Beta access to Google’s Data Studio 360 arrived this week, and we spent some time creating reports. At first glance, this new product appeared to be a souped-up version of Google Analytics Dashboard or Custom Reports, lacking the robust features one might expect with Domo or Tableau. However, it’s priced well below those more mature products.
The sample report for “ACME” looks a lot like something we would expect from Google Analytics, although the “World Population” sample demonstrates the much more powerful data visualization tools offered.
The product is designed for non-technical users. To start, click the “new report” button (unlabeled in the bottom right corner of the screen) to view a variety of data sources that are linked to your Google account login. These sources include Google Analytics, AdWords, YouTube, Google Sheets (which, of course, could contain any number of data files from 3rd parties like Facebook), and BigQuery.
You are able to extract data from these APIs into your reports without writing a line of code. To start, simply select your desired data fields and ensure that your fields are formatted properly. It is imperative to make sure this is done properly at the outset, as you won’t be able to redo this later. One of my favorite formatting styles is the “numeric” style duration, which automatically converts the numerical value for a session visit into “minutes: seconds”. I find this incredibly helpful, as this is the way the data is typically displayed.
My early favorite of Data Studio 360 is the BigQuery data import. Writing BigQuery queries such as:
SELECT SUM(totals.pageviews), SUM(totals.hits), SUM(totals.visits), SUM(totals.timeOnSite), SUM(totals.bounces) FROM ( TABLE_DATE_RANGE ( [9338XXXX.ga_sessions_], TIMESTAMP('2016-04-01'), TIMESTAMP('2016-04-30') ) )
can be avoided altogether simple by navigating to the desired BigQuery dataset. There is no need to specify a data range in the query – Data Studio automating creates a query that will access the entire dataset. We are currently doing some testing to see what the quota/billing implications of these Data Studio queries are.
The bottom line is that Data Studio 360 reports linked to BigQuery datasets gives the Google Analytics 360 customers easy access to “unsampled” reports, since all of the data collected in BigQuery is unsampled. This access is vital when analysts are interested in comparing relatively small differences in large datasets, where the difference between sample and unsampled reports is critical.