Is Google Data Studio for you?

The growing role of data in business decision making necessitates an effective way to communicate that data. Google Data Studio is Google’s response to the demand for a compelling visualisation tool. We have been testing the product since it’s Beta release and see it filling a niche which needed it. However, the product is not without its limitations.

Why should you use Google Data Studio?

Styling has never been easier. Google Analytics dashboards are basic in their styling and don’t allow for personalisation of content. Google Data Studio addresses this by allowing for colour, style and branding customisations. This is a substantial visual improvement as it allows you to tailor a dashboard to deliver a personalised experience and communicate information more effectively.

Improvements in data filtering. Google Data Studio offers on-page filters, which significantly improves the usability of the report compared to other Google visualisation tools. The feature allows an end user to drill down and analyse data at a deeper level, without needing to be personally proficient with segment or filter creation.

Easy to share. Reports use Google Drive technology where permissions can be granted to anyone with a Google account and allows for live collaboration.

Data sources. Google Data Studio can connect directly to a number of sources, mostly Google owned. This allows for a dashboard to include AdWords, YouTube and Google Analytics data on one dashboard with minimal effort.

Its Free! Yes, this tool is somewhat unique in that it is free. Every Google account gets five free reports, which can have multiple tabs. Considering what you get it is an excellent offer.

What are the limitations of Google Data Studio?

You cannot use Google Segments – Yet. Unfortunately, Google Analytics segments cannot be applied to any element of a dashboard. This is a deal breaker for some customer and there have been many complaints regarding the lack of this functionality. Google has commented that they intend to release a segmentation function that allows for a single segment to be applied on a chart. This will mean you will need to add to charts to compare segments which will consume up valuable dashboard space. They expect to release this in Q1 2017 (USA).

Rich Interactivity. Although this is a very aesthetic program and improves on previous Google visualisation tools it lacks the click to filter, hover to filter and general interactivity of some of its competitors. In saying that its competitors are often expensive and for an entry level free visualisation tool Data Studio offers a lot.

Custom Dimensions and Metrics. Another potential deal breaker for some Google Analytics users is the inability for Google Data Studio to connect to custom metrics and dimensions. Many clients rely on these features for rich insights and excluding them as a data source is a serious limitation of the tool.

Overall, Google Data Studio fills a niche for users that want a beautiful and compelling data visualisation tool with ease of use and without the more advanced features of more expensive enterprise tools.

Want to know more about data visualisation?

Lens10 is Data Studio certified with commercial experience delivering dashboards in a vendor neutral way to all tiers of clients. Combined with our credentials as a Google and Adobe Analytics partner we can help deliver compelling data no matter the tool.

Read more about Google Data Studio, or contact us for a conversation.