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How to Build a Custom Data Studio Dashboard

If you haven’t experienced the peace of mind that comes from a custom-built dashboard that was designed just for you, then please keep reading.

Why Choose Google Data Studio Over Competing Dashboard Builders?

Google Data Studio has decided that they are tired of Tableau and Microsoft BI stealing their thunder. If you are familiar with Google, you’ll know that they’ll probably win the data dashboard wars. They’re adding great functionality every day, and they even have a Google Data Studio community on GitHub that is creating some awesome visualizations. 

Data Studio Templates are Designed to Simplify the Process

We encourage you to try it out for yourself if you have experience dealing with data and you have a designer who doesn’t mind a design interface that is still a bit finicky. If you are integrating with Google Analytics or Google Search Console, it’s pretty easy to use.

Google Data Studio has a large collection of Community Connectors, but don’t get too excited. Most of those data connectors are called ETL’s and they all have fairly expensive monthly subscriptions. 

Avoid Expensive ETL’s Using Google Sheets Formulas and Addons

If you do not want to pay the monthly or annual subscription cost for ETL software, but you still want to build a dashboard with a particular data source that does not appear in the list of Community Connectors. We recommend using our favorite data source, Google Sheets. 

Google Sheets is an awesome data source if you are familiar with it. Using add-ons like Adveronix or API Connector, you can schedule data to pull directly into the sheet. Some of our templates include documentation on how you can work a little hard to obtain your data for free… or at least cheap.

Data Studio Templates Now Offers a Custom Dashboard Creation Service

Data Studio Templates is now offering the opportunity to work directly with our dashboard architects. Discuss your project directly with a dashboard architect from our team. Unlike our premium templates, our custom dashboard service allows our dashboard architect and designer  to provide additional functionality like custom calculated fields. Data Studio Templates recently started offering this service on a limited basis, and we’ve received positive feedback. 

If you are interested, you can send us a message with the dashboard you have in mind. Please include the data sources, metrics, or simply the goal of the dashboard. If we cannot assist, we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction. 

Data Studio Templates will continue to build templates that incorporate the latest Google Data Studio features with designs that were custom-built to impress. 

Still, certain features like custom metrics, custom parameters, blended data, and data blending are not something that we can offer in our templates. We’ve been receiving more request for custom dashboards and template modifications. Since the feedback has been positive, we’ve decided to extend this service to anyone interested in a custom-built dashboard or template. 

Whether you are a digital marketing agency looking to replace monthly reporting with a live dashboard that automates insights with conditional formatting, or you are looking to pull data from a more obscure set of data connectors. We enjoy a challenge. 

We’ll be offering this service for a limited time. So send us a message and describe the custom-built dashboard that you have in mind. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.  

Data Studio Support, Maintenance & Repairs

Stuck? We also offer a debugging service that will help you get unstuck. Google Data Studio can be frustrating. We know that more than anyone. Fill out the form on our Custom Data Studio Reports page and describe your issue to us. 

Picture this: It’s the first of the month. You open up your browser, and click a link on your bookmark bar. A dashboard with your company’s logo pops up, and you are able to see all of your key metrics in one place. Google Data Studio reports can bring the peace of mind and clarity that will save your time and help you make data-driven decisions. 

If reports are lacking something, ask about our Custom-Built Data Studio Reports or purchase a template from our store and customize it yourself!


Google Sheets vs Google Data Studio

Google Sheets and Data Studio may seem like rivals at first glance, but the truth is that both excel at different things: it’s all about what you want from them. While Data Studio has fast become an agency favourite for its storytelling chops and visual splendour, Sheets still remains the go-to for data analysis and manipulation. The truth is that each choice has its own pros and cons, and it ultimately depends on how you want to present your data and where you are in your aggregation and analysis stage.

In this article we aren’t looking to pit them against each other, instead, we’ll look at their respective advantages.

Advantages of Data Studio

An interface that shows more

Connecting data sources is just half the battle: you’re going to need to display your metrics and numbers in the best way possible. This is where Data Studio truly shines, as it’s much easier to use and has many more options. With Data Studio, you’ll be able to take advantage of a significantly richer interface which allows you to preview your data fields, before updating those fields and types of data. 

Usability and flexibility

Another area where Google Data Studio stands out is how user-friendly the interface is. Together with an intuitive drag and drop interface, it starts users off with a blank canvas that users can populate with text, shapes and charts that they can create by simply selecting the elements and dragging them over to that canvas. Or, if that is too much effort, they can take advantage of the many attractive Data Studio Templates that have already been made.

In Data Studio, users have a lot of control over the elements that are being displayed and through the handy properties panel, they can tweak their metrics, dimensions, data sources, segments and formatting.

Another benefit of Data Studio is that it allows creators to add end-user interactivity, which is perfect for presenting to clients. This interactivity includes filters such as date range, devices, sources and so on: all of which can be added in both individual chart and dashboard levels. For example, if your client wants to employ a dimension-based filter based on devices, you can make it so that all they have to do is click ‘mobile’, and they’ll see data only based on mobile sessions.

The below screenshot shows a date range filter example:

Data storytelling

Perhaps the main thing that sets Sheets and Data Studio apart, is the ability to tell a story through the information on screen. The level of customization and available options really lets you run free and create an end-product that is tailored to the end-user and looks great at the same time. By creating a series of attractive dashboards that are as technical or topline as needed, you’ll be able to show what the trends are, where traffic is coming from, how users behave, and how things might look going forward. It’s all right there in just a few clicks.

While some users will be more technically minded and just want clean data, others may be daunted by the thought of data and metrics, and will, therefore, enjoy a more visual and topline dashboard.

It’s completely up to you: you can either start from scratch and make the dashboard exactly as you want or just use a pre-made template to save time and effort. Both options will allow you to make it look fantastic, with a wealth of colours, icons, fonts and layouts to choose from. This is especially useful when presenting to clients, as you can use their own branding throughout to make it that much more bespoke and impressive.

