A Comprehensive Look into Community Visualizations in Data Studio & How To Use Them

Out of the box, Google Data Studio offers a wide variety of visualizations for everyday use. There are time series charts, pie charts, donut charts, column charts, and tables. However, there are many more ways to visualize data that Data Studio does not support. This is where community visualizations come in.

Recently, Data Studio has launched several community visualizations also known as partner visualizations. When you click “Community Chart”, you will see some community visualizations that you can add to your dashboards.

In this article, we review the ‘community visualizations’ feature.  We discuss: 

  • Creating your own visualizations.
  • Examples of great community visualizations already available.
  • For each of these we provide a short description, we show how it looks and how to use them with your data.

Creating Your Own Community Visualizations

With Data Studio community visualizations, you can build custom visualizations that can be used throughout your data studio dashboards. The benefits of creating Data Studio visualizations include:

  • Flexibility to use different visualization libraries to create the visualization. Additionally, you can apply custom CSS and JavaScript to your visualizations.
  • Define the style elements of your visualization. This allows users to style the visualization however they like. 
  • Create an event-driven model that posts data and style information to your visualization based on how users interact with it.

Examples of Great Community Visualizations

Radar Chart

A radar chart is a two-dimensional chart showing at least three variables on an axis that starts from the same point. The radar chart is easy to understand and customize. You can show several metrics across a single dimension.

Radar charts are best used for showing outliers and commonality. They are also great when one chart is greater in all variables than another. For example, you can use radar charts to display performance metrics such as clicks, sessions, new users, and pageviews among others.

Sunburst Chart

The sunburst chart is also known as the ring chart, belt chart, multi-level pie chart or radial treemap. This visualization shows hierarchy through a series of rings sliced through each category node. Each ring represents a level in the hierarchy. The central circle is the root node while the hierarchy moves outwards from it.

The sunburst chart is ideal for showing the subunits of the pie chart’s primary segments. The segments of the sunburst graph may be colored according to the category or hierarchy level that they belong to. 

This is handy in showing the flow of changes between features or metrics.  We’ve seen this graph used a lot to visualize machine learning algorithms like random forests, as they show how each metric affects the next.

WordCloud Chart

A word cloud chart is also known as a tag cloud. It is a visualization that shows how frequently words appear in a given body of text by showing each word at a size proportional to its frequency. All the words are arranged in a cloud or cluster of words.

Word clouds can be used to display words with metadata assigned to them. For example, a word cloud showing the names of all the countries based on their population, the population is the metadata assigned to each country’s name to determine its size. Normally, word clouds are used to show tag or keyword usage on a website. They can also be used to compare two pieces of text.  

We’ve seen these in use for keyword analysis on a webpage. Or looking at keywords used within a Google Ads account, it’s a great way to quickly see which keywords have been used the most.

Animated Bar Chart

An animated bar chart is an interesting animated trend chart where the bars races to the top based on ranks. There are normally three variables involved in making an animated bar chart, one of which is time. The other two variables are:

  • The dimension – This is the variable representing the category such as the country or company name.
  • The metric – This is the variable that represents the corresponding value of each category.

While we all love to tell stories from our data, it is not easy to create a chart that tells a story and at the same time looks visually appealing. The goal is to provide as much information as possible without bombarding the viewer. An animated visualization combines all the plots. This is great in showing the different effects of different traffic sources to your website.

Metric Funnel Chart

A metric funnel chart is a chart that shows values across several stages of a process. For example, you can use a funnel chart to visualize the number of prospects at each stage of the pipeline. Typically, the values decrease gradually, and the chart resembles a funnel.

The funnel chart shows you how many people move from one stage to the next. This is perfect for eCommerce websites reviewing how customers progress through the checkout process.  It can help you identify pain points. This type of graph could also be used to help you visualize the marketing funnel from awareness through to retention activities.

Gauge Chart

A gauge chart is also known as a speedometer chart. It combines a doughnut and a pie chart into one chart. They usually display a single key metric. The outer scale of the gauge is usually color-coded to offer additional performance context.

This type of chart will be familiar to anyone that has driven a car, as the name suggests. The reason it works well for speedometers is that there is a set maximum and minimum.  A car can travel between 0 and 200 km/h approximately. This chart will work well for single metrics that have a similar set scale. A good example is CPC’s if you know your max and min CPC, in general, this is a good way to display it. 

Chord Chart

A chord chart shows flows between different entities or nodes. Each segment is shown by a fragment on the exterior part of the circular layout. Arcs then connect the entities. The size of the arc is proportional to the importance of the flow.

A chord chart is great when showing data connection between several dimension values. For example, showing the number of people migrating from one country to another. In this scenario, the size of the chord shows the number of people migrating from one country to another.

Gantt Chart

A Gantt chart is a variant of a bar chart that shows a project schedule. Today, Gantt charts are mainly used to depict dependency relationships between activities and schedule status. The Gantt chart is named after its founder Henry Gantt, who created it between 1910 and 1915.

Gantt charts are used in project management to create a schedule and ensure that it is workable. It ensures that the right people are assigned to the right tasks and that there is a workaround for any problem before the project starts. Gantt charts also help keep you and your team informed about progress.

Hexbin Map

A hexbin map can be used to refer to two different concepts. 

  • The first is based on an unusual geospatial object in which all the regions of the map are depicted as hexagons. For example, you can depict each state of the United States as a hexagon. Then, you can show one value per dimension and use a color fill to differentiate them.
  • The second concept is using two-dimensional density techniques. An illustration would be a scatter plot where the x and y axes show longitude and latitude respectively. Then, the graphic area is shown as a collection of hexagons and the number of data points is counted and shown as a color gradient.

