Looker Studio (New Google Data Studio): The In-Depth Guide


For those who haven’t heard, Looker Studio has changed the well-known Google Information Studio model.

Whereas Google Information Studio made reporting simpler for a lot of entrepreneurs, it definitely had its limitations.

As a model’s advertising and marketing technique evolves and turns into extra advanced, so does the sophistication of its reporting wants.

For those who’re something like me, you’re doubtless uninterested in spending hours updating the identical spreadsheets every month.

Generally, extra time is spent pulling a report than offering precise insights.

When this occurs, we’re doing a disservice by spending extra time “doing” and fewer time really analyzing the info.

There must be a greater means, proper?

This in-depth Looker Studio information will train you methods to create and customise action-oriented stories primarily based by yourself information.

What Occurred To Google Information Studio?

Initially launched in beta mid-2016, Google Information Studio is a free information visualization software.

Many entrepreneurs have used this software for years to unify and visualize information units from a number of channels.

However now, you’ll discover that Information Studio is not referenced. The place did it go?

Google formally rebranded its Information Studio product to be named Looker Studio in October 2022.

Of their official announcement, Google said:

“We’re unifying our enterprise intelligence product household below the Looker umbrella, bringing collectively Looker, Information Studio, and core Google applied sciences like synthetic intelligence (AI) and machine studying (ML). Looker Studio continues to be free, and has the identical options as Information Studio.”

What Is Google Looker Studio?

Google Looker Studio (previously Information Studio) syncs all your information sources into one unified reporting expertise.

It permits customers to create informative and visible dashboards which might be straightforward to interpret, share, and customise.

Basically, Looker Studio helps transcend information visualization. It’s aimed to assist entrepreneurs make extra data-driven selections for his or her purchasers and types alike.

At present, Looker Studio helps over 800 totally different information sources, together with 600+ information connectors.

Looker Studio Vs. Information Studio

Whereas Looker Studio touts most of the identical options as the previous Information Studio, the brand new identify additionally brings new options.

  • Free model and Professional model (paid).
  • Totally different modeling technique (LookML).
  • Looker integration with Google Sheets.
  • Extra versatile information modeling options.
  • Helps 50+ SQLs and databases.
  • Merging options from totally different information sources.

One of many key variations between Looker and Information Studio is the way in which information is modeled. Looker Studio makes use of LookML (Looker Modeling Language).

The second key distinction that almost all entrepreneurs will profit from is the brand new and improved information merging options from Looker.

In Information Studio, it allowed for information sources to be blended.

Nonetheless, the most important draw back of this was that the mixing characteristic was primarily based on a left outer be part of and infrequently didn’t mix information in a means that entrepreneurs wanted.

It was a tedious course of that left many to spend extra time manually importing their information right into a Google Sheet, then connecting that supply to Information Studio.

Sounds irritating, proper?

Looker Studio, alternatively, requires SQL databases to combine any supply. Which means uncooked information is handed right into a database, making it a lot simpler for Looker to merge information from totally different sources.

The end result? A sooner, extra significant approach to visualize information from all of your totally different advertising and marketing sources in an easy-to-digest format.

Getting Began With Looker Studio

There are a number of key areas to make sure your first Google Looker Studio report is successful. These embrace:

  • Selecting a template or dashboard.
  • Connecting information sources.
  • Selecting metrics that matter.
  • Sharing stories.

Looker Studio Templates

The very first thing to do is to decide on a template.

To entry Looker Studio, go to Looker Studio utilizing your most popular Google Account. This ought to be the account that you just entry your Google Analytics, Search Console, Google Advertisements, and many others.

Looker Studio offers all kinds of templates to get you began.

For those who’re new to Looker Studio, it is very important select a template primarily based on the kind of information being portrayed.

Looker Studio provides many dashboard templates to get you started.Screenshot from Looker Studio, December 2022

With any template, you’ve gotten the flexibility to customise gadgets and fonts to create a extra constant report.

The fantastic thing about these stories is that a number of pages could be added.

Don’t really feel like your whole advertising and marketing story must be proven on one web page!

Each consumer has totally different wants, and their reporting ought to be no totally different.

Probably the most environment friendly route I’ve discovered is to make use of and tweak totally different dashboards primarily based on who the meant viewers is.

