How often have you spent more time making a report than on the activities that will make your KPI’s look great?
Several months ago, Google released a free reporting tool to help you visualise your business’ key statistics and then share them with your colleagues and stakeholders. This tool uses features from Sheets, Slides or Docs to combine succinctly with your Adwords or Analytics data.
One of the main benefits of Google Data Studio is the huge amount of time that you can save – not only from making the initial report, but also through the time it would normally take to update the report on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis.
Another benefit is the simplicity and ease of use that Google Data Studio offers when making reports – once you know how to use it correctly.
That’s why in this post, I will provide a step-by-step guide on how to make a report in Google Data Studio while also testing how much time I needed.
- Your Google Analytics account is setup correctly and you are tracking all your key statistics.
- You know what you want to conduct a report on.
1. Connect and prepare the data (00:46 seconds)
To start a new report, you first need to decide where you are going to pull your data from. For this example, I will use Google Analytics. You will then need to select your account, property and view.
2. Create the report
2.1 Overview (02:13 mins)
In the overview section, I have included top level metrics such as sessions, users and new users. I have also highlighted the total number for each metric and included them in the same graph. Next to these metrics, I have selected the site’s bounce rate in the same fashion.
Master Tip: In order to save time, just create one scorecard and copy-paste these three times, and then change the metric for each one. You can do the same for the graphs.
2.2 Select Goals (06:07 mins)
Using the same time series graph, scorecards and the above trick, I copy-pasted the number of goals I wanted to include in the report. Then, using the property panel, I changed each metric for all of them. Finally, I adjusted the default date range of all these figures as “automatic”.
2.3 Add Channels, Device Category & Date (01:35 mins)
In order to segment my data by channel and device, I placed filters at the top of the report. Next to these filters, I created a date range option to be able to see figures from different times.
2.4 Design and Alignment (03:00 mins)
Once I had all the data I needed, I used some rectangles to give a bit of design to the report. Then, I aligned the graphs and the different values. Finally, I imported the logo of the company and created a title to go next to it.
Master Tip: To align the graphs select two of them + right click and then select either “align horizontally” or “align vertically” from the available options.
3. Share your KPI’s (00:30 secs).
Finally, to promote the website’s performance with stakeholders, I selected the “share” option and wrote a brief message for them.
Google Data Studio is a great tool that can help you save time not just when initially creating the reports, but also when you want to update the reports on a weekly or monthly basis.
I have found that Google Data Studio works better when you want to present key statistics, and you can make It as simple or as complex as you like.
However, when using Google Data Studio, remember that there are still some important limitations that we have to currently consider:
- You cannot yet import specific data segments from Analytics.
- Some data sources such as Google Search Console are missing.
- You can create up to a maximum of 5 reports per account.
- It is possible to save the report as a PDF (ctrl + p in chrome), but you lose the dynamic capabilities of the report.
- To share the report with other people, they must have a Google account in order to have access.
Thank you for reading and happy reporting!