Hexbins show data across the dimension using hexagons of the same size. This eliminates bias and allows you to see the data based on the intensity of the color fill. The only disadvantage of a hexbin map is that map readers usually identify areas based on their shapes. This can confuse the reader. Hence, it is ideal to use labels for more clarity.

Time plot Chart

A time plot chart is also called a time series chart and shows values across time. While similar to x-y graphs, what makes time plot charts unique is that the x-axis is always time. In other x-y charts, the x-axis can represent other variables such as height, age, or weight. This way, time plot charts show how data changes over time.

Time plot charts are very important in statistics. When recording values for the same metric across a timespan, it may be difficult to detect any patterns or trends. When you show the data points on a chart across time, some features stand out. You can use time plot charts to show business models, weather, or any other variable that can be measured over time.

Date Picker

A date picker is a GUI widget that allows the user to choose a date from a calendar and/or time from a time range. The date picker helps in date validation by restricting date ranges and ensuring that the user inputs the values that the system understands.

The date picker is useful in areas where the native Data Studio date picker falls short. For example, you can create a custom date view by choosing the years and months of interest. You can then simply click from a horizontal bar of years and months. 

Super Selector

The super selector makes it easy for you and your users to get an overview of campaign performance, divided by, for example, currency or country. The chart allows you to filter data by switching on one or several flags.

In Data Studio, one can create a filter and add it to a chart. However, the super selector helps you to apply filters dynamically without having to switch to edit mode to change or create a new filter. If your data benefits from using many filters and you’d like to apply them dynamically, this is the visualization to use.

Star Rating

The star rating chart lets you see how many ratings you are receiving on social media or your site. Online purchasers trust the rating system that other previous customers give your business as it shows how much they trust and are satisfied by your business.

If you run an eCommerce business, then you know that rating systems could make or break your company. You want to have as many five-star ratings as possible. With this visualization, you see your average rating, and you can take steps to improve.

Waterfall Chart

A waterfall chart is a type of data visualization that helps you understand the cumulative effect of positive and negative values that are introduced sequentially. The introduced values can either be time-based or category-based. Other names used to refer to the waterfall chart are the Maria chart and the flying bricks chart.

You can use the waterfall chart for analysis, particularly to understand or explain the gradual change in the quantitative value of an entity that increases or decreases. Usually, the waterfall chart is used to show changes in profits or revenue over two time periods. It’s therefore good for eCommerce sites.

Conclusion

One of Data Studio’s limitations is that it has a limited collection of visualizations compared to other BI tools. However, community visualizations allow you to create custom visualizations, use them in Data Studio, and even share them with the rest of the world.  

We’d love to hear how you have found these visualizations and if you have been creating any of your own!

The Best Data Studio Templates of 2020

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you will know that for digital marketers Google Data Studio is one of the best reporting tools available.  

We’ve had tremendous interest in our templates, which allow you to get up and running immediately with Data studio for a very low cost. We’ve decided to make it even easier to find the best template by compiling our list of the top Data Studio Templates for 2020… so far.

In our review, we have covered 9 different categories and included the top Data Studio templates on the web for each category. So if you are searching for a great template, look no further.   

The template categories we have covered are: 

General Analytics Templates

Lets start with our favourite ‘all-rounders’ for tracking and monitoring your website traffic.

Mike Goracke: Google Analytics Month-Over-Month Reporting

Set up difficulty Easy
Ecommerce tracking Yes
Goal Tracking Yes
Data ConnectionsGA
Score ⭐⭐⭐
Access the template here

This dashboard shows your site’s monthly performance report based on Google Analytics data. It shows total visitors, new vs returning visitors, sessions, average session duration, page views, pages per session, sessions by device category, sessions by browser, bounce rate, and traffic sources. It also shows the visitor demographics and event analysis.

We like this dashboard because it has a very simple and clean design. The icons are nicely designed and contribute to making the template quick and easy to understand. It doesn’t try to do too much but just gives you a simple month over month analytics data.

This dashboard is on our list because of its design. The iconography and colors are very well-balanced. It’s nice to see that when comparing periods, the percentage change figure is larger than the actual figure from the last period, which is really what you are interested in.

This dashboard is good for businesses and individuals who want to get an overview of the main metrics from their analytics data.

Out of five stars, this dashboard receives 3 stars because it does not allow you to set custom dates.

Whole Whale Template For Nonprofits

Set up difficulty Easy
Ecommerce tracking No
Goal Tracking Yes
Data ConnectionsGA & Google Ads
Score ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access the template here

What makes this dashboard appealing is its simple yet practical and beautiful design. Each page focuses on one aspect of your site. While not as detailed as the other dashboards featured in this article, it is a good tool to show you top-level data.

The dashboard shows your site performance overview, audience demographic breakdown, Google Ads performance, organic performance, and social performance. It has six pages, the first being the cover page.

It has short pages that you can see in one glance, a good color palette, and charts that are handpicked to best visualize your data.