An honourable mention also goes to the Scorecard, which is a striking metric box that you can use to display KPIs for an at-a-glance look at the most important information. 

Where Sheets strikes back

Officially launched after a series of betas in 2012, Google Sheets enjoyed a meteoric rise, thanks to its familiarity, shareability and overall ease of use. As a data tool powerhouse in its own right, it outperforms Data Studio in situations where users need more advanced data manipulation and analysis functionality.

Data Connections

Since both Sheets and Data Studio are Google Products and are in the cloud, they both have excellent data connection abilities.  Both of them allow you to use native and 3rd party add ons to connect to other data sources and API’s.  

However, sheets stands out since it has more flexibility in importing Data.  This is probably because it has been around longer and has more 3rd party add ons.  Within the G suite market place there are many add on applications aimed at importing data into Google Sheets

Data Studio also has the ability to import data, however it is more limited.  Often times users need to first import data into Google Sheets and then connect Google Sheets to Data Studio. 

Custom automation

At present, Google Data Studio has limited custom automation abilities, whereas Sheets can be enhanced with Google Apps Scripting. For instance, this means that custom scripts can facilitate functions, such as the automated sending of PDF reports to an emailing list, or the automatic saving of reports in Google Drive, arranged by month., 



Sheets and Data Studio both allow sharing to Google accounts (with the appropriate permissions), where end-users don’t necessarily need direct access to the original data source. They both also have collaborative capabilities which allow mutual editing and exporting to PDFs. However, if you’re displaying tables in Data Studio, you can’t currently copy and paste the values into Excel for additional data manipulation or analysis, whereas you can copy and paste whatever you want from Sheets.


Data blending

When it comes to data blending, Sheets is the clear winner. As it functions like Excel and lets you use formulas to join data sources, it is sometimes a better option for hardcore data analysts who need to carry out complex data blending. 


Because Sheets looks and works a lot like Excel, some users and end-users will simply prefer to see and manipulate data in a way they know. Plus, some of the more old-school end-users out there may prefer a simple spreadsheet to something more visually heavy. However, as Data Studio continues to develop, more and more people may eventually make the shift. 

Calculated Metrics

If you’re a data analyst, part of your work will be to create calculated metrics across a number of data sources. While you can create these in Data Studio, you’ll only be able to create them within single data sources. If you’re a pro in Sheets, you’ll be able to create calculated metrics through the use of formulas that reference data from a single source of data, or across multiple data sources. 

This is especially helpful if you want to use KPI formulas with fields that span across more than one single source. An example of such a KPI would be the creation of a calculated metric that shows a call-lead conversion rate that takes the number of call leads (from external call data) and then divides it by the total sessions, as found in Google Analytics.

The bottom line

At the end of the day, there is no perfect tool. Both Sheets and Data Studio have their own pros and cons and remain extremely powerful and valuable tools. When it comes to customization, ease of use, visual prowess and dashboarding capability, Data Studio is the clear winner, but if you require more advanced metrics and data manipulation, Sheets is the way to go.

One important thing to bear in mind is that Data Studio is still relatively ‘young’ when compared to spreadsheet-based tools and will continue to add features in the coming months and years.

It’s safe to say that the tool that’s best for you really depends on what you need to do, and who the end-user is. However, if you’re an agency or an individual who often needs to present data, results, KPIs and metrics to end-users who are likely to respond well to beautiful dashboards, Data Studio is likely your best option. 

If you’re a beginner who doesn’t want to start from scratch or simply looking to save time, why not take a look at our wide selection of Data Studio templates which are pre-made for a range of different requirements, devices and needs.

Why use google data studio

Why your agency should switch to Google Data Studio

As a digital agency, you’re going to be dealing with a lot of different data sources in your day to day operations. While we all know that information is the very centre of your campaign, accessing, understanding and analysing it is another thing entirely.

Us humans are a visual lot and are always looking to understand things quickly – and when it comes to data, there’s no better way to do this than with Google Data Studio. While there are many options out there for visualising data, Google Data Studio is one of the best options for you, your agency and your clients. But why? In this quick guide, we’re going to take a close look at the advantages of using Google Data Studio and why you and your agency should make the switch.

What is Google Data Studio?

Google Data Studio It works by syncing up with your existing marketing and analytics data (such as Google Adwords and Analytics), allowing you to centralize your data to deliver insights in a visually attractive, intuitive and easily shareable way. 

In their own words, “Google Data Studio turns your data into informative dashboards and reports that are easy to read, easy to share, and fully customizable. Dashboarding allows you to tell great data stories to support better business decisions.”  

So, is it a data visualization tool, dashboard or BI tool? Well, the answer is ‘somewhere in the middle’. It strikes a delicate balance of allowing highly customisable data import and visualisation but without going too deeply into data manipulation as offered in fully-fledged BI tools such as powerBI or Pyramid Analytics. Don’t mistake a lack of focus in its hybrid functionality – it’s actually very versatile as you’ll see very soon.

Why Data Studio is Awesome

We can go on all day about why Data Studio is brilliant, but for the sake of brevity here are the main reasons:

Diverse data sources

While Google Analytics limits the number of widgets you can use for reporting, Data Studio lets you have an unlimited number of rows and sources. You can have as many charts and tables as you like, letting you and your clients see the whole picture.

However, the real big feature here is that you can pull data from a huge number of sources all into one place. All you need to do is select which ones you want to use and link your charts to their collection source. Another fantastic feature of this is that when the chart source is updated in any way, your report will be automatically updated in real-time to make sure the data remains accurate.

Data from wherever you want it

Google Data Studio lets you source information from:

  • Google Ads
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Analytics
  • Attribution 360
  • Soundcloud
  • YouTube

Then there’s also the option of being able to tap into data warehouses, such as BigQuery which open the doors to much larger-scale data access and interpretation. And then you have your connectors, which is the mechanism by which Data Studio accesses a specific data platform, system, or product. Currently Data Studio offers more than 200 connectors and gives you the option to build your own if you have the technical chops for it.

