How to build a dynamic data report in less than 15 minutes

Jacob Redmond
December 5, 2017

A little over a year ago, our Digital Strategy team’s reporting operations were in a bit of a funk. Our ongoing reporting, especially for our clients running digital ads, was taking too much time, but we didn’t want to deprive our clients of their valuable data and analytics. This funk didn’t last long – we quickly discovered Google Data Studio, and it solved our reporting issue almost immediately. With Google Data Studio, we said hello to dynamic data visualizations and goodbye to lengthy decks with tedious screenshots.

 

How to build a dynamic data report in less than 15 minutes

If you’re looking to build a dynamic data report in 15 minutes or less, you’ll want to use one of the Google Data Studio’s pre-made templates. For this example, we’ll be using the ‘AdWords Overview’ template.

  1. Log in to your Google account and go to datastudio.google.com
  2. Click ‘Data Sources’ in the left-hand navigation, then click the ‘+’ in the bottom-right corner of your screen
  3. Click ‘AdWords’ in the left-hand navigation, select the AdWords account you want to report on, then click ‘Connect’
  4. Give your Data Source a unique name, then return to datastudio.google.com
  5. Click on the ‘AdWords Overview’ template, then click ‘Use Template’
  6. In the ‘New Data Source’ dropdown, select the one you just created, then click ‘Create Report’
  7. Give your report a unique name and mess around with report themes if you wish to do so

Boom, you’re ready to share this live-updating report with your client. 

 

5 cool things to try

  1. Want to only display data from a single AdWords campaign, or exclude data from sessions outside the United States? Create an object filter in just a few seconds.
  2. The ability to create calculated fields gives your data real power. We find this extremely useful when trying to combine multiple Google Analytics goal completions into one single metric.
    • Example: Goal 1 (Phone Calls) + Goal 2 (Form Submissions) = Conversions)
  3. If you need to get non-Google data in one of your reports, leverage Google Sheets as a data source. This is how our department gets Facebook ad data into our reports – exporting a spreadsheet of Facebook ad data and copying it over to a Google Sheets data source takes just a few minutes.
  4. Save a ton of time by copying objects. Simply select the object you want to copy and use your copy/paste keyboard shortcut. This is a huge time saver our Digital Strategy department uses just about every day.
  5. If you need to add similar-looking pages to a report, your best bet is to duplicate an existing page, then mess around with data tweaks. In our experiences, it takes more time to tweak a report’s look (layout, color, etc.) than a report’s data (data sources, dimensions, metrics).

 

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