Whether you are a nonprofit or an established eCommerce business, this template will help you get an overview of your site’s performance. Then, you can pair it with more detailed templates for each section to get an in-depth understanding of your data.

eCommerce Templates

Note that for a more full review of the best eCommerce templates available please review our in-depth eCommerce post: The Best eCommerce Data Studio Reports for 2020

The Sales and Shopping Behavior Dashboard

Set up difficulty Easy
Ecommerce tracking Yes
Goal Tracking No
Data ConnectionsGA
Score ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access the template here

If you run an eCommerce store and want to understand your customer shopping behavior then this dashboard is for you. Purchased quantities, unique purchases, average price, and revenue are among the key metrics showcased on this dashboard. 

What makes this dashboard amazing is that it does not overwhelm you with data, even though there are many things to consider in an eCommerce store. You can use the filter in each section to choose one or more items, and analyze them on a case by case basis or as a group.

This template is on our list of the best templates of 2020 because of its beautiful design and level of insights it has on a single page. The use of questions in different sections makes the template more interactive than if one-word headings were used.

This dashboard keeps you focused on the metrics and dimensions that matter, in other words, it keeps you focused on your key performance indicators (KPIs).

The Merchandise Store Website Performance Report

Set up difficulty Easy
Ecommerce tracking Yes
Goal Tracking Yes
Data ConnectionsGA
Score ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access the template here

Google created this one-page template to show your site’s individual and aggregated metric trends over time. We can easily see that there was a conscious and deliberate effort to choose the right chart for the job in each section of this template.

What’s amazing about this dashboard is how it answers all the important eCommerce questions you have. It shows your current performance, its change over the previous period, and the trend. For granular inspection, refer to the tables that contain more details for each section.

The reason this template made it to this list is because of how it uses a single page to tell you the most critical information about your eCommerce store. Carefully chosen filters help you to extract the most relevant insights.

E-commerce Store Dashboard

Set up difficulty Easy
Ecommerce tracking Yes
Goal Tracking No
Data ConnectionsGA
Score ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access the template here

If you want a template that looks beautiful and gives you a wealth of eCommerce data straight out of Google Analytics then look no further. The Ecommerce Store Dashboard template shows age and gender distribution, top affinity categories, in-market segments, geographic distribution, language, browsers, operating systems, and device categories.

Unlike many other templates that use one-word subheadings for the sections, this uses questions for maximum interactivity. It has a simple and beautiful design. With just one page, this dashboard focuses on doing one thing: providing audience insight. 

As an eCommerce site, It’s important to have a template like this in your arsenal. You always want to keep a gauge on your audience composition change over time. This allows you to mitigate against issues like traffic drops and also adjust to your audience’s needs over time.

SEO Templates

SEMrush Domain Overview

Set up difficulty Medium
Ecommerce tracking No
Goal Tracking No
Data ConnectionsSEM Rush
Score ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access the template here

The SEMrush Domain Overview dashboard is perfect for displaying top level domain data to clients for their website or their competitors. The report pulls in ranking metrics from SEMRush including traffic, keywords, and traffic cost split across organic and paid channels. The template also shows your authority score, referring domains, and backlinks over time. Two tables show the top organic and paid keywords.

We like this dashboard because of the ease of use and consolidation of unique and vital data provided by SEMRush into a single dashboard.

This dashboard is ideal for any consultant or agency who uses SEMRush as part of their tool set and are looking for a way to share data with third parties such as clients or internally without giving away your login details.

It’s also useful to monitor competitors and could be duplicated in the one report to display data for multiple websites.

Q Series: SEO Dashboard

Set up difficulty Easy
Ecommerce tracking No
Goal Tracking No
Data ConnectionsGA & Google Search Console
Score ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access the template here

This dashboard shows SEO data based on Google Analytics and Google Search Console. For Google Analytics, it shows organic traffic, top landing pages, page views, page load time, bounce rate, and search queries. For Search Console, it shows clicks, impressions, CTR, average position divided by query, device, and country.

We like this dashboard because it uses questions to interact with the user. It segments data from each platform onto its page to avoid confusion. Additionally, the template makes good use of filters allowing the user to filter by the country, age, and date in the Google Analytics section.

This dashboard is on our list because it fills a market gap by showing important SEO data. With the charts answering the questions, the user can see patterns in their site and make decisions to improve or correct a certain trend.

This dashboard is good for websites that want to understand their traffic & audience and how they resonate with their site. It provides insight into which keywords attract visitors to the site.  It also provides information around keyword intent and matching content.

Content-Related Templates

These are our top pick templates for content heavy websites in order to get an understanding of how your content is performing at a glance and identify opportunities for improvements.

Content Performance Report

Set up difficulty Easy
Ecommerce tracking No
Goal Tracking No
Data ConnectionsGA
Score ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access the template here

This dashboard shows a breakdown of traffic by authors and content categories. It also shows the top pages and referrals. It is a simple one-page Google Analytics template that shows content performance metrics such as sessions, users, page views, bounce rate, and average session duration.

We like this dashboard because it can easily be filtered by date range over several Google Analytics properties. This way, you can see how your audience responds to content from a certain author or category and can match them accordingly for maximum impact.

This dashboard is on our list because of its focus, utility & design. It focuses on one thing only, which is to answer questions about your site’s content and how your traffic responds to it. It does this job perfectly. It is going to be very useful for a publisher or blog-based website to monitor and gain insight on content performance

Editorial Dashboard

Set up difficulty Easy
Ecommerce tracking No
Goal Tracking No
Data ConnectionsGA
Score ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access the template here

This dashboard shows the main items that a content marketer or editor would like to see to refine their strategy for increasing traffic. It shows the overall blog performance, blog traffic trend, traffic by source, by geographic location, age range, gender, referrer, and category.

