Welcome to Data Studio’ walkthrough, which will show you how to create reports.
Once you connect the channels and connectors you want to see in the Google Data Studio report, you can decide how to approach it. You have two options:
1. From a blank report
Go to the Data Studio homepage.
The very first option offered on the panel is Blank Report.
Once you press on the Blank Report, this is what you’ll be presented with:
Literally, a blank canvas for you to get creative with.
To show you what data looks like in Google Data Studio, we have connected Google Analytics account.
Objectively speaking, the report is straightforward, clear, and plain yet provides the information needed in an easy-to-understand way.
By employing the customization feature, you can:
Google Data Studio also allows you to customize all of their available themes. You can, for example, choose a different background color that better matches your agency’s or client’s brand:
2. From a template
The easiest way to create a report in Google Data Studio is by using a template.
It saves time, aggregates, and visually presents all the needed data.
Google Data Studio provides about 50 templates covering different data sources such as:
Here is a glimpse at the Google Data Studio report gallery:
To create a report from a Google Data Studio, simply choose the template that connects with the needed data source and represents the needed area.
For example, the e-Commerce PPC template connects Google Analytics and Google Ads data sources but displays only those KPIs and metrics that best represent e-Commerce analytics.
If you haven’t already authorized your data sources, you’ll be asked to do that now. Other than that, there is nothing else to do. You’ve created a report that can now be optimized in the same way you’d optimize a report you’d create from a blank page.
Note: No matter the way you choose to create a report, Google Data Studio provides an option to share the report.
Simply press Share and add as many people as you want to have the access to the report.
You have the options to give people either View or Edit access.
The Audience Overview is one of the first report templates you see when you log land on the Google Data Studio template gallery.
An audience is defined by Google Analytics as "users you group together based on any combination of attributes that is meaningful to your business".
This report is especially useful for marketing agencies when learning about clients’ audience behavior and their habits.
This report contains the following metrics:
Another one of the most popular reports among marketing agencies and in-house marketers is the Google Ads Overview Report.
Google Data Studio displays metrics from CTR to impressions, from conversion rate to costs and CPC.
This Google Data Studio report template provides many data visualization points. As you can see, Google Data Studio uses graphs, tables, and pie charts to clearly show you data points.
For example, device breakdown instantly gives insights into which devices receive the most clicks, and what the costs and conversions are.
Marketing agencies almost always work on improving clients’ websites. To measure SEO results, Search Console Report is especially useful as it provides valuable insights into clients’ website search performance.
More specifically, the Search Console Report displays:
Essentially, looking at this report, you should be able to answer the following questions:
Search Ads 360 is a search management platform that assists agencies and in-house marketers to manage multiple media channels and search engines.
Search Ads 360 allows gathering all metrics from all ad campaigns such as:
Note: The Search Ads 360 report enables agencies to manage all of their ads and keywords for each search engine in one place, making it easier to compare ad/keyword performance across engines.
Search Ads 360 Help page suggests that with Search Ads 360 - ‘you save time, reduce complexity, and have the ability to make better decisions while increasing your search marketing ROI’.
Lastly, as you can see in the screenshot above, Google Data Studio allows marketers to have 5 specific performance reports to dig deeper into their marketing efforts:
Many marketing agencies use Google Display & Video 360 dashboard for real-time bidding to buy and optimize online media.
This dashboard allows marketers to see how well their attempts to target clients’ target audience with display ads are performing.
Google Display & Video 360 dashboard covers metrics such as:
Google Display & Video 360 dashboard gives access to multiple data sources like YouTube, VOD (Video on Demand) platforms, or advertising websites.
Google Data Studio is a modern, powerful, and, to some extent, free tool.
Yet, it does have some limitations by which marketing agencies are disadvantaged.
On the contrary, Whatagraph is extremely simple to use because it was designed for marketers who want an easy way to create marketing reports. Not only that, but every new customers gets a free 30-minute onboarding session to help set up their account.
We walk you through the entire report creation and account and platform addition process. PLUS, we provide best practices for approaching reporting in general!
Whatagraph shares some similarities with Google Data Studio like data visualization, cross-channel reporting, report customization, and interactive dashboards.
However, our Google Data Studio alternative offers some additional features:
To summarize, if you want a reliable right hand to assist you at any time of day; if you want to develop a report quickly; and if you want to automate your reports, Whatagraph is the right solution for you.
GDS Pros and Cons
Google Data Studio is a legendary reporting tool marketers have been using for many years. It’s free, it connects multiple data sources and pulls data. Yet, due to its lack of functionality and inability to catch up with marketing agencies’ needs, it’s becoming increasingly outdated. And because our platform’s updates are directly coming from customers, we are constantly updating the tool and integrations list.
Stand out from the crowd and start working without any bugs with Whatagraph. If you are ready for clear insights, start your free 7-day trial. No credit card is required and you can cancel anytime!
Published on Aug 26, 2022
WRITTEN BYDominyka Vaičiūnaitė
Dominyka is a copywriter who uses simple words to explain tough ideas. Her content is inspired by the good old brand “For Dummies.” Anyone can read and learn all things marketing with her.
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