How to Create Dynamic Data Visualizations in Google Data Studio Google Data Studio is a powerful tool that allows you to create dynamic data visualizations. You can use it to make interactive dashboards, custom reports, and track key performance indicators.

Posted by Gábor CSEH
· 17th May 2021 · 4 min read

In this article, we will discuss how you can use google data studio effectively in order to get the most out of your time when creating charts, graphs, and reports.

We will cover some tips and tricks for using calculated fields, interactive filters, custom reports, and tracking key performance indicators in google data studio so that you have better visibility on how these features work together to make great-looking reports for internal use and for your customers.

What is Google Data Studio?

Google Data Studio is a free tool you can use to visualize your marketing data. You can use multiple data sources in google data studio, and each visualization can have its own custom settings.

Google Data Studio is great for internal use to track metrics or KPIs in your company, but it’s also a great tool if you want to create reports for customers that are more interactive and dynamic than traditional reporting tools offer.

Google Data Studio has significant advantages for you as a marketer and a business. We'll cover the main advantages and then show you four key ways to get the most out of your data visualization.

Let's get into it.

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Dynamic Dashboards Visualise Data from any Data Source

Dynamic dashboards are google data studio's most powerful feature. You can use google data studio to combine multiple datasets and visualize them all on the same dashboard, or you can create a custom report with only one dataset in it.

Static reporting tools don't work as well because they capture snapshots of limited data sets. With google data studio, you can capture any point in time with a dynamic dashboard and see all the relevant information about that moment, including how things have changed.

This is because google data studio has access to more than just one dataset: it lets you combine multiple datasets from different data sources.

Let's break down five brilliant advantages of a dynamic dashboard before we turn to look at how to get the most out of Google Data Studio.

Use Real-Time Reporting to Build Trust and Transparency

Marketers and businesses rely on data to make excellent decisions. The insights from data give them the information they need to do things like improve customer experience, make better business decisions and meet organizational goals.

But there are a lot of pitfalls with interpreting data that lead many businesses to distrust what they're seeing in their dashboards, reports, or other analytics tools.

A dynamic dashboard can help ease this problem because it updates in real time. Fresh data that can be interacted with, filtered, or updated, works better. It gives decision-makers more confidence in their options.
Interactive Fields Allow You and Customers to Access Better Data

Interactive fields are fields that are embedded in a table and allow the user to filter data by clicking on specific cells. They can set the state of these interactive fields according to the needs of users as they navigate through your dashboard or report. Therefore, this type of field can help you meet organizational goals and improve customer experience.

An example of an interactive field is a date range field. You or a customer can decide which dates are important and then look up that data.

Data Studio Templates Save Time and Money

Templates for Google Data Studio save time and money.

The templates for Google Data Studio are easy to use because you can make your own reports or dashboards with pre-built formatting, widgets, queries, and charts. Once you create a data template, you can update it anytime to include new data and visualizations. You can also use it on multiple projects and for different clients.

There is no need to start from scratch when it comes to creating a dashboard or report in Google Data Studio. There are many templates available online. Here is a link to one site with over 50 templates you can access. 50+ FREE Data Studio Templates to Automate SEO Reporting + Lots More (sheetsformarketers.com)

Data Connectors Add Functionality

A connector is an app that lets you import from any data source into Google Data Studio. Using this, you can connect information from more than 300 different data sources.

These connectors include data sources such as Facebook Ads, Instagram, Bing, and more. Here is Google's official connectors library page.

Google Data Studio Connect to Data

Easy Shareability Promotes Teamwork and Transparency

A massive bonus from Google Data Studio is the ability to share reports and dashboards very easily. You can share any asset, such as a dashboard or report. Other people can access your shared asset as an editor or viewer.

This easy shareability helps promote teamwork and transparency. Your team can share assets to track just about anything and keep everyone on the same page. Your clients will appreciate access to different content types and metrics.

Now that we've covered the reasons why you really should be using Google Data Studio for your data visualization, let's dig into four solutions for giving more power to your teammates and information to your customers.

Calculated Fields Provide Much Greater Analytics

Calculated fields offer a huge advantage to your data analytics. Using a calculated field, you can combine two or more data sources or fields with a calculation to output new data. This new data could be the difference between two numbers or the percentage of a total.

What Is a Calculated Field?

A calculated field is a metric that is based on one or more data sources. This new calculated metric can be used in charts, tables, and visualizations to provide a better way to evaluate your data at-a-glance.

You can select the data sources, which will be two or more existing fields, and then apply a formula to them. The output from the formula will be the value in your new calculated field.

