Using Data Studio to create beautiful Reports

In the month of November 2016, Data Studio was made available for all users in India. The product was launched quite some time back, however, it was only accessible in the US and for premium Google Analytics 360 users.

However, as of today, anyone can use Google Data Studio to create dazzling reports that can be shared with teams and clients.

So how does one go about creating awesome reports?

That’s where Data Studio shines, it allows users to create one template which can be utilized across multiple data sources. I tried to create a quick report using one of the default templates provided, here’s a step by step guide on using Data Studio to create reports.

An update: As of 2nd Feb 2017, Data Studio has been declared a free product for everyone to use.

Adding a Data Source

First, we need to add our data source (in this case my site’s Google Analytics account) to the Data Studio.

Choose the Data Source menu from the Dashboard

Choose the Data Source menu from the Dashboard

Once you click on the menu, you would be directed to a screen listing all the data sources that you have added to your account.

Note, by default Google keeps some data sources in your account, so that one can practice on the product before moving on to your own data sources.

List of Data Sources

List of Data Sources

As all Google products, you can see the clear use of Material Design in this interface. Use the blue floating action button at the bottom right of your screen to add your own custom data source.

Connecting GA as Data Source

Connecting GA as Data Source

As the screenshot above shows, that most of the Google products can easily be integrated to this product. What’s more you can even use a MySQL database or a Google Spreadsheet (Excel ahoy!).

So, I could do most of my number crunching in existing styles, and use this tool only as a slick presentation layer.

After I press connect, this GA property of my site is now added to Data Studio as a source of data.

The minute you choose the right property, you would see all the dimensions and metrics that Google Analytics has. This is a pretty exhaustive list and you can import most of these into Data Studio.

GA Fields Imported as Dimensions and Metrics

GA Fields Imported as Dimensions and Metrics

Now that the important fields are linked (do check the respective fields you want to pull), we can go on to using a report template.

List of my Data Sources

List of my Data Sources

The screenshot shows the recently added data source. Great! We are all set to creating awesome reports!

Using Report Templates

We would be using the Acme Marketing template that’s there in the account. It broadly shows basic user level data in one simple report.

Keep in mind that Data Studio reports can span across multiple pages, but for this guide we are sticking to a one-pager.

Go back to your dashboard and choose the Acme Report template.

Acme Data Studio Template

Acme Data Studio Template

Click on the Use Template button, and now this is the most important point when it comes to using Data Studio report templates, choose your own data source.

Selecting the right Data Source

Selecting the right Data Source

Something for beginners to keep in mind again, is that if you choose the wrong data source (for e.g. of the default ones provided), then the report would be generated, however the data won’t be yours!

If in case, you have done this, it’s easy to change the data source after you have created the report.

Let’s move on to customizing the report

 

Customizing the Report

Customizing the Report

What I did was choose the Acme logo, and change it to the Big Fat Geek logo! A small change in the header color, and I have a branded look for the template.

This is what the finished report now looks like –

Finished Report

Finished Report

Using Data Studio

The cool part of Data Studio now shines through. What I have is a report which talks to data in real time. So I can change my data range, and my report updates!

This report can now be shared with my team or my reporting manager or clients without worrying about giving access to all the dimensions and metrics.

Data Studio Working Report

Data Studio Working Report

That’s all for today folks! It’s your turn to go and try out this tool and churn out spectacular looking reports.

Android driving up the Mobile Growth Rate

In the world of venture funded start-ups, a lot of the tactical operations of the firm actually are based upon the latest buzz word. This buzz word can be anything from Web 2.0 to semantic web to HTML5. The start-up is actually trying to get more traction in the market using some gimmick or marketing stint … working on developing technologies doesn’t bring in the big bucks, but it sure as hell does bring you the attention that a start-up strives to get.

For example, the current industry buzzwords are HTML5 based app for mobile. Why mobile? Well because mobiles have been consistently beating the PC market for the past 5 years … smart-phone sales have been out-stripping the desktop sales by far. Operating Systems such as the Android system (which is a collaboration effort between different organizations) have started taking the majority of market share than the giant Apple. What’s important is that the Android OS allows mobile manufacturers to bundle up the operating system with their custom hardware. The best example of a company doing this is Samsung, these Samsung Galaxy deals just go to show the sheer variety that is offered to the consumer … using the same Android OS. I am not speaking out of my hat, there are well established industry reports and widely renowned business analysts who are singing the same song!

Mary Meeker from Kleiner Perkins has released this internet trends report of 2012, if you jump to slide 10 you can see that Android based device sales are outstripping iPhone sales by 5 times! You can find an Android device on almost every price point in the market. Compare this to an iPhone or any other smart phone (Blackberry … meh!) and you will notice the immediate difference in the pricing policies adopted by Apple. This is one of the main reasons why adoption rates of Android based phones have gone up and will continue to grow at an exponential rate.

This is one of the main reasons why LinkedIn has immediately released an HTML5 based app for mobiles, Facebook is buying more and more mobile based organizations (Tagtile, Instagram, etc). The internet is slowly shifting from desktops to smartphones, and there is no emergent leader in this area at present. Well, there’s always Google and Apple for operating systems, Samsung and HTC for devices … but what about apps? The App market that Android offers is way better and offers a higher variety as compared to the other app markets.

The world is waking up to this fact that mobile growth rate is going to fuel the way for internet penetration. In mobile, its going to be open technologies such as the Android to drive this growth.