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Why is my Google Data Studio report so slow?

May 21, 2021 4 min read

Launched in 2016, Google Data Studio was touted as a great free data visualization tool. Users can sync multiple data sources and create a unified report that can be shared and further customized as needed. In reality, this tool was still being tested and refined, so it basically came out of its beta version two years later or in 2018.

Still, it was considered an overall good solution even then because it was free to use and it had almost all the relevant connection features and customization functions. However, as with other free tools, to use it fully, you need third-party apps or have to pay for certain features. Nevertheless, this does not mean that Google Data Studio is a bad tool, it just means that it's not as good as we would like to believe.

One of the issues that many users are struggling with is slow performance. This can be annoying, so we are going to take a closer look at this problem. We will go into detail and give you reasons, why the Google Studio Report can sometimes have kind of sluggish performance, and what you can do to speed it up.

Why Google Data Studio is Running Slow

Several factors can affect the load time of GDS, so if it slowing down, it is either one or a combination of different elements. Here are a few things you can do to try to improve the performance of GDS.

Clean up your Dashboard

If you have multiple widgets and the Data studio is performing one query for each of the widgets you have added to your report, it is very likely that the app will slow down. It does not matter if you are using the same data, as it will be filtered differently for each widget. You can speed this up by splitting the report and using a different page for each widget.

Another important question to ask yourself is whether all the dimensions used to look at the data are relevant to you. Certainly, each of them is important, but it is significant to evaluate them and show to what extent and degree the various dimensions bring value to the business. When you look at data by source, market, traffic, date, conversion, Google Ads, CTP, etc., it means that there are many processes active in the background that affect the performance. If some of them are not that important, you can remove them.

Take Advantage of Cache Memory

When you open a page in the Google Data Studio dashboard, you are also launching a process or creating a query. This means that the information displayed has to be processed from a data source, which always requires processing power. In most cases, this is quite unnecessary, especially if your data is not updated too frequently or if you are typically interested in past data.

This can easily be avoided by simply using the browser's cache. Instead of processing extensive queries just to get the same feedback as an hour ago, you can make a local copy of the processed data and view it again. To do this, you need to go to a setting called "Data freshness" and configure how often the data is refreshed. Some of the features may already have a fixed data refresh rate, but others may not.

Use Third-Party Apps for Data Processing

Data Studio is highly versatile and allows you to create custom fields for analyzing different data sources. However, this can also slow it down further. This is why many users rely on other tools to extract data and process that extracted data before passing it to Data Studio.

In other words, you should use the Data Studio to create reports with pre-processed data instead of relying heavily on it to do the data processing. Even though this tool is free, you may need to buy superior apps that are better for data processing.

Clear Your Clipboard

If you want to customize the Data Studio dashboard, you will definitely do a lot of copying and pasting of different objects. All of those copied objects will rely on the app's local memory, and when it is full, GDS will slow down.

You can get a handle on this by searching for a Data Studio in Chrome and then typing Developer Tools. Go to "Application" and find a section called "Local Storage." Then all you have to do is find the key called ''ClipBoard'' and remove it.

You Can Use a Different Tool

Even though Data Studio is a decent solution for generating reports and visualizing data, there are other apps that are simply better. You can use tools like Whatagraph, as it has many templates for API connections, offers many customization features, and really shines when it comes to visualizing data. You can always argue that Data Studio is free, but either way, you are probably going to end up spending money to get it running, so why not go with a more consistent solution that has faster performance.

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On the other hand, there are clear ways to make it work faster, and at the end of the day, patience is a virtue, so maybe it's not too big of a deal if you have to wait a bit.

FAQ

Does Google Data Studio cache?

Yes, almost every component within Google Data Studio retrieves the information available in the cache. However, the frequency with which the data is refreshed can vary by component, and you can configure the data freshness through the settings. If you want the Google Data Studio report to be faster, you can configure it to draw on browser memory more frequently.

Does Google Data Studio refresh automatically?

There are two types of data sources within the Data Studio, those that are manually updated and those that are automatically updated. For those that have an automatic refresh process, GDS database will initiate the update every time a report is opened or when you switch windows.

Whatagraph team
Written by Whatagraph team

The Whatagraph blog team produces high-quality content on all things marketing: industry updates, how-to guides, and case studies.

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