If you want to connect to platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, SEMRush and others, this will still be possible through the use of premium partner connectors such as Supermetrics. However, you’ll need to pay for the service so make sure to build this cost into your client quote or marketing budget.

Make it yours

This is one of the largest draws for many users. You can make your dashboard exactly how you want it, starting from a completely blank canvas. Or, you can choose from any number of pre-made templates which do the heavy lifting for you. We’ll get to that a little later.

Starting from scratch lets you drag and drop information as you see fit, adding widgets and goals wherever you want to tell the story you want to tell. After the initial layout is done, you can get stuck into making it look fantastic. This is the fun part, as Google Data Studio offers an enormous level of customisation, right from page sizes and fonts through to colours, images, videos, flows and more. It’s easily the most customisable reporting tool out there at the moment. 

This is especially handy when it comes to creating reports for clients. Each one will have their own needs, goals and metrics that they want to display, and with Data Studio you can  give them exactly what they want, right down to individual page elements (including their own branding), data sources and layouts.

Colours make everything better

Charts galore

If you’re not data-savvy, it’s still easy to get an impressive array of charts into your dashboard. You can choose from a huge number of already-built charts to help show your data in the best possible way, in visual forms not available in Google Analytics. Another great thing about this is that you can even customize the period of the data for each chart. You can do this in a custom timeframe (which is great for monthly reporting) or in a rolling capacity, meaning that you can measure data over a larger period of time in relation to the current date.

So what does that mean in practical terms? Well, you could show demographics with a pie chart, monthly sales on a line charge, a bar chart for website traffic and even a geographic map to show the sessions by country. All of these types of charts (and many more) are just a few clicks away and also offer the option to add text elements underneath for any commentary or labelling.

Charts, charts and more charts

Shareable, accessible

Google Data Studio is about as collaborative as it can get. Just like Google Docs, you can share your report with anyone with just a link. Also, you can control who can see, who can comment and who can edit, giving you complete control over the audience and the final outcome. This means that you can still reveal sensitive data without giving away a password or too much access.

Here’s an example scenario: you’ve put together a basic dashboard and want to run it past your clients. You don’t want them the ins and outs of your business but you do need feedback before finalising the report. By giving them limited ‘comment’-type access, they can leave their feedback on everything, leaving you to action their comments or leaving your own as a response. From there, you’ll be able to build a report exactly to their specifications. Then, when all is said and done the report can be downloaded as a PDF, printed out and shared offline at meetings or presentations.

Your report is always safe

You won’t need to deal with the anxiety of losing your document because of power failure or forgetting to hit ‘save’. Just like with Google Docs and other cloud-based collaborative software, your template will be automatically saved as you go along; and you can revert to earlier versions if need be. This means you can work completely stress-free and without the worry of something happening to your dashboard. Just open it up, do your thing and close the window. Easy.

You can tailor to your exact audience

The deep level of customisation that Google Data studio gives you means that the end product can be tailor-made for the intended audience. For instance, if your audience is technically-minded, you can include a lot more complex data for them to have the full picture. However, if the report is intended for a client who is more interested in only seeing the top-line information, you can include a more visual dashboard which conveys the most important elements at a glance.

Before creating your report, it’s best to ask your audience what kind of data they want to see, and in which format. This will let you get things more correct in the first iteration without having to go back to the drawing board.

Topline or finer detail? It’s up to you.

Internally essential

Of course, Data Studio also excels for internal use, helping to increase productivity, accuracy, communication and performance. For instance, you can set up pulse reports to let employees and colleagues get an overview of all clients’ data on one dashboard, or create employee progress reports for internal review. You can then compare numbers on a monthly basis to see the data trends on success, failure and other focus areas.

Templates make life easier

If you’d rather not create a dashboard from scratch, you really don’t have to. There are so many different types of templates out there that you’re bound to find the perfect one.

Whether you want to report on social media traffic, website performance or a range of KPIs, you’ll find the perfect template for you. All you need to do is connect it up to your data sources, make some tweaks as required and you’re good to go. For some inspiration, take a look at some of these Data Studio Templates to get the ball rolling.

Alternatively we specialise in custom data studio template builds, get in touch with us to discuss futher.

ecommerce data studio templates

The Best eCommerce Data Studio Templates for 2020

As an eCommerce businesses you probably deal with mountains of data on a daily basis.  It’s crucial for you to be able to easily, intuitively and simply access and make sense of this data. Having the right data visualisation tool could be make or break.

Data Studio provides an elegant solution for presenting marketing data for eCommerce businesses. Many digital marketing platforms are easily connected to Data Studio. Since eCommerce business are setup to track revenue and transactions, this data can be pushed through to Data Studio seamlessly.  

There are many great templates available for Google Data Studio. Rather then build your own, often a better solution is to plug into one of the great templates already available. In this post, we take a look at the best eCommerce Data Studio Templates from across the web. 

1. The Ecommerce Speed Dashboard

View Template: https://datastudio.google.com/u/0/reporting/0B-7yurpNRXouUzNibGNsYlBzT2s/page/kKrB 

If you are running an eCommerce site, you know that a slow site means fewer conversions and lost revenue. The eCommerce report from Canonicalized demonstrates the relationship between your site speed and bottom line. 

What’s impressive about this dashboard is that Canonicalized has broken down the answer into a dashboard that is not only easy to understand but also easy to integrate.

This dashboard shows sessions compared to average page load time. It also shows average page load time by device category: desktop, tablet, and mobile.

If you are looking to see how each page performs, there is a table that shows each page along with sessions, average page load time, and average server response time.

Despite being a one-page minimalistic template, you can take real action based on the insights. For example, say you notice that most of your sessions are from the United States, but your USA page load times are slower than any other place. You could use a CDN or even migrate your site to a server in the USA.

This dashboard made our ‘best’ list because it fits the definition “less is more”. The dimensions and metrics are presented concisely, allowing you to see all the data on one page.