We like this dashboard’s ability to use filters to drill down and provide insight. It can segment in numerous ways: Gender and age filters, as well as the date picker, are especially useful. 

This dashboard is supposed to be set up to only focus on the blog section of your site. It has a custom filter where you can add the path that all your blogs follow. For example, if your posts always start with “/blog” or “/research” or “/insights”, you can add this to the filter and it will only analyze those pages.  This makes it incredibly useful for deep analysis into content ignoring other site issues.

This dashboard is good for people and businesses that run content-heavy sites, blogs, and news sites. If your site has a lot of content and uses content marketing, this dashboard is for you.

Facebook Templates

The Facebook Campaign Template

Set up difficulty Easy
Ecommerce tracking Yes
Goal Tracking Yes
Data ConnectionsFacebook (Supermetrics connector)
Score ⭐⭐⭐
Access the template here

Many eCommerce companies run Facebook campaigns to generate awareness, increase sales and promote their business. Using this dashboard, you get insights that are tailored towards monitoring your Facebook campaigns. It shows cost and impressions, clicks, purchases, objectives, the amount spent, revenue, results, cost per result, impressions, and ROAS.

With 6 pages, this dashboard is organized into functional areas such as the overview, creative breakdown, funnel overview, campaign overview, and audience breakdown. We loved that the template gives you both a close up as well as a 50,000-foot view of Facebook ad performance.

What makes this dashboard feature as one of the best is how it simplifies Facebook ads data while giving you absolute control. For example, you can use any combination of the objective filter, campaign filter, and date filter to hone in on a particular aspect of the ads.

If your business runs Facebook ads, then you should use this dashboard. It will help keep your advertising efforts in line and increase your return on investment as much as possible. In other words, it helps you measure so that you can improve your ad performance.

Facebook Ads Overview Report

Set up difficulty Medium
Ecommerce tracking No
Goal Tracking Yes
Data ConnectionsFacebook (Supermetrics connector)
Score ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access the template here

This dashboard is a one-page dashboard that uses the Facebook Ads connector by Supermetrics to show relevant Facebook Ads data. The data is grouped by cost, impressions, clicks, actions, top campaigns, and country breakdown.

We like this dashboard’s simplicity. It highlights the most important metrics clearly and provides insight on change and trends. The color scheme is also well-balanced and allows the most important data to shine through.

This dashboard is good for businesses that want to monitor the most important Facebook Ads metrics and react in real-time. Overall performance data and campaign-specific data come together to make monitoring easy

PPC Templates

Data-Driven Template – Consolidated PPC Advertising with Supermetrics

Set up difficulty Medium
Ecommerce tracking No
Goal Tracking No
Data Connections Google Ads, Facebook, Bing (Supermetrics connector)
Score ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access the template here

This dashboard shows consolidated PPC advertising data using the Supermetrics connectors for Facebook Ads and Bing Ads. The first page shows the combined performance of all the platforms. The remaining 3 pages show Facebook, Google, and Bing Ads data respectively.

This dashboard is a Swiss army knife of digital ads data. However, it is not very well designed. The template does not have a date picker, which means you are stuck with the parameters the template designer used, or you have to add the date picker yourself and make sure that all the charts respond to it.

This dashboard is on the best dashboards list because of its practicality. Rather than have one template for each ad platform, this template has all the major ad platforms on a single dashboard and also combines data from all the platforms on the first page.

If you advertise on multiple platforms then his dashboard can help you reduce browser clutter by wrapping performance data for all the ad platforms in a single template.

Hexe Data – Google Ads Dashboard

Set up difficulty Easy
Ecommerce tracking No
Goal Tracking Yes
Data Connections Google Ads
Score ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access the template here

This dashboard shows the main Google Ads performance metrics on one page. It shows clicks, CTR, average CPC, conversions, conversion rate, cost per conversion, and ROAS. It also shows a breakdown by the campaign and the trend.

We like this dashboard because it shows key metrics and provides decent filtering options.  Together these features, give you control to analyze data from different vantage points.

In designing the report, Hexe Data used a width of 1300 pixels instead of the default 900 pixels. This way, they could fit more data above the fold to help you see most of it without the need to scroll.

This dashboard is good for businesses that focus on Google Ads. 

Youtube Templates

YouTube Channel Performance Report (Datastudiotemplates.com)

Set up difficulty Easy
Ecommerce tracking No
Goal Tracking Yes
Data Connections YouTube
Score ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access the template here

This dashboard shows important YouTube channel metrics such as the average watch time, the number of views, new and lost subscribers, the number of video likes, video dislikes, and user comments. It has a geo map and a time-series chart that shows how the watch time, views, and video shares trend over time.

The design and iconography of the dashboard are well balanced. It’s good enough that you could be forgiven for thinking that the template is made by the YouTube team.

Overall this dashboard has a good combination of metrics and dimensions As well as well picked charts. A neat feature is the external video ID filter at the very top, which lets you load data for one or more videos and analyze it in isolation or as a group.

This dashboard is good for both new and established channels. It shows data that is important to any YouTube channel owner, regardless of the niche. If you run more than one channel, you can simply create another copy of the dashboard. 

YouTube Channel Report

Set up difficulty Easy
Ecommerce tracking No
Goal Tracking Yes
Data Connections YouTube
Score ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access the template here

This dashboard shows key YouTube channel metrics such as views, watch time, video shares, added and removed likes, added and removed dislikes, added and removed subscriptions, and the number of comments. It also has two geo maps, one showing the top countries by views and another showing the top US states by views.

