Many of us are familiar with DataStudio, at least in name. It sounds like a cross between an excel spreadsheet and Photoshop. Not typically something that would entice a causal web surfer to click and explore. DataStudio (DS) isn’t really either of those things. It’s a powerful visual reporting tool that can be used by basic and advanced users. The best part? No. Coding. Needed! When you’re working on a budget or a tight schedule, this is music to the ears of a busy professional.
You may be thinking, ‘I have Google Analytics (GA) on my website. There are visual reports in there, why would I use precious hours of the day to build more?’ As valuable as the reports in GA are, they only give you the beginning of your user story and require you to click and dig to get them. Even if that’s good enough for you, handing off a report from GA to an Executive Director or CEO is painful. Data and visuals are spread across a number of pages. As the head of an organization, I don’t have time to burn clicking around and waiting for pages to load. I want to know what’s going on with the website now.
At the most basic of levels, DS can be used to pull classic GA reports onto a single page. Meaning you have a single link to share with your team. Even better, DS reports are living, breathing (metaphorically) reports. These are not cut and paste snapshots dropped into a PowerPoint. Meaning you don’t have to be continually updating them. Unless, of course, you want to add new data into the report.
The below report exists on a single page, even though it’s been cut in two pieces for blogging purposes. Here we can see our top level site stats over the last 30 days. Knowing that it’s important for our team to focus on marketing efforts, I also like to have these User and Session stats along with a month-over-month comparison for the sessions. I can see in early April there was a drastic dip in traffic. This is something I can further explore in GA. Did we make a change to the website? Was there anything annotated to indicate a change? In fact, the site was temporarily down for maintenance. This means if my boss comes asking, I can answer the question, but there’s also an easy source for viewing our website information.
Sticking with the importance of marketing for our team, I also like to drill down on the countries driving traffic and the channels. Hello, U.S.! You’re our main source of traffic, which is to be expected as this is where our office, operations team and marketing efforts are centered. To drill down a bit further I can see Organic Search is the number one driver of traffic to the website. This is fantastic, as it means Google, Bing and the other search engines are getting us the traffic we’ve worked hard to cultivate through SEO best practices. Direct and Referral Traffic trail in comparison, but are producing solid results that mean we have a few partners linking to our site and faithful users who have bookmarked the website. Thanks!
The case I’m making here is that at the most basic level, you can use DS to create a one-stop shop for reporting of GA data. From that point the reports can get really exciting. They do have the ability to be multi-page, if you prefer the pages to be dedicated to specific areas, like mobile traffic or goal conversions. You can also create long, infographic like pages if you want everything within a scroll of your mouse. You can even diversify the data by including channel information, conversion paths, goal statistics, and so much more.
I highly recommend taking some time out of your day to explore DS and see what all the fuss is about. Of course, if you’re looking for assistance, our team can help you setup a few out of the box reports, or create something custom for your organization. Let us know your goals and how we can help! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.