This dashboard is good for UX experts, web designers, SEO experts and webmasters whose goal is to make the site as user-friendly as possible. It allows them to see data at both a macro level (continents, countries, aggregated page load times and sessions) as well as a micro level, such as page load time by page.

You will certainly need to combine this with other dashboards to get a fuller picture of site performance

2. Google Merchandise Store Report

View Template: https://datastudio.google.com/u/0/reporting/0B2-rNcnRS4x5UG50LTBMT0E4aXM/page/nQN 

The Google Merchandise Store Report is developed by Google.  To use this template, you need an eCommerce store that’s integrated with Google Analytics. 

This dashboard includes all the important dimensions and metrics such as sessions, product add to carts, revenue, cart-to-detail rate as both an aggregate and per product or medium basis. You can filter the data by device category, country, user type, and source/medium.

We like that the dashboard allows you to see overall trends and also provides product specific information.  Google has done a good job giving you the option to hone in on product-specific info while including top-level info all on the same view.  

The template is quite simplistic.  It’s a nice concise report but lacks some detail.

3. The Merchandise Store Website Performance Report

View Template: https://datastudio.google.com/u/0/reporting/1lK4qQV1orRoyd1s_mYeNt-Mbye4f40YT/page/sfjO 

This is another one-page eCommerce dashboard, but this time this dashboard contains a lot more detail. The template is sectioned into 5 categories: Performance, Conversions, Audience, Acquisition & Behaviour.  

The level of detail provided is significant.  All this info is jam-packed onto 1 page, which can make it slightly overwhelming at first glance.  However, on closer inspection it really packs a lot of punch and is a great dashboard. The diversity of information in such a small amount of screen space is phenomenal.

The dashboard answers many of the questions an eCommerce website manager would ask including: What is my performance right now? How has this changed compared to the previous period? Where do visitors come from? How do they behave? etc…

There are filters for the date, user type, and device category.  This is a nice way to disect the data, as you can quickly adjust to see the information just for new visitors.  This is a dimension often overlooked by marketers. 

This dashboard is good for eCommerce businesses that want to keep their finger on the pulse and if something seems off, such as sales, they can instantly take action and get to the bottom of things.

Developed By: Data Runs Deep

4. The Enhanced Ecommerce Funnel Template

View Template: https://datastudio.google.com/u/0/reporting/1arhrkUyjC8IJM2fYK_52AUTxZuZyuKbu/page/5Bws 

This template visualizes the data from the shopping behaviour report in Google Analytics and it does a pretty good job of replicating the report completely.

The dashboard shows you the percentage of users who pass through your sales funnel, ultimately making that buying decision. It shows all sessions, then sessions with product views, then sessions with add to cart, then sessions with checkout and finally, sessions with ka-ching! 

We like this dashboard because, in addition to displaying the people moving from one stage to a subsequent one, it shows you how many dropped off along the way. There is even a table that shows the actions and abandonments by device category.

The dashboard makes our ‘best’ list because if you are in eCommerce, you want to know when you lose a significant proportion of visitors at a certain step. For example, say after product page views, very few people add products to cart. This could indicate a problem with your product pages. This could indicate content or technical problems.

This dashboard is good for conversion optimization experts, whose job is to increase the number of conversions and revenue with the same amount of traffic. They want to increase the proportion of people moving through each stage as much as possible.

5. The Enhanced eCommerce Dashboard

View Template: https://datastudiotemplates.com/product/enhanced-ecommerce-dashboard/

The Enhanced eCommerce template is tailored for eCommerce businesses that have set up enhanced eCommerce tracking on Google Analytics. If you run an eCommerce site and would like to see detailed information arranged in a better way than in Google Analytics, this report is for you.

You can share the dashboard with other people in your company to stimulate discussions around sales and revenue. The template shows year-on-year revenue, purchases, and revenue per purchase.

The template also shows data on product views and add to carts. With custom filters provided out of the box, the dashboard allows you to filter data based on date, the Analytics profile, source, country, and user type.

This dashboard breaks down eCommerce data into several logical sections. These are clearly named as Financing, Conversion, Customers, and Product. You can see the current data, its comparison to the previous period, and the trend.

The dashboard aims to answer key questions in a clear way: How much revenue are we getting? How many people are converting, and how does their conversion vary by landing page and source/medium? What are the demographics of our customers? Which products do customers buy the most?

Developed By Us! 😉

6. The Sales and Shopping Behavior Dashboard

View Template: http://datastudio.google.com/reporting/310e1265-b8e9-4bb8-9cd9-0b3d67145ed4 

The ‘Sales and Shopping Behaviour Report’ has been beautifully designed by ‘My Digital Lab’.  The template does just what it proclaims to do. It provides insight into shopping and sales performance for eCommerce websites.  It also gives insights into Channels and Devices as a bonus. 

What is striking about this template is the design it provides. The top part of the template provides a number of intuitive filters that are great to use and can also easily be combined.   The use of large icons and graphs to shout out sections and highlight information has also been well done. The attention to detail on this dashboard is high and it’s the key reason we have included it in this review.  

This design allows the dashboard to stand out and provide strong insights to the user. If you are interested in sales and shopping behavior you have most of the info you need here including a funnel.  It shows unique purchases, quantity purchased, revenue, and average price. It shows the basket-to-detail rate, buy-to-detail rate, brand performance, product performance, channel performance, and device performance.

This dashboard is good for eCommerce businesses doing a monthly or quarterly introspective of their business. You can dissect your eCommerce data through a plethora of filters and date ranges. With this template, your long sales meetings can finally be productive!

Developed By: My Digital Lab

7. The Facebook Campaign Template 

View Template: https://datastudio.google.com/u/0/reporting/1hSOTY3Ea_fMmdylPu5ZVxow4-YkvCDYK 

The Facebook Campaign template by NextAd is designed to provide a review of your Facebook ad campaigns.  It has 5 pages and provides a good level of detail for Facebook campaigns.  

