Why Google Data Studio is Essential for Small Businesses

Have you heard of Google Data Studio? It’s the future of data collation, making reporting easier than ever. Discover why Google Data Studio is essential for small businesses and how to make your first report.

Google Data Studio is the next big thing for businesses to record and analyse data, saving you time and money. Now, with a new reporting tool, you can even pull statistics from almost every platform, including Google Analytics, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and more.

However, when first setting up Google Data Studio, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. In this article, you’ll find how to create a Google Data Studio platform to suit your specific marketing reporting needs.

What are the benefits of using Google Data Studio?

  • Live data.
  • Easy reporting.
  • Customised and interactive reports.
  • Multiple plug-in options.
  • Can share with others.

Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash.

What is Google Data Studio?

Google Data Studio is a free data collation tool, giving users the ability to build customised and interactive dashboards to effectively display data reporting. The software’s features are user friendly and the pages created can be easily shared with others. 

Besides making the data look good and easy to read, Google Data Studio can remove the need for excess data and only shows the data you need, saving small businesses time and confusion. By having data displayed directly in front of you, it’s easy to compare week-by-week, month-by-month, or whatever time range you need to analyse your website, ads, social media or other platforms’ performance. 

With Google Data Studio, you can say goodbye to sometimes questionably accurate reports that take hours to put together, and another significant amount of time to analyse and compare to previous reports. Not to mention trying to determine if your dates line up, which can all get tangled when certain platforms don’t offer the same time ranges. For example, LinkedIn only offers a monthly time range, which does not flow with a weekly or fortnightly report.

Once you’re set up, the data will refresh daily, so you won’t have to recreate the report every week. Furthermore, sending the report has never been easier, and you can invite others to view or edit the report.

Platforms you can integrate with Google Data Studio:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Ads
  • Google Search Console
  • Google Sheets
  • YouTube Analytics
  • BigQuery
  • Display & Video 360
  • Search Ads 360
  • +more than 500 other data sources

However, if you’d like to incorporate platforms that aren’t Google products, you’ll have to buy a data source connector, like Supermetrics.

7 Top Benefits of Google Data Studio for Small Businesses

1. Save time and effort.

Running a business takes great time and effort, which is why taking advantage of tools that make certain timely aspects more efficient is vital. As mentioned above, Google Data Studio can help you save time by eliminating the need to continuously make reports every week or so. 

Once it’s been set up, the report will refresh every day, and you can change the time range to compare data to previous weeks. Now, businesses can compare time ranges and use live data rather than spending time each week collecting data for the same platforms.

2. One report for most marketing.

The biggest benefit of Google Data Studio is that it can pull data from multiple sources into a single report. You’ll feel like an eagle with the bird’s eye view you’ll have, being able to see all your data compiled into a clean, visually appealing report. From website statistics (ie. website traffic, clicks, etc.) to social media performance (post engagements, new followers, etc), businesses now have the ability to easily determine how well certain campaigns have performed. 

3. Collaborate with easy sharing.

Another key aspect to Google Data Studio is the report can be easily shared with anyone. From sharing it like a Google Document, where people can either view or edit the document, to being able to send it to clients regularly in a pdf format, it has never been easier to collaborate with your team and clients on reports.

4. Automated live data.

With live data, your Google Data Studio report will update every day with the most recent data. This means the reports are ready to go and will be automatically maintained and updated once they’re set up. If you’ve ever scrambled to put a report together for a last-minute meeting, you’ll know this is a blessing.

5. Dynamic controls.

Dynamic data controls are a prominent benefit of Google Data Studio, giving users endless flexibility. You can make certain tweaks to the data metrics, displaying sources in a variety of formats. For example, you can display Instagram profile reach showing the metric with a percentage comparison to previous time range. This means if you select the past 7 days, it will compare the data to the previous 7 days before, and compare the past month to the month before. 

If you’re after more specific dates, you can change the time frames further, such as comparing a time range to the same of the year before to see an annual comparison.

6. Fully customisable.

You’ve probably got the gist that Google Data Studio is fully customisable, but how customisable is it? Well, let us tell you it will satisfy those who have a keen eye for aesthetics. 

We’ve already discussed how the data is fully customisable with its dynamic controls, but there is so much more. Besides choosing from a variety of data layouts like tables, graphs, percentage metrics and so on, there are also pre-made entire report styles you can plug your data into. Each report, metric, text box and any characteristic you can use is customisable, and you can change its colour or entire design, which is great to incorporate brand colours or use different colours for different platform reports.

7. Multiple plug-ins.

With multiple plugins (AKA data sources), you can make reports drawing data from different platforms for easy comparison. For example, you can have a page that has your social media accounts listed with their followings, which is drawing data from each of those platforms.

How to Set Up Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is easy to set up and manage.

1. Create your account.

Head to datastudio.google.com to set up your account. It has to be a Google account, and works best to use the same account you use for Google Ads, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, etc.

2. Familiarise yourself with the Data Studio Dashboard.

Google Data Studio can be a bit overwhelming when you first begin using it, so it’s best to get used to the dashboards and different pages before creating dashboards. It looks quite similar to other Google platforms like Google Docs or Sheets, which makes it easier to navigate. At the top of the page, you can see reports, data sources and explorer.

Reports.

When you click on reports, you’ll be taken to a page where all your reports will be displayed — similar to Google Docs. You can also create new reports here, in addition to watching and playing with the tutorial report.

Data sources.

All the data sources you’ve connected to Data Studio will be shown under the Data Sources tab. There are more than 500 data sources you can connect to Google Data Studio.

Explorer.

Explorer is a tool allowing you to modify and change charts without actually modifying them. It lets you select charts you’d like to play with and edit, but it won’t actually affect the original chart. It’s essentially a place to sketch out what you’d like to see, but it won’t save automatically — you have to manually click save.

3. Connect a data source.

Data sources are set up by connecting data to your report. You can select a variety of data sources, from social media platforms to website data. For more information on how to set up Google Data Studio, you can head to Google Analytics Academy, where you can complete a Data Studio course.

4. Create a report.

You can create a report from a template, where you can then plug your data into and customise further to suit your needs. Or, if you’re feeling creative you can create your own report from scratch.

5. Add charts.

Once you have made your report page, you can then add charts to illustrate selected data you wish to share. From scatter charts to geolocation charts, it feels like there’s an endless amount of ways to display your data.

6. Customise data.

Data can be customised by selecting different dimensions, controls and formats. You can add a date range to allow viewers to have the ability to view data from selected dates. Once again, there are so many different ways you can display your data and allow viewers to interact with it.

7. Share your report.

You can share your report with anyone, whether it’s teammates or clients. In the same way you share a Google Doc, you select email addresses to send the report to and make them viewers or editors. Since it’s live, it’s easier than ever to collaborate with teammates on reports, or share to clients so they won’t have to receive periodic emails with new reports — it’s all in one location.

It can be difficult setting up reports, but it’s worth the effort. As part of our service at Localsearch, we send you monthly reports with the data you need to know, so it’s even easier to know how effective your marketing is for your business. Contact us now to create your no-obligation quote.

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