For instance, I’ll create a distinct dashboard or report web page if I’m speaking to a CMO vs. a Product Advertising and marketing Supervisor. Why?

Relying on the function of who you’re speaking to, they’ll perceive and interpret information in several methods.

A CMO, for instance, doesn’t must know the “within the weeds” information. They need to know what channels are working, what’s not, and in the event that they’re on observe to fulfill their targets.

Join A Information Supply

Now that you just’ve chosen a template, it’s time to attach your information sources.

So as to add a connector to your template, go to Useful resource on the prime navigation, then click on Handle added information sources. Then, you’ll click on + Add A Information Supply.

Looker Studio has 24 Google-owned connectors.Screenshot from Looker Studio, December 2022

There are at the moment 24 totally different Google connectors, comparable to Google Analytics, Google Advertisements, Google Sheets, BigQuery, and extra.

Nonetheless, you’re doubtless utilizing different platforms like social media, third-party instruments, CRM methods, and extra.

For these non-Google connectors, Looker Studio can join over 650 totally different information sources from their accomplice connectors!

Looker Studio can connect to over 650 partner data sources.Screenshot from Looker Studio, December 2022

By utilizing the connectors, it takes the guide duties and syncs all information for you!

It’d be unimaginable to listing all of the accessible information sources right here, however a few of the important ones I’ve used previously embrace:

  • Supermetrics connectors for:
    • Fb + Instagram Insights.
    • Microsoft Promoting.
    • Advert + Google Analytics Information.
    • Place Monitoring.
    • And lots of extra.
  • SEOMonitor.
  • CallRail.
  • Salesforce.
  • HubSpot.

Most of those information sources come from third-party connectors. Take into account that lots of them:

  • Further price.
  • Can decelerate stories.
  • Metrics are generally deprecated, that means it is important to remain on prime of any adjustments to your report and rebuild metrics if wanted.

When including a knowledge supply, you’ll be requested to authorize the connection between accounts.

An In-Depth Guide To Get Started With Looker Studio (The New Google Data Studio)

Selecting Metrics That Matter

Talking of metrics – they matter.

Let’s be actual, the worst is when purchasers open stories and see a whole information dump.

Whereas Looker Studio is totally customizable, this doesn’t imply we ought to be displaying all metrics accessible.

Does your consumer care about return on promoting spend (ROAS)? You should definitely embrace metrics comparable to spend and income.

How about total model consciousness? Embrace pre-click metrics comparable to impressions, clicks, CTR, view fee, and many others.

By conveying the correct metrics and insights primarily based on targets, it reveals the consumer that you’re listening to them. A win-win for everybody!

How To Edit A Report

Now that you just’ve linked your information sources, it’s time to customise that report!

Let’s evaluate this Google Advertisements template for example.

First, you’ll need to be sure to’re within the “Edit” mode and never “View.”

An In-Depth Guide To Get Started With Looker Studio (The New Google Data Studio)Screenshot from Google Advertisements, December 2022

You can begin customizing your report by using the info area units on the right-hand aspect.

For those who’ve chosen a template just like the one above, step one is to vary the info supply for every chart you want to select.

An In-Depth Guide To Get Started With Looker Studio (The New Google Data Studio)Screenshot from Google Advertisements, December 2022

From there, you may select from any of the totally different information fields out of your chosen information supply to vary any visualization.

Pick and choose what data fields to visualize in Looker Studio.

Not solely are you able to create and edit charts and tables in Looker Studio, however the means to decide on the appear and feel of a report is a game-changer for purchasers.

It provides a way of consistency throughout a company.

A number of methods to personalize the fashion of your report embrace:

  • Font and background colour.
  • Altering comparability metric colours.
  • Textual content padding to align both left, middle, or proper.

Professional tip: If you wish to change all scorecards or charts without delay, merely choose all on the identical time earlier than.

The fashion adjustments will apply to all choices. One other time-saver!

On this instance, I modified the report background, scorecard colours, and label fonts to create model customary consistency:

An In-Depth Guide To Get Started With Looker Studio (The New Google Data Studio)

For those who’re new to Looker Studio, it is going to take time, trial and error, and endurance to create a report visible that meets your reader’s expectations. Don’t get discouraged alongside the way in which!

Including Report Filters

An environment friendly approach to group a number of visualizations collectively is by including report and web page filters.

