Google Data Studio

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Yes! It’s here! (Well, it’s still in beta). Google Data Studio 360 is a tool that helps store owners see data from multiple sources in insightful ways. You can create custom metrics that show how your store is doing with almost any KPI you can think of, and without needing to know how to use complex data analysis software. Plus it’s free!

What’s the big deal?

Google Data Studio is awesome because, for most people, looking at spreadsheets from different departments doesn’t inherently make any sense. You have to put your information together in order to actually see any trends - and doing that visually through easy-to-generate reports and charts can make a huge difference. Here are a couple of things you can do with Google Data Studio.

Grab data from multiple sources and visualise them in one report

This is probably the best feature. Any data you have including Google Analytics and associated Shopify data, Search Console, SQL databases, Google AdWords, and literally anything you have on a spreadsheet with Google Sheets can be used together in Data Studio. If you have two variables you want to analyse against each other from different sources, here’s your chance.

See your data in insightful ways

Because you are able to pull data from basically all of your sources, you can draw insightful analysis that help you make better business decisions. For example, some of the insights you can make are:

  • Trends of any metric, such as order number or average order value over a specified time. Compare this year and last years’ earnings side by side on one chart. 
  • Scorecards that show at a glance your basic indicators

  • Detailed tables that show, for example, information about your top products such as revenue and conversion sources
  • Geo maps that show where your biggest sales are coming from
  • Custom metrics where you can see, for example, how your business changes based on gender or age, or how engaged your loyalty program customers are.

Great for people who aren’t coders

It can be tough for merchants to get all the insight they want without knowing how to code with complex statistical analysis software. Google Data Studio lets you see a whole lot of data without that knowledge, so it’s perfect for people who are tech-savvy but not as advanced at working with long datasets in spreadsheets.

Google Drive Shareability

For those of you already using Google Drive, you know how useful it can be. Every document is automatically saved, and can be shared with individual collaborators or easily through a copy-and-paste link. Your collaborators can contribute, view, or comment depending on what permissions you give them. And, you can keep everything organised through folders.

Speed up with reusable templates

Once you set up a template for what you want on your reports, you can reuse it again and again. This will dramatically save time for anyone making weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual reports because you’ll just be able to open up your template and fill it with current data.

Get started with Data Studio

Here’s a basic version of creating a new report using Google Data Studio.

1. First, make sure your data is clean.

When you open up your spreadsheets from any of your sources, you should have clear, usable headings for each column and consistent formatting throughout. Cleaning your data is an important step before any sort of analytics, and makes sure that the information you’ll see in front of you is actually relevant and accurate.

2. Sign in to Data Studio with your Google Analytics credentials.

3. Start with Reports and click the + to create a blank report

4. Use the Data Source Picker on the right panel to add all the data sources you want

Note: Your Shopify ecommerce data is in there and ready to go if you’ve connected your Shopify store with Google Analytics. There’s a free, more limited version for those who aren’t sure about upgrading. You would then select Google Analytics as your data source if you’re looking to visualise conversions and orders.

5. Add charts and information

You can add a time series chart to show trends over time, a pie chart, a bar chart, or a map for starters. Use the toolbar at the top of the page to add charts directly. You can also add images, text and shapes from this panel.

Edit what information is shown and how it is displayed on the BASIC and STYLE tabs on the right.

You can create multiple pages, allowing you to focus each page thematically or organise it in a way that works best for you and your clients.

6. Collaborate and Share

You can add contributors by clicking “Share” in the top right corner of the page. Choose whether you want them to be editors with full access or to be “view only” participants. You can also get a sharable link that you can send out in an email.

7. Get inspiration

One of the best ways to figure out what you can do with Data Studio is to borrow ideas from others. Take a look at the Google Data Studio Gallery to see what kinds of graphics and metrics others use with this tool.

Want more?

If you’re starting from a bit further back, check out our crash course on getting started with analytics, and learn more about the basics of A/B testing.

Elkfox is a Shopify expert, and guess what? We love spreadsheets and data analysis. It’s our jam. If you’re looking for help getting the most out of your data, just let us know.