A Simple 5-Step Guide to Getting Started with Google Data Studio

Here’s a business riddle for you: what’s a fast, easy, and free tool for tracking important metrics? The answer is Google Data Studio. And if you aren’t using it yet (or are but need some guidance), then this post was made for you!

Google Data Studio helps pool and present your data in the most readable and attractive way. Once you make “studio visits” part of your regular routine, you’ll be sure to love how simple it is to use data to scale and grow your business.

What Is Google Data Studio? 

To be clear, Google Data Studio is not a means to collect business data (Google Analytics can help with that). Google Data Studio—like an art or music studio—is a place to design and present your data for sharing!

Think of it as a major step up from school-grade poster projects or overly complicated (and expensive) presentation softwares. The data studio operates similarly to other Google tools. If you like the Google search engine, email, or docs, odds are you’ll appreciate Google Data Studio, too.

And it’s interactive! With Google Data Studio, you can design and organize an appealing layout (complete with graphs, keys, and metric outlines) without having to isolate or freeze your figures. Picture presenting your findings to your clients or team members with the ability to change metrics or adjust your zoom on the fly!

Why Should You Use Google Data Studio? 

You may think that your current data systems are enough. Old business habits die hard, right? But Google Data Studio will help take your business to the next level. Let me tell you three reasons why it’s the best tool for you.

You Can Analyze Data From Multiple Sources 

Google Data Studio interacts well with other platforms to create data projections. Whether you’re working with CSV files, social media platforms, or outside databases, Google blends it all together for a more cohesive presentation.

That said, other tools from the Google suite are the easiest to synchronize! For example, if you use Google Analytics or Ads, they are created to work seamlessly with other Google programs, like the Data Studio.

It Allows for Real-Time Collaboration with Your Team 

No matter if your team members are across the office from each other or across the world, Google Data Studio allows you to collaborate with them at the same time from the comfort of their own screens. Just like Google documents and spreadsheets, the collaboration feature is a definite bonus.

Multiple minds are better than one! And the ability to work simultaneously saves hours of valuable time taking turns to proof and edit. On the other hand, if “one at a time” is more your style, you can also turn off editing abilities for your teammates. You can share the view without sharing the power.

Your Reporting Dashboards Are Fully Customizable 

Have you ever tried using a dashboard that didn’t make sense to you? A dashboard with unnecessary options and cluttered areas of operation can be challenging to create! But Google Data Studio lets you organize your dashboard in a way that works for you. 

Choose your format using a pre-designed template or work from scratch to customize what you want to use (and where it lives on your dashboard):

  • Colors
  • Fonts
  • Widgets
  • Graphs
  • Data figures
  • Charts
  • Page orientation
  • Other style components

When you have the ability to design your own “operation station” it makes everything easier! And as your priorities or skills change, you can modify your setup down the line.


How To Get Started with Google Data Studio 

If Google Data Studio is a tool you’d like to add to your business belt, these tips will help you get started. Here are five simple steps to get started!

Pick a Report Template 

For your first time through, a template is the way to go! This way you can use a recommended dashboard and get a good feel for what you’d like to change later on. 

Select the type of metrics you want to display and your personal style of presentation to help you choose a good template. From there, you should be able to create personalized reports for every purpose.

Connect Your Data 

You don’t have to manually enter your data every time you use Google Data Studio. Rather, the studio synchronizes perfectly with Google Analytics.

Simply click the “add data” option on your dashboard and select the appropriate data source from the menu. Google walks you through the step-by-step process and updates in real-time. So the next time you log in to create a data presentation, your metrics will already be up-to-date and ready to go.

Related: What is a Google Data Studio Dashboard and How Can You Best Use One?

Add Dynamic Charts and Controls 

One tremendous reason that businesses love Google Data Studio, no matter their niche, is the interactive options. After you select a chart or graph to include with your presentation, you can enable viewers to click, enlarge, and investigate within certain parameters.

Again, your studio will be synchronized with your live data feed. So the option to “dig deeper” will always be there!

Choose Your Metrics to Customize Your Report

With Google Data Studio, metrics overwhelm can be a thing of the past! The ability to select and weed out which metrics you need is a key advantage. Not only will you feel less bombarded, but your clients and collaborative teammates will feel more at ease when you share with them.

For example, if your business manages social media accounts, you probably want your presentations to clients to reflect their “likes” and comments. You may want to hide data on ROI if your current focus is on account interactions.

Share Your Report

To share the workload (or to share your work when it’s all said and done), all you need to do is click the “share” button at the top of your screen. 

If you wish to allow your collaborators to edit with you, you can grant them access without giving them full access to your metrics sources.

On the other hand, you can select the option that allows your invited guests to view—without giving them the ability to make changes. Google makes either option easy to carry out with their click-by-click instructions.

Google Data Studio is a one-stop shop for all of your data presentation needs. No matter your business niche, this Google tool allows you to completely customize and beautify your metrics. You’ve got nothing to lose by trying it out!

There’s so much value to gain from having your data organized in an easy, actionable, and understandable way. And creating custom data studio dashboards is the key!

Learn how to do just that with Measure and Maximize! You’ll be able to build dashboards to support your clients with analytics in a snap…and you’ll look more professional than ever before. 

Be sure to follow along on Instagram for tips, resources, and insights into all things metrics and business data. 

To be successful, learn how to collect, organize, and present your data. Start with these other posts: 

A Simple 5-Step Guide to Getting Started with Google Data Studio | Datable.