For instance, in the event you needed all tables and charts to vary when modifying the date vary, you can add a Date Vary icon and set it to “Report Stage.”

Which means if the report is comprised of a number of pages, each time the date vary is up to date, all chart information updates alongside it.

For instance, in the event you needed to dive into Marketing campaign Kind efficiency, there’s a filter for that!

Merely navigate to the toolbar and select Add a management > Drop-down listing and add the Management area of “Marketing campaign sort” as your filter.

Choose different filters for your data to drill down more granularly.

This lets you filter the info on that individual web page by marketing campaign sort.

For instance, in the event you needed to indicate how Search performs in comparison with YouTube, you’d select from the dropdown in that filter.

By default, filters added are at a web page stage.

For those who want to make the filter report-level (that means the filter would seem on every web page of your report), merely right-click the filter and select Make report-level.

Create A Chart

For those who’ve gotten comfy together with your Looker Studio expertise, let’s dive into methods to create a chart from scratch.

The benefit of making a customized chart is that you just’re in full management from the start of visualizing precisely what issues most.

Step one is to contemplate who might be studying this report. Bear in mind to incorporate what information is necessary to them.

Your chart ought to inform a narrative, and it’s as much as you to visualise that efficiently.

For instance, you could need to add an “Overview” desk that encompasses the primary metrics or key efficiency indicators (KPIs) that matter to them.

To create a chart, click on on “Insert,” which can present you all of the totally different charts to select from. These embrace:

  • Time collection.
  • Bar chart.
  • Pie chart.
  • Tables.
  • Scorecards.
  • Bullet charts.
  • Rather more.

A non-exhaustive list of available data visualizations in Looker Studio.

On this instance, I need to select a easy bullet chart so as to add to my CMO Overview web page. The objective of this chart is to indicate if we met our month-to-month objective of app installs.

Step one is to decide on the metric you’re measuring. On this case, I selected “Installs.”

To make this bullet chart efficient, you have to add your goal/objective. Make sure that to examine the field that claims “Present Goal.”

Then, I enter totally different vary limits to indicate the progress.

I saved the final vary the identical because the goal worth. You may also put the final vary as a better worth than your goal, particularly in the event you exceed that focus on worth.

An In-Depth Guide To Get Started With Looker Studio (The New Google Data Studio)

So, what does this chart say? It portrays that our objective was 5,500 app installs for the month of November.

In keeping with the bullet chart, they had been near hitting their objective however didn’t fairly make it.

Generally easy charts are all you have to characterize the required information.

Like all different components of Looker Studio, you may modify the fashion of any chart, desk, or factor as I did above.

Sharing Stories

The next choices can be found for sharing a Looker Studio report:

  • Invite individuals.
  • Schedule electronic mail supply.
  • Get report hyperlink.
  • Embed report.
  • Obtain report.

An In-Depth Guide To Get Started With Looker Studio (The New Google Data Studio)

If you wish to invite individuals to entry the report in actual time, it’s necessary to examine the share settings.

So as to add somebody by way of electronic mail, it should be a Google account electronic mail. They are often added as a “Viewer” or an “Editor.”

An In-Depth Guide To Get Started With Looker Studio (The New Google Data Studio)

One other information security measure Looker Studio added was how hyperlinks to the report could be shared.

You’ll be able to select from:

  • Restricted. Solely individuals who you’ve gotten shared the report with can open the hyperlink.
  • Unlisted. Anybody on the web with the hyperlink can view (or edit – select this setting fastidiously).
  • Public. Anybody on the web with the hyperlink can discover and look at (or edit – select this setting fastidiously).

An In-Depth Guide To Get Started With Looker Studio (The New Google Data Studio)

One other cool characteristic Google added is the choice to restrict sharing within the following choices. Within the share settings, click on on the “gear” icon within the right-hand nook:

  • Stop editors from altering entry and including new individuals.
  • Disable downloading, printing, and copying for viewers.

An In-Depth Guide To Get Started With Looker Studio (The New Google Data Studio)

I sometimes suggest checking the primary field to stop editors from altering entry or including new individuals.

By doing so, it permits us to take care of management of the report settings and the integrity of report adjustments.

Get Began With Looker Studio Now

Hopefully, this introduction to Google Looker Studio will empower you to really feel extra assured in creating personalised stories in your purchasers and types.

Extra Assets:

Featured Picture: RomanR/Shutterstock


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