We have included this in our top eCommerce review as it has information on eCommerce.  On the front page, it provides some detail on purchases and revenue. On page 4 it also has a funnel overview which provides some detail on low funnel campaigns.  

Since this template gives a wide overview of Facebook campaigns it is certainly not as in-depth as other eCommerce specific templates for eCommerce website managers, however, it is difficult to find good Facebook templates that are geared towards eCommerce so we have included it.  

On the summary page, the template breaks down your Facebook data by cost and impressions, clicks, and purchases. It also has a table that breaks down your campaigns by objective, the amount spent, revenue, results, cost per result, impressions, and ROAS.

The dashboard has six pages: overview (live data), audience breakdown (the who), creative breakdown (the why), funnel overview (the when), and campaign level.

We also liked the clean design of the dashboard.  The information is nicely spaced, easy on the eyes and easy to understand.  

There is some configuration required with this dashboard.  It appears you need to be a client of ‘The Next Ad’ to use the template as well.  This is a significant downside to the dashboard, it is not plug and play and requires subscribing to their account and using their connector. 

Developed By: NextAd

8. The Aro Digital eCommerce Dashboard

View Template: https://datastudio.google.com/u/0/reporting/1mqTA-aptRwBcxpFUeZZ66CcPHhOTUVK6/page/VgD 

The Aro Digital template is also a more generalist template but has a lot of information included on eCommerce transactions.  The template connects to four different data sources: GA, Google Ads, Search Console and Facebook Ads. It’s great for getting a solid overview of key traffic sources for your eCommerce site. 

The template is well designed and has a good selection of KPIs. Consequently, you can segment your data to hone in on a specific location, channel or demographic.

The template consists of 4 pages, covering most of the key search marketing elements a website eCommerce manager would want to see

The design is a bit busy on this template.  However clever use of colours make it look professional and readable.  They are packing in a lot of information into 4 pages. We think they have done well to incorporate key information from the key traffic sources.

Developed By: Aro Digital

How to Use Calculated Fields in Google Data Studio

In this article, we are going to explain how to use calculated fields in Google Data Studio.

A ‘field’  is a specific metric used in a data visualisation report. A metric is a measure used to quantitatively track or assess progress, performance, quality and more.

In GDS, once a data source has been added, all of the fields within that data source are available to use in a report. By using ‘calculated fields’, it is possible to create new, custom metrics which derive from your data source. Calculated fields are essentially user-generated metrics.

So why would you want to create new custom metrics? Well, sometimes the pre-existing metrics are just not sufficient. Calculated fields are useful if you cannot answer certain questions with the available fields associated with your data. Some examples from Google Analytics could be Events per user which is total Events / Users or Product View per Session which is Product Detail Views / Sessions

In this article, we are going to explain the process of creating a new metric in 10 steps.

1) Calculated Fields

For this example, we are looking at two metrics, tax rates and product prices:

We want to be able to calculate the amount of tax that an individual customer would pay when they purchase a specific product. To work this out, the below calculation is used:

‘Tax paid by the customer’ is the new metric that we want to use in our data visualisations.

2) GDS supports basic math functions

Addition (+), Subtraction (-), Division (/) and Multiplication (*). The operators (and formulas) used in GDS are the same as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets:

3) Creating a new Metric

We are going to create a new metric called ‘Tax paid by customer’ using the data from our example data source. To begin, it is necessary to export the spreadsheet into GDS. In order to connect Google Sheets to GDS, a new data source needs to be created by selecting the ‘+’ in the bottom right-hand corner of the page in GDS.

4) Add Data Connections

You can revisit our previous article on how to connect Google Sheets to Google Data Studio.

5) Editing your data

You have the choice to edit the data in your existing report before exporting it to GDS, or it is also possible to edit your data source in the GDS home screen after you have exported it.

In the GDS home screen you will see a list of your metrics in blue, and your dimensions in green. To create a new metric select the ‘+ Add Field’ on the right-hand side of the screen.

6) Creating a new metric

To start, enter a name for your metric. For this example we are using ‘Tax paid by customer’. GDS will then assign a Unique ID to your new metric – this does not need to be changed.

7) Calculating your metric using formulas

The next step is to input the formula for your new metric in the formula field:

When entering a new formula, GDS generates suggested metrics. Once you are finished inputting your formula, click save.

8) Check the new formula is saved

Your new metric will then display in your list highlighted in blue, with a small icon ‘fx’ indicating that it’s a calculating field.

9) Select the data format type

Next, select the data type for this new field. For this example, it is ‘currency’. Once complete, select ‘done’.

Your new metric will then be available to add to your data visualisation.

10) Duplicating a metric

Once you have created a new calculated metric, you have the ability to use it when creating additional ones. Below we have created another custom metric, ‘Average price + tax’, by referencing ‘Tax Paid by Customer’.

You can create custom metrics for any type of data source to assist you in enhancing your existing datasets. This is a great way to complement your dashboard.

We hope this article was helpful and has assisted you in improving your knowledge in Google data studio.

The Best Free Data Studio Templates of 2019

Datastudiotemplates.com is one of the only sites on the web dedicated to providing great templates for Google Data Studio. We devote time and resources to researching and building templates that we feel will help you understand, analyse and monitor your marketing campaigns more effectively.

In this article, we have reviewed seven of the best free templates that are available online.  The free dashboard templates that we have reviewed allow for a quick analysis of performance and enable you to see and interact with your data in ways that are most helpful to you.

Aside from some great free templates that we’ve found, we also provide a number of premium paid templates which cover SEO, SEM, Social Media, E-commerce and Traffic.

Connecting GDS’ Dashboards to Data Sources

It is possible to connect a GDS dashboard to a huge range of third-party data sources as well as other Google platforms. GDS provides free connectors, but other premium or community connectors have also been built because of certain limitations associated with the default connectors. The templates we have reviewed in this article use only GDS’ default connectors and analyse data from Google accounts, making them 100% free to use.

  • You can access a list of all the connectors GDS has on offer here
  • You can access a list of premium connectors here.

