Nearly every college and university we work with deals with an overwhelming amount of data from multiple sources: website analytics, digital advertising, video platforms, internal spreadsheets and complex, university-wide databases. All the data is there within our grasp, but it’s frustratingly inaccessible without a team of people to pull and compare reports every month. Google Data Studio helps solve that problem. Here’s why I’m so excited for it!
In late May, Google announced the release of Google Data Studio, the free little sister to Google’s Data Studio 360 (a paid part of the Google Analytics 360 suite). It allows you to pull all your data into one interface with easy-to-use tools to make those reports actionable and sharable. Free Data Studio users are limited to five reports per account. If used carefully, that should be enough for a lot of schools. Here are three things you can do with the tool that are worth an hour of your time checking out!
You can’t make smart, data-driven decisions without data. Currently, you can connect data from AdWords, Attribution, BigQuery, Google Analytics, Google Sheets and YouTube.
Google says in the announcement blog post that they will, “soon have connectors to SQL databases that will let you access first party data.” That is huge for enrollment data.
As someone who spends a lot of time in Google Analytics reports, one of the weaker links is the flexibility of the dashboards and custom reports. Well, no more! In just a few short minutes with no training, I put together a customized report with colors, logos and pictures.
While we know that it’s the data that counts, it is impressive to be able to hand your stakeholders a university branded report.
If you’re a Google Docs/Drive/Sheets user, you’ve seen a pop-up like this before:
The fancy, branded Google Data Studio report you just created can be shared as easily as sending a link. What’s especially cool is the charts are then interactive in the browser with full mouse-over and date-selection (if you choose). You can also give certain trusted people access to edit, which makes it truly collaborative.
Check out this test report I made here: https://datastudio.google.com/open/0B1DDHM4hReS_OGZlOGtzMVlmRWM
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Best of all, the tool is new and still in Beta, so we can expect some great new features in the coming months. Likely, other data tools are scrambling to be included as data sources, as that could be a purchasing decision maker in coming years.
Have you played with Google Data Studio yet? What are your favorite features? Having trouble? Give us a call, we’re happy to help you get started!