6 Steps Not To Miss When Using Data Studio

Data Studio is a powerful reporting service linked to Google Analytics, Google Ads, and more. Pioneered by Google in 2016, it was released from beta to the general public in the fall of 2018 – and is absolutely free to use!

With an intuitive dashboard and sharp graphics, this invaluable tool allows you to make striking, and more importantly actionable, reports for your clients as you share critical data about their Google Analytics. We highly recommend trying it out. (Did we mention it’s free?)



1. Set Up Google Analytics on their Website

Yes, this is an obvious step, but it is the first thing you need to do. If you haven’t done so already, go ahead and get that going. (Here’s a tutorial.) Yes, Data Studio can also pull in Google Ad info, etc., but there’s no use in having that data if you can’t track who’s coming to the website, when, how often, etc.

2. Gather Permissions Necessary

If you’re also tracking keywords, paid ads, etc., you’ll also need permissions for those accounts. These might include Google Ads, Google Search Console, and more. Pulling in data from Google products is free, but if you want to attach other reporting sources, check out Supermetrics. It’s a paid service, but can help you keep all your data outside of Google together.

Pro Tip: An alternative would be to manually input data into a Google sheet and pull the metrics in from there! To save yourself time down the road, grab those permissions now before you start in with the report creation.

3. Determine Your Goals and Key Metrics

It’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole of metrics with Data Studio. Keep your reports lean and ultimately effective by being aware of exactly what your clients are trying to accomplish. (You can read more about Analytics Goals here.)

4. Choose Relevant Data Sources

You can save yourself a lot of time in the long run by choosing the data sources you need to report on for each client. Go to the left panel, when you’ve logged into Data Studio and click “Data Sources” and “+.” Add the sources you need for each client and save them for future use. (You’ll thank us later.)

5. Start with a Template

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the creation options or just need an easy way to wade in, grab a template. There are some great free ones that will let you get started fast, without worrying about design features. Head to the “Report Gallery” section and find one you like. Choose “Make a Copy of this Report” to emulate and start pulling in your own data. Now you can build and change from.

Pro Tip: Once you’ve created a report you like, you can use that as a template for future reports and clients.

6. Rename Your Metrics

If you’re finding certain conversion or metric names boring, you can rename them to make them client friendly. It’s likely your client doesn’t care about “Goal Chat #1 Google Analytics” the way you do. After selecting a metric, hover over it until you see the pencil Icon. You can then rename this metric so that it’s more client friendly. Let your client see at a glance what is actually being represented, and thereby accomplished.

Pro Tip: Whenever possible, rename sources, reports, templates, and more with your clients’ names. The last thing you want to do is pull in information or present information from the wrong client’s report.

Bonus Tip: Add Some Style

Now that you’re comfortable with the process, go in and make it great. Building the table and line graphs is straightforward enough, but the magic happens when you add style to make it pop. When you have a data block selected, you’ll see the right side navigation is broke out into ‘Data’ and ‘Style’. Utilizing the style portion to make a line on a line graph be on the right axis, or adding row coloring to make a table easier to read, will make your report shine.

Ready to dive in? Just want to dip in your toes? Wherever you are with Data Source, we highly recommend checking it out. It’s intuitive, powerful, and free. So what do you have to lose? Wow your clients and make your job easier at the same time.



Are you still venturing into Google Analytics?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we have some great tips for getting starting and making Google Analytics work for you. If you have any questions about these or other Marketing Technology issues, contact us anytime.

Start Implementing Your Google Analytics Strategy with our FREE Printable Worksheet!

Start typing and press Enter to search

Proactive web development