The dashboard has a simple but bold design. For each metric, there is an icon that shows what the metric is for, and this saves a lot of space that would otherwise be used for text. 

This dashboard is designed by the YouTube team, which knows a lot about channel structure. With insights from this template, you can make changes in your video content so that it resonates more with your audience.

This dashboard is good for any YouTube channel owner who wants to see how their channel performs at the moment, over time, and across geographical regions. If you are from another part of the world that’s not the USA, you only need to change the focus area to your continent, subcontinent, country, or city.

Novelty/Random Templates

2018 FIFA World Cup | Leaderboard

Set up difficulty Medium
Ecommerce tracking N/A
Goal Tracking N/A
Data ConnectionsGoogle Sheets
Score ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access the template here

This dashboard was designed to show data for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It shows group results, group goal analysis, group tables, knockout finalists, live knockout bracket, and the overall tournament results.

We love this dashboard because everything in its design speaks football. The background is an image of a football field. The charts are contained within the perimeter of the field to remind the reader that the data is for what is happening on the field.

This dashboard is on the list because it is unique. Very few dashboards exist for visualizing sports data. Bearing in mind just how popular football is around the world, this dashboard would be of interest to not only teams but also fans & lovers of football!

This dashboard is good for teams or football organizations that want to keep an eye on their performance in a league. Whether the matches are local or international, the template will work just as well.

Marvel vs. DC Cinematic Universes

Set up difficulty Medium
Ecommerce tracking N/A
Goal Tracking N/A
Data ConnectionsGoogle Sheets
Score ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access the template here

This dashboard compares Marvel and DC Comics revenues by movie and source. The design is simple and uncluttered. Data for Marvel comics is shown in its characteristic red, while DC Comics data is displayed in its iconic blue.

We like this dashboard because its design is meant to communicate data with as little distraction as possible. Data is color-coded based on the color of each studio. When a movie has several releases, only one title is used for the bars, further reducing clutter.

This dashboard is good for movie lovers (and possibly analysts) who would like to see how movies from different companies perform. All one would have to do is change the logos and the data source, and you’d be seeing movie revenue data for other studios.

Other Interesting Templates

Makeover Monday 2018 W03: U.S. Household Income Distribution by State

Set up difficulty Medium
Ecommerce tracking N/A
Goal Tracking N/A
Data ConnectionsGoogle Sheets
Score ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access the template here

This dashboard shows the distribution of household income in the US by the state in 2016. The income is divided into buckets or ranges and shown as bars on the column chart. The higher the number of people in an income bucket, the darker and taller the column is, and vice versa.

We like this dashboard because it makes it easy to see the data. The graphs are arranged to form the map of the United States, so if you are familiar with the location of US states, finding data that interests you is effortless.

This dashboard could be great for its reusability. You don’t have to use it only to visualize household income. You can use it to show anything that you’d like to visualize across US states.

This dashboard is good for any business/individual that wants to show segmented data across all US states. All you have to do is make sure that each row of data is segmented by state, and the metrics you want to show are in buckets.

Healthcare for Congress

Set up difficulty Medium
Ecommerce tracking N/A
Goal Tracking N/A
Data ConnectionsGoogle Sheets
Score ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access the template here

This dashboard shows the healthcare options that the US government’s federal employees have in 2020. The template also has links to relevant information, which the user can follow to learn more or verify the facts.

We love this dashboard because it shows data for the millions of federal employees on a single page. The color palette is small and kept that way to ensure that the whole dashboard maintains visual cohesion.

This dashboard is on our list because it shows that data can and should be beautiful. Yes, it is showing data that involves millions of American workers, but it simplifies that data to such an extent that you don’t have to be a policy expert to understand what is going on.

This dashboard is good for visualizing any enrollment program with the attached costs (financial or otherwise). To use this template, all you have to do is to alter the text and the links to reflect the data that you are showcasing.

Which is Your Favorite Template? 

We have presented 16 of the best dashboards in each category. These categories include general analytics, eCommerce, specialty, Facebook, YouTube, novelty, and other interesting templates. 

What was your favorite? Have we missed any great templates out? Please let us know.

How to Build a Sales Report for your Small Business in Google Data Studio

Small businesses are acquiring treasure troves of data.  Google Data Studio is a fantastic tool that makes it easy for small businesses to visualise this data, discover insights and make informed business decisions.

In this article I’ll show you how you can create a report to analyze the sales from your small business.  You can access the finished Google Data Studio report here, it is a demo Restaurant Sales report

Setup difficulty: Medium

Reading time: 10 minutes

Quick links: 

Who should use this Data Studio report?

This report is intended for those who want a more efficient, visually interesting way of monitoring their sales and taking a look at the data.

Instead of static reports on PDF or Powerpoint, Data Studio allows you to send live, interactive reports to co-workers. And if you still prefer static reports, Data Studio has a built in function to save the report as a PDF, as well as to schedule email updates!

And while the sales data in this report may not be in the exact same format you use, the same principles of how to connect and display your data apply.

Introduction

While Data Studio is commonly used to visualize information from connectors, such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console, there is a wide variety of information that can be displayed using the platform.

Because Data Studio is free to use, and relatively intuitive to use it is the perfect match for small business owners who may want to explore their data but don’t require (or cannot afford) complex visualization software.

In this blog post I’ll give you an example of how you can visualize sales and revenue using Google Sheets and Google Data Studio.