How do you add a calculated field to a data studio?

Here's a quick rundown of the steps you need to follow to create calculated fields in Google Data Studio:

  1. Plan Your Calculated Field - Decide what you want the calculated field to do. When designing your data visualizations, take inventory of all key performance indicators that cannot be found in a single source. Define which sources, dimensions, and metrics you will need to create those KPIs.
  2. Add a New Field to Your Data Source / Chart - You can decide whether to opt for Data Source or Chart Level Calculated Fields. Use Chart Level fields if you are working on blended data.
  3. Create a New Field - Click on the 'Create a New Field' button. Add dimensions or metrics on the chart editing page. Then click 'Create Field' at the bottom of the opening dimension or metric page.
  4. Enter Your Function - In the formula field, you can change how your existing dimensions or metrics are calculated.
  5. Click Save - When you're done editing, click save to apply the new field to your data visualization.
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What can you do with calculated fields?

Here are some calculated fields example uses:

  • CONCAT - How can I join text fields in Google Data Studio? Use the CONCAT function to concatenate multiple dimensions.
  • REGEX_EXTRACT - Common use cases for REGEX_EXTRACT include the extraction of query parameter values stored in your ‘page’ dimension. This function takes one input dimension and a regular expression as inputs, and it returns a text value.
  • UPPER / LOWER - If you find yourself having to sum data by a specific field and struggle with mixed upper- and lowercase spellings, the Data Studio function UPPER / LOWER can help. It takes one dimension as input and converts it into its uppercase or lowercase equivalent.

What about use cases? Here are some simple ideas for how to use calculated fields:

Custom Conversion Rate

A metric that is standard in data sources like Google Analytics and Google Ads, conversion rate does not always provide the required insights. To solve this problem, it is crucial to look for alternatives such as bounce rate.

Funnel Drop-Off Rate

Imagine that you want to know what causes customers to abandon a checkout funnel. Google Analytics goal funnels can provide some insight, but they only work if all your funnel stages equal a pageview. Instead, you can use calculated fields to show the drop-off rate for each individual stage.

This is only a short introduction to calculated fields. To learn more about calculated fields and other features of Google Data Studio, you can view Google's help pages at Data Studio Help.

Custom Content Grouping with function of “CASE WHEN”

One of the practical ways of using Calculated fields is the Custom Channel Grouping or Custom content grouping, but could be used for events grouping or many more things.

You can do that with The most used function " CASE WHEN"

Here is an example:

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With this solution you can filter your Data Studio Report by Site language, for an example.

In a similar way you can use this solution for Custom Channel grouping, like the following example.

CASE
WHEN CONTAINS_TEXT(page, '/US') THEN 'US Language'
WHEN CONTAINS_TEXT(Page, '/ES') THEN 'Espanol Language'
WHEN CONTAINS_TEXT(page, '/DE') THEN 'German Language'
ELSE 'Other Language'
END
            

(Also You can use regexp_match, or other functions in this example)

It is also applicable for grouping or renaming events. If you use GA4 data source for reporting in Data Studio, it will be a very helpful function.

Interactive Filters Give Control to the User

You can help users, either your teammates or customers, gain more insights by adding interactive filters. These tools allow for the use of different criteria to filter reports. You can create interactive filters that are editable or fixed.

Use Interactive Filters on Any Data Source to Show Relevant Info

A variety of data can be brought to the surface using filters. A simple example is an easy date range filter. This could be used to show data for the last two weeks instead of for the past year.

Other query parameters, such as platform, ad groups, or search terms, could all be used to filter a data source to return specific, relevant information.

Create Custom Reports to Improve Data Visualization

Which data is the most valuable for your customer? Which metrics are the most important for your team? These questions show you why custom reports are so valuable.

Simply putting the right chart in front of the right person at the right moment might enable the best business decision.

Why Visualization is Important for Your Clients

Your clients want to know your strategy is working for them. Thorough analytics and clear reports will hold the interest of your client and help them see the value in what you're doing.

You Need Visualization Too!

Your company and teammates also need solid data visualization. Clear reporting reveals when results are good or when some more tweaking and changes are needed.

The key advantage of visualization is speed. People can take information from a visual source, such as a chart, much faster than reading through a table. Visualization will keep everyone on course to get the results you need.

Use Google Data Studio to Follow Key Performance Indicators

Delivering on Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are what drives marketers to success. If your client is spending resources on efforts that do not move the needle, then they will eventually stop paying you.

Google Data Studio gives you clear ways to evaluate your KPIs and present that success to your client.

If you're new to Google Data Studio or want some help getting started, please contact us.