Pros and Cons of Google Data Studio 2022

Pros and Cons of Google Data Studio 2022

What is Google Data Studio?

Google Data Studio is Google’s dashboard platform which offers data visualization and informative reporting tools. It has been in our lives since 2015 and it is completely free. Many data sources can be connected to the Google Data Studio and through the platform’s visual elements, these data can be shown in various appealing ways. 

You might ask; what are the pros and cons of Google Data Studio. But before that, let's look into the main reason why we need it; data visualisation. You might have heard it for a while, you might have some idea about it. So Google Data Studio is one of the services out there, which can visualise your data for you. Other popular services are Tableau and Microsoft Power BI. You might want to check out our article on that as well. Besides these 3, you might come across tens of data visualization tools out there. 

Pros and Cons of Google Data Studio

Pros of Google Data Studio

In this section let us dive into some Google Data Studio benefits.

  1. No budget needed.
    Google Data Studio is free of charge. Anyone with a Google account can log in and start creating appealing dashboards.

  2. It is connected!
    Google Data Studio is %100 cloud based. And almost all data sources are cloud based too! This means that with a smart and correct setup of scenario, there will be minimum to zero maintenance. And you know what does this mean; low maintenances cost/needed sources.

  3. Versatile sharing options.
    Since it is cloud based, there are many ways to share your Google Data Stuido dashboard;
    1. Sharing as a static PDF,
    2. Sending a html link, with limited public view,
    3. Sending a html link with editing or changing view rights,
    4. Embedding as a widget into your website

  4. Easy to use UI.
    Google Data Studio’s web panel is easy to use and start. You can create your first dashboard in 5 minutes!

  5. It’s part of the Google ecosystem!
    Google Data Studio has built in data connectors for Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google Search Console, Google Big Query and several other Google products. Most importantly Google Sheets as well! This is a huge advantage against solutions like Tableau, as users won’t need to spend time connecting new sources. 

Cons of Google Data Studio

  1. Unsupported data sources need 3rd party data connectors.
    Some data sources like Facebook Business ecosystem products and services don’t have native connectors built in to Google Data Studio. Users will need to purchase 3rd party data connectors to see data from these sources. Good news is there are plenty of 3rd party connectors and you won’t be helpless. However bringing 3rd party connectors means additional costs and maintenance.

  2. Learning curve for advanced calculated fields and formulas
    It is not hard to start using Google Data Studio. However, once you get a hold of it, you might need to see calculated results or combined values. For these, you need to learn creating calculated fields, using formulas and even RegEx match types. This need can be frustrating sometimes and also time consuming.
     
  3. Probably not a top business intelligence software.
    Once you are in the data visualization world, you won’t stop. Eventually you will see much more complicated dashboards with unique visual elements. There are some business intelligence software which might offer these and also there is versatility of programming languages like Python and more. 

Wait, what is data visualisation?

In the most basic way, data visualisation is the graphical representation of data. Data visualisation has become one of the hype works in the last decade with the rise of business intelligence needs and with the increase of the amount of the data we are receiving from several touchpoints of our businesses and our customers.  

It is a very efficient way of interpreting your data into real life facts which will help you make smart educated decisions. These educated decisions will bring your business efficiency, agility and ultimately more profit. 

Where can you use data visualisation?

Data is everywhere in life. Although many people assume business related topics when speaking of data, there are many personal data as well. Even your monthly utility bills and keeping track of them on a simple spreadsheet would be very helpful for your budget calculations. 

Since data is everywhere, we can use data visualisation in many places and for many reasons.  Here are some examples for visualised data and informative reporting;

  • Website visitors analysis.
  • E-commerce reporting with funnels and revenue scores.
  • Sharing results of a survey or an academic research.
  • Making a colossal amount of data more understandable; for example - all transactions of Visa around the world according to spending hours.
  • Return of your marketing investment (ROAS) from different ad sources.

For further examples, you can check Google Data Studio’s featured reports here

Introduction to data dashboards

Data dashboards are one of the most versatile ways to visualise your data. Spreadsheets and presentations are static and have limited design. However, data dashboards offer you a html based dynamic panel, where you can change date period, data source and many other variables according to your report viewing goal. 

Before getting into the pros and cons of Google Data Studio, you might want to check some dashboard templates here, which we offer in Northstar Analytics. 

Summary

Google Data Studio is an easy to start, easy to use reporting and dashboard tool. Everyone must step into this world and create beautiful reports and inspire themselves while making smart business decisions. 

Google Data Studio’s builtin data connectors, let you start right away and help you enjoy looking into your data a whole different way.  It’s link sharing function lets people share dynamic data views between departments. This new way of sharing, increases efficiency by reducing problems caused by the silo mentality in businesses.

We hope that you found our “Pros and Cons of Google Data Studio 2022” article helpful. Please comment and share!

Photo by Stephen Dawson on Unsplash

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