Looking at the Data

Google Data Studio connects with a multitude of connectors. These include products from Google’s marketing platform (Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Ads), YouTube Analytics, Twitter and Facebook Analytics (through third-party software) and more.

Data Studio can also connect directly to Databases, with MySQL and PostgreSQL connectors supported.

However, one of the most versatile ways of adding data to Google Data Studio is using Google Sheets.

Google Sheets allows you to add any type of data to Data Studio. 

n this blog post I’ll go through a step by step process showing how you can add Sales Data to Data Studio.

I’ll use data from a hypothetical restaurant to give an example of how you can turn data into attractive, easily updated and easily shareable reports. 

Here’s a link to the Google Sheet with our demo sales data.

Formatting our Data Sources

Let’s imagine that our restaurant business lists all its sales very simply.

Our Data Source: A Basic Sale Sheet

DateSales CodeNumber SoldTakeaway / Sit Down
1 January 2019S_B_0111takeaway
1 January 2019S_B_021sit down
1 January 2019S_B_0312takeaway
1 January 2019S_P_010takeaway
1 January 2019S_P_026sit down

They list the date, the Sales Code and the Number of Items sold. They also list whether or not the order was Takeaway or SitDown.

However, there are more details we’d like to find out about each of the items sold.

To  add these details, we’ll need to create a second sheet in Google Sheets.

Sales CodeItemTypeMeat, Vegetarian, VeganPrice
S_B_01BurgerBeef BurgerMeat10
S_B_02BurgerChicken BurgerMeat10
S_B_03BurgerVegan BurgerVegan10
S_P_01PizzaMargarita PizzaVegetarian12
S_P_02PizzaPepperoni PizzaMeat14
S_P_03PizzaTomato and Basil PizzaVegetarian14
S_S_01SaladGrilled Chicken SaladMeat10
S_S_02SaladCouscous saladVegan9
S_S_03SaladGreek SaladVegetarian9
S_D_01DessertChocolate CakeVegan6
S_D_02DessertCheese CakeVegetarian5
S_D_03DessertIce CreamVegetarian4

So we have our Sales sheet, with just the basic information. And we have our list of items with more detailed information.

We could combine these two data sets in Google Data Studio, using the Blend Data function. But I prefer the method of combining the data in Google Sheets.

To do this we will use some Google Sheets formulas. If you have ever used Microsoft Excel before then some of these formulas will be familiar to you.

The function we use is VLOOKUP.

Without getting into too much detail, VLOOKUP (also known as Vertical Lookup) allows you to search another table for details that match a cell in your table.

A standard VLOOKUP formula goes like this;

=VLOOKUP(The item you’re searching for, the range of cells, the column number, whether you’re looking for an exact match or not)

We can use the VLOOKUP function as part of a formula, as shown below.


=VLOOKUP($B2,’Menu Items’!$A$1:$F$13,2,FALSE)

This formula lets us bring in information from the Menu sheet to the Sales sheet. It means that just by having the Sales Code, we can add in lots of extra information.

For example, we can add in what type of food it was, whether it was vegetarian or vegan, how much revenue it brought in, and add in a link to an image of the food. This will come in handy when creating the Data Studio report.

Adding our data to Google Data Studio

After we’ve built our data sheet, we can now move onto the fun part of creating our Data Studio report!

Since we used the VLOOKUP formula to bring across data to our Sales sheet, we only need to connect the Sales sheet to Data Studio.

We can Choose Google Sheets as our Connector.

Then choose the Sales Sheet from the Spreadsheet.

We’re then able to see the fields.

Because colourful photos make everything better, we will create a Photo field.

We can click on ‘Add a Field’ in the top right corner of the screen.

And then we can use the IMAGE function to create an image field.

We just need to choose our existing Image URL field in the formula. It’s also possible to add in Alternative Text info, by adding in the Item field after a comma.

Now that we’ve created our Image field we are good to go!

Building our tables and charts in Data Studio

Let’s go through a breakdown of some of the main charts on the page.

One thing we can see on the report is an image that changes depending on which item on the menu you select. As shown below if we click on an item its picture appears on the right.

To create the list of items table, we can create a table with the Dimension being “Type” (as in the type of food ordered) and the Metrics being the Number of items sold (Number sold) and Revenue. It is also important with this table to make sure we have the “Apply Filter” checkbox ticked under “Interactions”. This will allow us to filter the image table on the right.

We now need to create the Image table, which will show a single image of the food item selected. We can do this by creating a table with just “Photo” as our Dimension and no metrics at all. We also need to resize the table so that it displays just one image at a time.

The other charts in this report are fairly simple to set up, and we can go through a brief summary of each to see how it’s made.

For the Pie Chart showing a breakdown of Revenue of each type of food sold, we can setup the Dimension as Type and the Metric as Revenue. We can also enable filtering (by selecting the checkbox labeled “Apply Filter” under Interactions.


In terms of the style of the Pie Chart we can use one colour to keep it in the style of the rest of the report.

The time series line graph showing the number of items sold compared to the previous month is fairly simple to set up. Simply create a time series chart with the Time Dimension being Date and the Metric being Number Sold. 

In order to see a comparison to the previous period simply select click on Comparison rate range and choose Previous period. 

Next on the report we have three pie charts showing a breakdown of orders by various Dimensions. You’ll notice that I’ve decided to colour these pie charts with specific colours.

In order to choose which colours you want to appear in these charts open up the Style tab of the chart. Then click on “Manage dimension value colours”. You then have the open of changing the values to specific colours. 