In no particular order, here is our pick of the best free Data Studio Templates available right now.

1) Paid Channel Mix

The Paid Channel Mix dashboard is simple to read and understand and makes it easy to compare the performance of all your paid marketing channels. This dashboard displays an overview of your top-level data from Adwords, Facebook, Twitter and Bing, enabling you to compare your results at a glance.

Within this dashboard, you can take full control of your date range as well as being able to select your metrics. This dashboard includes handy features like trending charts and scorecards.

View Template: The Paid Channel Mix  (Created by Supermetrics)

Developed By: https://supermetrics.com/product/data-studio

2) Adwords 1 Page Report

This 1-page report provides a useful overview of how your Google Ads have performed over a certain date range. It displays the clicks, cost, CPC and CTR of each campaign in clear, eye-catching scorecards. It also enables an insight into the demographics of your audience as well as the profitability of your keywords. Its uncomplicated design allows for a quick and easy analysis which makes this dashboard effective for companies looking to review their Google Ads performance on a daily basis.

View template: Adwords 1 page report

Developed by: datastudiotemplates.com

3) Blog Content Performance

This interactive dashboard provides an insight into the performance of your blog content. By revealing the blog content that has generated the most traffic to your website, it makes it easy to identify the topics and authors that resonate the most with your users and drive the most value. This single page report provides a clear overview of your content’s performance which helps when developing a content strategy.

The Blog Content Dashboard also enables you to understand more about your content cohorts by changing the date range and comparing different topics within the same time frame, or the same topic over a different period of time. You can also compare categories of content which have the same topic in the blog’s title.

View template: Blog Content template

Developed by Alberto Grande head of marketing at X-Team

4) Youtube Channel Report

This dashboard displays your Youtube metrics in a visual presentation which helps you understand how your videos are performing. The Youtube dashboard showcases your best performing content and highlights the total number of views, user’s average watching time, number of subscriptions and videos shared. This dashboard is easy to use and allows for a quick but effective analysis of your Youtube content and the videos that perform well with your users.

Use template: Youtube Google data studio template

View Template: Youtube

Developed by: Google Data Studio Team

5) Content Performance Report

This Data Studio template provides a 1-page report on the performance of your content. The uncomplicated top-level scorecards clearly display the following metrics; Users, Sessions, Page Views, Bounce Rate and Av. Session Duration. The report also breaks down your authors and categories of your content by traffic (sessions, bounce rate and av.session duration). This dashboard’s design is vibrant and coherent and it is simple to set up.

View template: Content performance

Developed by: datastudiotemplates.com

6) Website Performance Overview

This dashboard provides a very easy to read overview of your website’s performance, on one single page. It includes all the necessary Key Performance Indicators, as well as useful scorecards that display total sales, revenue, average order value and conversion rate. The design is simple and as well as providing an effective overview of performance and traffic sources, some aspects of this dashboard enable you to gain a more in-depth understanding of your data.

Use Template: Website performance overview

Developed by: Alligator Interactive

7) Dashboard for Non Profit Web Data

This comprehensive report provides all the tools to enable you to effectively analyse the performance of your not for profit campaigns. It is functional and clear and includes an overview, breakdown of your audience, information on your Adwords and more. It also provides helpful instructions for connecting your own data.  

Use template: Dashboard for non profit web data

Developed by: https://www.wholewhale.com/

Free templates are a great way to start using GDS to better understand your data and create professional level reports. We also offer a range or premium paid templates which will enable you to create custom, visually compelling views of your data. You can access our premium templates here.

How to Assign User Permissions within Google Analytics in Order to Connect to Google Data Studio

Within Google Analytics, user permissions govern what users can do and the data that they can access. In this article, we are going to explore the structure of Google Analytics, user permissions and their privileges and how to assign the necessary permissions to enable a user to connect GA to GDS.

This report is a continuation of our previous report, ‘How to: Connect Google Analytics to Google Data Studio.

This report consists of 4 sections:

  1. The Structure of Google Analytics
  2. Google Analytics’ Hierarchy and User Permissions
  3. User Permissions
  4. Assigning User Permissions

Google Analytics allows only the account owner to assign user permissions at 3 different levels. These levels reflect the hierarchical structure of every organisation within Google Analytics. An organisation is the collection of products and users, and every Google Analytics organisation is made up of:

  1. An account – the access point to Google Analytics. There can be multiple accounts within an organisation.
  2. A property – a website, devise or mobile application. An account can contain multiple properties.
  3. A view – an access point for reports and each property can contain multiple views.

Users can be added to Google Analytics at an account, property or view level and this determines their user permissions.

At the account level, the user is assigned the greatest permissions and has access to every property and view in that account.

At the property level, users have access to every view within that property, but that access is limited to one specific property.

At the view level, users only have access to that specific view within the individual property.

There are 4 main user permissions within Google Analytics and therefore 4 levels of access:

  1. Manage Users
  2. Edit Permission
  3. Collaborate Permission
  4. Read & Analyze Permission

1) Manage Users (account level access)

In order to assign a user the ability to manage other users within an organisation, they need to be added at an account level. This permission enables users to add or delete other users, as well as assign permissions.

*This permission does not include privileges that come with ‘edit’ or ‘collaborate’.

2) Edit Permission (account, property or view level access)

A user can be assigned editing permission at any level within the organisation but it is important to note that this user permission entails different privileges at each level. For example, a user with edit permission at an account level can manage account settings, manage filters, create new properties and more.

A user with edit permissions at a property level can import data, create new views, customise tracking and more but they cannot do anything that a user with the same permission at an account level can do.

*This permission includes privileges that come with ‘collaborate’ and ‘read & analyze’ but not ‘manage users’.

3) Collaborate Permission (account, property or view level access)

Users that are assigned this permission have the ability to create, delete and share personal assets as well as collaborate on them.

*This permission includes privileges that come with ‘reading & analyze’ but not ‘edit’ or ‘manager users’.

