How to Use Google Data Studio

12 minutes

Key points you can
learn in this lesson.

Linking your Google Data Studio Account

Connect Google Data Studio to other data sources like Google Ads, Google Search Console, and Google Analytics.

 

Functions of Google Data Studio

Understand the basic capabilities of Google Data Studio.

Build Your Own Dashboards

Learn how to build your own dashboards with your own data connections.

Our key metrics increased. More importantly, we implemented a lot of new tactics and test scenarios, which will boost our company’s future prospects.

Dave McCue
Digital Marketing Manager at Allstate

Lesson Preview

In this lesson, we’ll be showing you how to build a basic Google Data Studio dashboard to help you monitor the performance of your campaigns, in real-time. When done correctly, dashboards can provide a ton of insight and be a valuable asset to share with your colleagues and other stakeholders. 

What is a data dashboard? What is Google Data Studio?

A data dashboard is an information management and reporting tool that visually tracks and displays key data points and key performance indicators (KPI). Dashboards typically pull in data from multiple sources and using data visualization, can communicate metrics visually to help users understand relationships in their data. For our purposes, dashboards are extremely useful in correlating campaign performance to specific metrics related to website performance and business objectives. 

Google Data Studio is a dashboard and reporting tool that is very easy to use, customize and share. It also has direct data connections to other Google applications such as Google Analytics and Google Ads. The best part, it’s free! 

Why is this important?

Reporting is an essential part of communicating the value of your marketing campaigns. Dashboards make it easier to communicate this value and correlate marketing performance with business objectives. For marketers, being able to report on KPIs to prove return on investment is imperative to gaining buy-in from stakeholders which can ultimately lead to additional budget and more growth potential for the company. By having access to dashboards that report on KPIs in real-time, marketing teams can always stay informed on performance and make key decisions based on the data they analyze.

What you’ll need:

  • Google Account
  • An active Google Ads Account
  • An active Google Analytics Account
  • An active Google Search Console
  • Templates:

The Process:

Step 1: Sign Up for Google Data Studio

  1. Enter https://datastudio.google.com/overview into your web browser.
  2. Click “USE IT FOR FREE” 
  3. Enter the email you want to use to sign in to your new Google Data Studio account. Preferably, you’ll want to use the same Google Account login credentials as your Google Analytics, Google Search Console, & Google Ads Account.
  4. After signing into your account, click on “Tutorial Report” to get a brief overview of how to view, edit, and create Data Studio Reports.
    • Please review their tutorial to get a comprehensive understanding of how to use Google Data Studio’s tools.

Step 2: Create your Google Analytics Dashboard 

We will be utilizing a built-in Google Analytics Dashboard Template for this lesson. For access to more complex templates, feel free to visit Google’s Community here: Link

1. Head back to Data Studio

2. Click on the “Acme Marketing” Google Analytics Report.

  • This is a sample report, we’ll need to create a copy to edit.

3. Click on “USE TEMPLATE” 

4. Click “GET STARTED”, read agree, and accept the terms, select your preferences, and then SAVE. 

5. Click “USE TEMPLATE” again, and then select your new Data Source by hitting the dropdown, and then selecting, “CREATE NEW DATA SOURCE” 

6. In the search bar, insert “Google Analytics” and then select Google Analytics: 

7. Select “AUTHORIZE”  

8. Select “Allow” 

9. Select Google Analytics Account, Property, and View, and then click “Connect”

10. Select “ADD TO REPORT” 

11. Choose your new Data Source and Select “Copy Report” 

12. Change the Title of your Dashboard to your preferred name by selecting the dashboard title.

  • Ex: “Company X Google Analytics Dashboard”

13. Share the Dashboard with associated contacts 

14. Select “View” to check out the dashboard in a non-editing version.  

15. You’re done!! Feel free to adjust the time range widget to look at the data from different time periods. Remember, this is just the starting point. The dashboards are meant to be custom, so feel free to edit the dashboard to align with your own KPI’s. 

Step 3: Create your Google Ads Dashboard

We will be utilizing a built-in Google Ads Dashboard Template for this lesson. For access to more complex templates, feel free to visit Google’s Community here: Link

This process will be very similar to the Google Analytics Dashboard set up since we already created an account. 

1. Head back to Data Studio

2. Click on “Template Gallery” 

3. Select “Google Ads Overview” 

4. Click on “USE TEMPLATE” 

5. Select your new Data Source by hitting the dropdown, and then selecting, “CREATE NEW DATA SOURCE”   

6. In the search bar, insert “Google Ads” and then select Google Ads: 

7. Find your Google Ads account name, and select “CONNECT” 

8. Click “ADD TO REPORT” 

9. Select “Copy Report” 

10. Change the Title of your Dashboard to your preferred name by selecting the dashboard title.

  • Ex: “Company X Google Ads Dashboard” 

11. Share the Dashboard with associated contacts 

12. Select “View” to check out the dashboard in a non-editing version. 

13. You’re done!! Feel free to adjust the time range widget to look at the data from different time periods. Remember, this is just the starting point. The dashboards are meant to be custom, so feel free to edit the dashboard to align with your own KPI’s. 

Step 4: Create your Google Search Console Dashboard

We will be utilizing a built-in Google Search Console Template for this lesson. For access to more complex templates, feel free to visit Google’s Community here: Link

This process will be very similar to the Google Analytics & Google Ads Dashboard set up since we already created an account. 

1. Head back to Data Studio

2. Click on “Search Console Report” 

3. Select “USE TEMPLATE” 

4. Select your new Data Source by hitting the dropdowns, and then selecting, “CREATE NEW DATA SOURCE”

 

5. In the search bar, insert “Search Console” and then select Search Console:

6. Select “AUTHORIZE”  

7. Select “Allow”

 

8. Depending on what data source you selected earlier (URL or Site), select the appropriate Table.

  • After completing the new data source for either URL or Site, repeat the same process for the other data source. 

9. Select “ADD TO REPORT”

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