For example, we can decide what colour “Pizza” should be. Our pie chart displaying what percentage of orders were “Pizza” then displays this colour.

The final chart on our report is a summary of revenue by month. 

To get this time series to display the revenue by Month (and not by the default Date) click on the Edit Option for the Date dimension. Then click “Show as” to display it as Month.

Summary

And that is how you can build a Sales dashboard for your small business! It’s important to note that the data you have from your CRM or from your point of sale might be in a different format than the examples given in this post.

However, if you’re able to spend some time putting your data into a format that Data Studio can understand, you’ll be able to create effective reports and dashboards to help understand your business’ performance. 

June GDS Updates – New Home Dashboard & More

If you use Data Studio, there are two new features that you might be interested in knowing about!

Multiple Dimensions on Pivot Tables

Up until this point, you could only add two Dimensions to a pivot table. For example, below we have our two dimensions as Country and Device Category.

A new feature is being able to add multiple Dimensions to the Pivot Table. For example, we can now have rows for Country and City. We can also have columns for Device Category and Channel grouping.

This gives you much more flexibility to dig down into the nitty gritty of your data. 

New Home page

You might have noticed that Data Studio got a new home page layout.

The new design is arguably simpler, cleaner and easier to use. 

New Text Functions

Google Data Studio has added five new text functions for you to use with custom fields. 

The next text functions are;

  • CONTAINS_TEXT — Returns true if the specified text is found in the field or expression, otherwise returns false.
  • STARTS_WITH — Returns true if the field or expression begins with the specified text, otherwise returns false.
  • ENDS_WITH — Returns true if the field or expression ends with the specified text, otherwise returns false.
  • LEFT_TEXT — Returns a number of characters from the beginning of a specified string.
  • RIGHT_TEXT — Returns a number of characters from the end of a specified string.

You might be wondering how you could these, so here’s practical example. Let’s say you’re putting together a dashboard using your Search Console data. But instead of seeing all the individual queries you want to group your queries by topic. 

You can use the “Contains_Text” function to search for specific words and cagegorize them. You can click ‘Add a Field’ in Data Studio and create a CASE statement to create a new dimension.


See an example below;

We’ve now created a new dimension called Query Category using a CASE statement with the Contains_Text function.

Below is the type of data we can get and display in our Data Studio report.

Previously, if you wanted to search for types of text in a CASE statement you’d have to use Regular Expressions (Regex) which can get complicated. These new functions make that a whole lot simpler and quicker.

Hope you found this update useful and visit Data Studio Templates for more updates!

June 2019 Google Data Studio Update – Improved Charts & Line Functionality

There have been several new features launched for Google Data Studio in June 2019. I’ll give you a breakdown of what these are and how you could use them to improve your Data Studio reporting!

1. Improved method of adding charts to a report

This is a subtle but significant improvement to the way Users can add and interact with charts in Data Studio.

Previously a new chart would appear at the top of the report, and the User would need to drag it into position.

Now when you add any element (including date ranges, filters, charts tables and other design elements) you can choose where it should go before it is added to your report.

2. Changing the Colour of Chart Headers

Chart Headers are a recent addition to Data Studio. One of the most useful features of Chart Headers is that they allow you to “Drill Down” or “Drill Up” into your data.

To allow drilling down into your Data, you’d need to enable the Hierarchy feature on your chart’s Data tab. In this case we’ve chosen the hierarchy to be;

– Continent
– Sub Continent
– Country
– City

The latest addition to the Chart Header feature is to change its colour. It’s a small change, but any change that allows more customization is a welcome one!

3. Adding Lines to your Report

Perhaps the most significant of the three recent changes was the introduction of a Line feature to Data Studio.

Up until now users have been able to add square and circle shapes to their reports, but not a line. Lines come in three styles; Linear, Elbow and Curved Elbow.

You can change and manipulate the direction and angle of the line, as well as adding different types of pointers.

These arrows have several practical applications, such as labeling parts of your data.

In a way, they allow you to create annotations to describe patterns or anomalies in your data.

I hope you founds it useful to read up on these new features, and enjoy adding them to your reports!

Using Regex Expressions in Google Data Studio Dashboards

Google Data Studio is a great data visualization tool. It can be used to visualize data from Google Analytics, YouTube, Search Console, raw data in spreadsheets and much more.

GDS does, however, have limitations. For example, say you wanted to analyze your search keywords separated into long-tail and short-tail keywords. There’s no inbuilt filter to separate by  the number of words in a phrase. Using simple regex formulas can overcome many of these limitations and make GDS a far more powerful analysis tool.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to use regex/regular expressions to filter between long-tail and short-tail keywords. This is not an exhaustive  tutorial on regex expressions. Rather, I want to provide a concrete example of how using regex can stretch the capabilities of Google Data Studio reporting.

Data Studio offers many more functions other than regex, and you can see them here.

What is a Regular Expression?

A regular expression, also known as regex or regexp, is a special text string that describes a search pattern. You may have seen and used wildcard characters like “*.txt” to find all files ending in “.txt”.

Think of regular expressions as wildcards on steroids. There are many great tutorials on Regex expressions online.

Worked Example: Separating Short-Tail Vs. Long-Tail Keywords

The focal point of this case study is two questions which address the performance of long-tail and short-tail keywords.. The first question in the dashboard shown above addresses the number of impressions and the cost of long-tail keywords. The second question addresses the impressions and the cost of short-tail keywords.