4) Read & Analyze (account, property or view level access)

This permission is assigned to users that only need to view data. It allows users to create reports, dashboards and customs segments but not edit data in any way.  

*This permission doesn’t include any privileges that come with the other user permissions.

In order to connect Google Analytics with GDS, a user needs to be assigned at least the Read & Analyze permission.

For this example, we are going to add a new user at the view level to assign them the read & analyze permission.

1) The first step is to select the ‘admin’ cog on the bottom left-hand side of the screen in the Google Analytics dashboard.

Next, select ‘user management’ in the View level.

2) Then, click on the ‘+’ sign in the top right-hand corner of the screen and input the new user’s email address.

3) You will then be prompted to select whether or not you would like the new user to be notified via email. Below this, the 4 user permissions will display.

4) Select the check box for ‘read & analyze’.

In order to modify an existing user’s permissions, select the desired user from the list displayed in your user management panel.

Once a user has been assigned the appropriate permissions, they are able to create a new data source. This information has been covered in our previous article – ‘How to: Connect Google Analytics to Google Data Studio.

How to connect Google Sheets to Google Data Studio

In this article, we are going to learn how to connect Google Sheets to Google Data Studio. We will explain how to correctly set up Google Sheets, before going on to explore how GDS imports information into a report.

There are two main scenarios when connecting Google Sheets to GDS may be useful:

  1. When there is no connector available to pull in data directly from your platform.  An example of this might be offline sales.
  2. When only paid connectors are available, for example, Supermetrics which is a paid connector for platforms like Facebook.  Using Google Sheets allows you to export and import data, allowing you to get the data into GDS for free, but it’s a more involved process.

We recommend reviewing the previous articles in our ‘how to’ series to give you a basic understanding of Google Data Studio.

This article consists of 2 sections:

Here are 15 steps to follow in order to create a report with GDS using imported data from Google Sheets.

Preparing Data in Google Sheets

1) It is possible to power a GDS report with a range of different data connectors, one of which is Google sheets – Google’s version of Excel.

2) In order to create a Google Sheet, click on this link and sign into your Google account.

3) Google Sheets is a web-based application which allows users to create and edit data stored in a spreadsheet, which is shared live online.

To ensure that GDS imports the information from Google sheets correctly, it is necessary to display the data in a specific format. Below you will find an example of a Google Sheets table showing results from a merchandise store.

The data in Google Sheets needs to be stored in a table format. In the first row of the table, each column needs to contain a header.

4) In this example, we have used the following headers; date, product type, country the product was sold in, average price, product revenue and tax rate. We are working with 4 main types of data: date, text, currency value, and percentage. It’s necessary to check that each type of data is correctly formatted.

Date example:

  • The date column must be formatted correctly by selecting the ‘format’ drop-down menu and then selecting ‘number’ and then ‘date’. Dates must be in the following format: dd/mm/yyyy.

Text example:

  • All data displayed as text is aligned to the left.

Currency example:

  • Data displayed as currency needs to be formatted correctly by selecting the column, clicking on the ‘format’ drop-down menu and selecting ‘currencies’.

Percentage example:

  • Data displayed as a percentage must also be formatted correctly by following the same steps as above and selecting ‘percentage’.

5) It is important to note that Google Sheets Connector can only connect to one sheet at a time. So, it is necessary to ensure that all the information that needs to be exported to GDS is displayed in a single sheet.

6) GDS cannot import data that is displayed in charts or graphs so it is necessary to ensure that all the information in Google Sheets is presented in a table format.

7) On the table in Google Sheets, a ‘total’ row displaying the sum of each column’s data cannot be included because this will result in double counting. The sum of each column can be added in GDS if it is required.

Connecting Google Sheets to Google Data Studio

8) In order to connect Google Sheets to GDS, it is necessary to create a new data source by selecting the ‘+’ in the bottom right-hand corner of the page in GDS.

The following screen will then appear:

9) Next, select the Google Sheets data connector and authorize the account.

10) Once GDS is able to access the Google Drive folder where the Google Sheet is stored, it can connect to the sheet in one of three ways:

  • Selecting the relevant Google Sheets from a list of saved ones
  • The URL of the spreadsheet
  • Google Drive explorer

11) Select the option that best suits you. It’s important to make sure that the ‘Use first row headers’ checkbox is selected. Finally, click connect.

12)There are two important things to check before connecting the Google Sheet with GDS:

  • Has GDS identified the correct ‘type’ of data for each column in the table on Google Sheets? GDS highlights columns that contain numerical values in blue, and ones that contain texts in green. If GDS doesn’t give you the option to select the data type, this indicates that the data in Google Sheets isn’t in the correct format.
  • Should GDS ‘sum’, ‘average’ or ‘count’ the values in the columns that require these functions?

13) When you select a data visualization from the drop-down menu, you will see from the data tab that the dimensions and metrics are now available to use in your report. Add in a table to confirm that GDS is displaying the correct information with the correct data ‘types’ from Google Sheets.

14) It is possible to build a report by following the same steps outlined in our previous articles. To see a preview of the report, select ‘view’ in the top right-hand corner of the page.

15) Finally, in order to edit any information in the GDS report, amend the Google Sheets accordingly and select the refresh button at the top of the page.

We hope this article was helpful and has assisted you in improving your knowledge in Google data studio. Don’t miss the next article in our ‘how to’ series guide.

Advanced Data Visualisation with Google Data Studio

In this article, we are going to learn how to implement specific data visualizations to allow you to interpret data using charts and tables. It is recommended that you read the previous articles in our ‘how to’ series before moving onto this on:.

In this article, we will be exploring 3 types of charts on Google Data Studio.

Scatter Charts
Bullet Charts

This article consists of 11 steps to demonstrate how to use these charts to visualize your data in an interactive way.

Scatter Charts

Scatter charts show how one variable is affected by another. This relationship is known as ‘correlation’.

