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How to use Reference Lines in Google Data Studio

How to use Reference Lines in Google Data Studio?

How do I keep track of where my campaigns are performing? I wish I could know the exact stage.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a reference line, like the one below, to tell you exactly how your campaigns are performing?

Now with Google Data Studio, you can set a reference line on your graph or report and instantly draw attention to whatever threshold you decide is important.

How to set a reference date?

  1. Click on the chart/report you want to add
  2. Navigate to DATA tab on the right hand menu
  3. Click on the drop down menu, under the Default Data Range selector

Choose the desired reference point.

Here is how to set it:


When you add a reference date, you will get a red or green arrow with a value under the main value. If you are using table charts, you will get this in the next column. These numbers show the difference between reference points.

For example;

The scorecard from the above shows there has been increase of %9.4 compared to previous year.

You can make some changes how this value will be shown. In order to do that, when the chart is selected, navigate to STYLE tab and find the section COMPARISON METRIC.

  • You can change the colors of arrows
  • You can change the decimal precision
  • You can show absolute change instead of ratio (%)
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