10 Google Data Studio Tricks For Better Insights and Productivity

Google data studio is a new free dashboarding system by Google which integrates with several data sources which include Google products like AdWords, Google Analytics, Doubleclick Campaign Manager, Youtube Analytics. And Non-Google data sources such as MySql, PostgreSQL, File uploads.

This dashboarding tool makes it super easy to create bird’s eye view dashboard from multiple data sources which is a lifeline for digital analysts and marketers. No matter how useful any new tool is, with every new tool comes a steep learning curve before it really adds to productivity. Well, I have had this learning curve and here is an opportunity for you to take advantage of my learning curve and leap ahead with these data studio tricks.

Google Data Studio Trick # 1: Calculated Metrics:

Calculated metrics are a great way to save your time and improve your productivity with Google Data studio. Calculated metrics let you go beyond metrics which are already available and you let you create your own metrics by performing mathematical functions on 1 or more metrics.

Some examples of calculated metrics are.

Time spent on site per user = session duration/users (Source GA)

Non bounce sessions = sessions – bounces (Source GA)

Cost per session = cost / sessions (Source GA )

Google Data Studio Calculated Metrics are not to be confused with Google Analytics calculated metrics which is a different concept and quite limited one compared to Google Data Studio Calculated metrics. Check out this video about Google Analytics Calculated Metrics.

Google Data Studio Calculated Field
Calculated Field Google Data Studio, Calculated Metrics

Google Data Studio Trick #2: Calculated Dimensions

Calculated dimensions are similar to calculated metrics but using mathematical functions may not be possible for every dimension. But with calculated dimensions you can use text functions like concat or even case functions to automate some of the mundane stuff you might be doing for your reporting in spreadsheets repeatedly and automate the same with Google Data Studio.

There are several mathematical, aggregation and text functions available for use in Google data studio to create calculated dimensions.

Some Examples of custom dimensions are

Custom dimensions come handy for fixing human errors in codes or UTM tags, For example, you have an account where medium email is tagged sometimes as “Email” while “email” other times. This is easy fix with custom dimensions with formula as


Another great example of a custom dimension is Weekend and Weekday. I have written tip a while back on how to report weekend/weekday in Google data studio.

Google Data Studio Calculated Field
Google Data Studio Calculated Field- Calculated Dimension

Google Data Studio Trick #3: Embedding report

Embedding any report in a web page or even in an email for that matter saves you time on exporting a report , attaching it and sending it to concerned users. Although these users will not be able to make changes to report or even refresh data in the report, the data will automatically get refreshed as cache expires which is roughly every 12 hours. So once you embed the report it will be auto updated every 12 hours.

Google Data Studio Embed Report
Google Data Studio Embed Report








Google Data Studio Trick #4: Using Page level filters

Pages in Google Data Studio let you segregate your data in a way where every page can have a similar data with one dimension / them which ties all data together. For example while reporting you can have different pages for mobile, desktop and tablet.

This can be easily achieved with page level filters you can use the same or similar template to all 3 pages but with a filter for each page where data for one type of device shows on one page of your report. You can find page level filters by navigating to page >> current page settings.

Google Data Studio Page Filter
Google Data Studio Page Filter









Google Data Studio Trick #5: Using Date Control:

Users who are used to Google Analytics or Google Adwords interfaces can find this odd where date control is taken for granted but in Data Studio Reports you have explicitly insert date control.

By default, Google Data Studio will report for last 28 days excluding today so if you want to give freedom to consumers of the report of choosing date ranges you will need to insert date control in your report. Usually, I keep date control in the right-hand top corner just like Google AdWords or Google Analytics, that is where users will look intuitively for date control.

Google Data Studio Date Range
Google Data Studio Date Range





Google Data Studio Trick #6: Keep Up with Changes

Google Data Studio is a relatively new product which also means its still evolving and fast changing. I have been using this product for only a few months but I have noticed changes / new features almost every month. So how do you keep yourself abreast of all these changes? Just using product is not enough, even if you use Google Data Studio every day you may not stumble across a new feature. But there is a resource where every change to Google Data Studio is logged as “What’s new in Google Data Studio?”

Google Data Studio Trick #7: Look Beyond Default Data Sources

By default, Google Data Studio provides an option of collecting to almost all google data sources such as Google Analytics, Google Adwords, Youtube, BigQuery, etc. But Google Data Studio also has community connectors which are not officially released by Google but by the developer community and work almost as smoothly as default connectors. You can find these at Google Data Studio community connectors gallery.

Google Data Studio Trick #8: Use Canvas Size As Per Requirement

One size doesn’t fit all, the same way, not every report has to be built in same canvas size. Google Data Studio provides with 4 predefined canvas sizes

US letter (4:3) – Portrait

US letter (4:3) – Landscape

Screen (16:9) Portrait

Screen (16:9) Portrait

Besides these, you can also define your own custom canvas size.

Based on how many elements and how much data you need in the report you can choose different canvas size.

Google Data Studio Trick #9: Collaborate

Report sharing is a great way of not only same report being shared with multiple users for analyzing and exploring but also for collaborating on reports. With edit permission for a report, multiple users can collaborate on a single report from multiple locations. This feature allows analysts from different departments to collaborate on reports and edit / suggest changes to reports to include success metrics which for their departments.

Google Data Studio Trick #10: Follow #TrackingSOS

For all updates on Google Data Studio tune in to #trackingSOS on twitter and if you have any issue/questions about Data Studio ask your question on Twitter with #trackingSOS.

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AuthorNIkhil Parachure

Nikhil is nothing short of "Swiss Knife of Digital Marketing" over the course of last 10 years he has been involved in practically every facet of Digital Marketing and Analytics. Starting career with paid search Nikhil has built and managed award winning digital campaigns, has been Google Adwords Top Contributor, Planned and implemented several complex and large scale web and mobile analytics implementations. Currently working for a leading ecommerce platform in India as Head of Digital Marketing Nikhil has also conducted analytics and marketing trainings for several MNCs.

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