An example of this might be a comparison of clicks per campaign or total spend per day. The position of the individual dots on a scatter chart enables you to see the relationship between two different campaigns or daily expenditures. One dot is plotted along the ‘X’ axis, and the other along the ‘Y’ axis showing you how one variable is affected by another.

1) The first step is to select the ‘scatter chart’ option from the ‘add a chart’ drop-down menu and position it on your report.

For this example, we will explore the relationship between the total number of sessions and the total number of page views.

2) The scatter chart is set to default which displays the total number of sessions on the ‘X’ axis, and total page views on the ‘Y axis’. In order to change these metrics, simply click on the metrics and select one from the list.

3) In order to identify which data points refer to a certain category of information, it is necessary to add in the product category name as a label. To do this, select the ‘style tab’ then click the checkbox ‘show data labels’. Finally, you have the option of changing the colour of the data points.

4) In order to view data from previous weeks, months or even years, switch to view mode and set the date range of your report. The charts are interactive so it is possible to see the data points as you move your cursor over the graphs.

Bullet Charts

5) Bullet charts are typically used to display performance data and display progress towards a certain goal. Ie: Revenue, expenses, volume. Bullet charts can be both vertical and horizontal.To add a bullet chart, simply click ‘add chart’ in the quick links and select ‘bullet’.

6) On the right hand side of the page, there are options to set the metrics that you want to display. The range limits set the lower, middle and upper targets for the metric.

For this example, the bullet chart is set to default which displays the total number of sessions.

It is important to note that the date range needs to be adjusted accordingly.

Below the following values have been set: Target value: 4200, Range 1: 1800, Range 2: 3600, Range 3: 5400

7) It is also possible to change the colour of the metric bar and the range of the bullet chart.

8) To view your bullet chart, select ‘view’ mode in the top right hand corner of your screen.


A table is used to organize and display information in columns and rows.

9) To add a table with bars, select ‘add chart’ from the dropdown menu in the ‘quicklinks’ and select ‘table with bars’.

On the right-hand side of the page there are options to select different metrics and dimensions. For this example, we have added ‘month of the year’ as an additional dimension and ‘users’ and ‘new users’ as additional metrics.

10) It is possible to view months in descending order in order to display the latest data at the top of the table. It is important to note that the date range needs to be adjusted accordingly.

It is also possible to remove the row numbers from the ‘style tab’.

11) In the ‘style tab’ you will see a list of options for each column in the table. A number, bar or heatmap can be selected. Similar to the bullet chart, it is also possible to set a target value. The target value line will appears once the target goal has been set. It is also possible to change the colour of the bars.

All of the above options can be applied to each column of the table. Select your desired style based on the information you would like to display. In this example, we used the following options: Column 1: Bar, Target value: 950, Column 2: Heatmap, Column 3: Heatmap.

The Ultimate Charts & Graphs Guide for Google Data Studio

This article is a continuation of our previous article where we covered how to connect and display your Google Analytics data, creating an interactive dashboard using time series charts. In this article we are going to explore time series charts in more depth, as well as focusing on bar and pie charts.

This guide consists of 8 steps to help you better understand the various charts that Google Data Studio has to offer.

If you missed our previous article, ‘How to: Connect Google Analytics to Google Data Studio’, you might want to check it out before progressing as it provides an explanation of how to add and edit a time series chart using analytical data.

Bar Charts

Step 1 – Segmentation

First, it’s important to include some segmentation to see which marketing channel has brought in the most traffic over a specified period of time. For this, a bar chart is the most effective data visualisation tool.

You need to select the bar chart option from the ‘Add a chart’ drop-down menu and position it wherever you feel it is most suitable on your report.

Step 2 – Metrics

The bar chart is set to default which displays the total number of sessions by traffic medium. If you would like to change these metrics, simply click on the metric ‘sessions’ and select one from the list. It is important to note that your bar chart has to be selected before attempting to change the data.

Step 3 – Date Range

The final thing you need to do is change the date range so that only the previous month’s data is displayed.

Step 4 – Chart Appearance

You have the option to change the orientation of the chart which could give you a better visualisation of the category names and the information displayed. In order to do this, select the ‘Style’ tab in the top right-hand corner of the report and then select the horizontal orientation. If you would also like to see data labels, so that you don’t have to scroll over the chart to see the total number of sessions, click the checkbox ‘show data labels’. Finally, you have the option of changing the colour of your chart.

Pie Charts

Step 5 – Split by Channel

Pie charts can be useful to display percentage or proportional data. Continuing with our theme of traffic via different marketing channels, it’s possible to establish the effectiveness of each channel, by using a pie chart.

To add a pie chart, simply click ‘add chart’ in the quick links and select ‘pie chart’.

For this example, the pie chart is set to default which shows the total number of sessions by traffic medium. If you would like to change these metrics simply click on the metric ‘sessions’ and select one from the list. It is important to note that your pie chart must be selected before attempting to change this data. Don’t forget to set the custom date range to the correct time period!

Step 6 – Pie Chart Appearancee

There are a few styling options available for your pie chart. A useful facility is to use the ‘Doughnut’ option.

This can be done by using the slider to increase and decrease the size of the hole in the middle. It is also possible to limit the number of segments shown on the pie chart. Simply select the number of segments you would like to be shown from the drop-down menu.

Area charts

Step 7 – Trend Analysis

Area charts are most useful when facilitating trend analysis and are a good choice in order to see time series data broken down by categories. In this example, we would like to understand which marketing channels have contributed to the overall trend we see in traffic. Select an area chart from the ‘add chart’ drop-down menu, in the quick links menu.

If you would like to change these metrics, simply click on the metric ‘source’ or ‘sessions’ and select one from the list. It is important to note that your area chart must be selected before attempting to change this data.

Step 8 – View the report

To see your report as others would view it, click ‘view’ at the top right of the page. This is different from how you would see it in the edit mode. You will notice that the charts are interactive which allows you to see the data points as you move your cursor over the graphs.

Don’t miss the next article in our ‘how to’ series: ‘How to make your dashboard interactive with filters’!