In this multi-part series, we’ll take a tour through Google’s newest digital tool, Data Studio. We’ll look at it from a marketer’s perspective, including:

Part 1: What is Data Studio?

Google’s Data Studio makes dashboards. That’s the simplest way to put it. It’s been in beta since last year, when it was first revealed to Google Analytics Certified Partners.

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Data Studio connects to various Google data sources such as Google Analytics, AdWords, BigQuery, and Google Sheets. It provides drag and drop visualization of common metrics, and your dashboards can easily be shared with others. When we share a dashboard, the shared page is interactive, so others can view or even remix our dashboards if we permit them to.

Data Studio comes with 5 free dashboards for all users; after the first 5, a monthly fee applies. Thus, for the average individual marketer, Data Studio is a great first dashboard tool to learn.

What Data Studio Isn’t

Data Studio is a simple, easy to use tool. As such, it trades off sophistication found in other dashboard software for ease of use.

Data Studio is also a pure visualization tool. It offers many different ways to chart and visualize data. However, it offers virtually no analysis or computational capabilities. If you’re accustomed to doing in-visualization computation (such as with Watson Analytics or Tableau), Data Studio will not fit the bill.

Data Studio also offers very restricted data sources. If you don’t operate in the Google Analytics/AdWords/BigQuery ecosystem, Data Studio will be of limited use to you out of the box.

Next: Setting Up

In the next part in this series, we’ll step through the process of building your first Data Studio dashboard.


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