According to Vertical Response, a short-tail keyword contains one or two words, while a long-tail keyword has three or more words. This is the criteria that we are going to use to define the regex expressions in this article. Also, search keywords may contain numbers, so we will include those as well.

There are many regex testing tools which can help you create and test regex expressions. For this article, we have used: https://regex101.com/.

When using regex101, first, you need to write the regex expression in the field labelled “Regular Expression”. Next, you need to write the content that you want to test in the field labelled “Test String”.

Short Tail Keywords

The regex expression: ^([a-zA-Z\d]+\s?\b){1,2}$

Let’s dissect the regex expression above to see how it works:

  1. ^ – Tells the regex expression to start at the beginning of the line.
  2. [a-zA-Z\d] – Means that we want all lowercase letters (a-z), all uppercase letters (A-Z) and numbers (\d)
  3. +\s – Means that the characters must be followed by whitespace.
  4. ? – Indicates that there can be one or more words before the current space.
  5. \b – Word boundary means that after the whitespace there should be something.
  6. {1,2} – This pattern should repeat once or twice. In this case, we are simply saying that for this regex expression to pass, there must be one or two words and nothing more.
  7. $ – Asserts position at the end of the line. This means that there should be nothing after the second word if this regex expression is to pass.

Let’s test our Regex expression to see if it works.

When you enter a single word, the short-tail keyword regex expression receives a match. This is indicated by the now highlighted test word – “hello,” as well as the text above the “Regular Expression” field that reads “1 match, 10 steps.”

When a second word is added, the regex expression again receives a match. This is because we specified that the pattern should repeat one or two times for the regex expression to pass.

When a third word is entered in the text string, the regex expression returns false and therefore no highlighted words appear. You will also see that the field above “Regular Expression” reads “no match.”

Long Tail Keywords

The regex expression: ^([a-zA-Z\d]+\s?\b){3,}$

Again let’s dissect the regex expression above to see how it works:

  1. ^ – Tells the regex expression to start at the beginning of the line.
  2. [a-zA-Z\d] – Means that we want all lowercase letters (a-z), all uppercase letters (A-Z) and numbers (\d).
  3. +\s – Means that our characters must be followed by whitespace.
  4. ? – Indicates that there can be one or more words before the current space.
  5. \b – Word boundary. This means that after the whitespace there should be something.
  6. {3, } – This pattern should be repeated at least three times to get a match. If we try only one or two words, we won’t get a match.
  7. $ – Asserts position at the end of the line. Since we haven’t specified a maximum number as the second argument in {3, }, this expression returns true for any keyword with a length of at least 3 words.

Let’s test our Regex expression to see if it works.

As you can see, entering 3 words in the test string returns a match. If an indefinite number of words are added, we’ll still get a match. The only condition is that there are three or more words in the sequence.

You can see that if the test string is made up of only two words, the regex test fails and no highlighted words appear.  You can also see “no match” above the field labelled “Regular Expression.”

Inputting Short-Tail Regex in Data Studio

Now that we have a working regex expression, we need to use it in the Google Data Studio dashboard. Once you have opened the dashboard, select the preferred chart or table that you want to apply the short-tail keyword length filter to.

Once you have selected the correct chart, scroll down through the panel on the right-hand side of the page until you see the “Add a Filter” button.

Once you have selected “Add a Filter” you will be taken to a list of options to use on your dashboard. If there are existing filters in your dashboard, they will be displayed in the list. In order to create a new filter, which in this example we want to do, you need to select the button at the very bottom of the list – “Create a Filter”.

In order to create the regex expression, you need to use the pull-up dialogue box that appears. You first need to input the name of your regex expression in the “name” value box. It is important to note that the fields need to be set to “Include” and “Search Keyword”.

Next, a condition needs to be provided. From the list, select “RegExp Match” as shown below.

Finally, the short-tail regex expression needs to be added, as shown in the image below.

Inputting Long-Tail Regex Tail Regex in Data Studio

Now that we have a working long-tail keyword regex expression, we need to use it in Google Data Studio dashboard. Once you have opened the dashboard, select the preferred chart/table that you want to apply the keyword length filter to.

Once you have selected the correct chart, scroll down through the panel on the right-hand side of the page until you come across the “Add a Filter” button.

Once you have selected the “Add Filter” button, you will be taken to a list of options to use on your dashboard. If you already have existing filters in your dashboard, they will be displayed on the list. If you want to create a new filter, as we do in this example, you need to select the button at the very bottom of the list – “Create a Filter”.

In order to create the regex expression, you will need to use the pull up dialogue box. First, it is necessary to name your regex. You can enter “Long-Tail Filter” into the “name” value box. It is important to note that the fields need to be set to “include” and  “Search Keyword”.

Next, a condition needs to be provided. From the list, select “RegExp Match” as shown below.

Finally, the long-tail regex expression needs to be added, as shown in the image below.

The Result: Tables and Graphs Filtered by Word Length

As  shown in the above screenshot, with Google Data Studio we can use our regex expressions to correctly filter search keywords. Search keywords with only one or two words have been identified as short-tail keywords, and those with three or more words as long tail keywords.

Conclusion

Although Google Data Studio has limitations, with the correct knowledge and tools it is possible to add versatility to your reporting and use the program to gain a more in-depth insight into your data.

At https://datastudiotemplates.com/, we create custom dashboards designed to visualize all kinds of marketing data. We have everything from YouTube, Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Google Ads and a combination of all these and more. Check out our templates here.