Is Google Data Studio Worth It?
Data analytics remains a very challenging part of modern marketing efforts. It can be very overwhelming, especially for those who are not experienced enough or do not have the right tools to do it right and benefit from it. Google Data Studio is a business intelligence tool that was created to help with data analytics and visualisation for businesses of all sizes. Google Data Studio is a managed web service with an intuitive interface that is meant to help businesses collate, explore and use data to formulate insights. Google Data Studio is free, but does that mean it is worth it?
Data Connections and Management
Google Data Studio allows businesses to connect to various data sources; those from Google and those developed by third parties through the API. All the data sources from Google are part of the larger Google services ecosystem which includes sources like YouTube, Analytics, Search Console, Sheets, Ads and more. There are over 300 third-party data sources that users can connect to their data Google Data Studio.
All the data sources from Google are free but no one is sure if all the third-party data sources are free. Even when Google lets you connect to them easily, you still have to pay for the services behind them somehow.
Google Data Studio doesn’t save any of your data but it does store the results of the queries you make concerning this data. This means you have a cache which you can access and this makes the data request faster the second time around.
Data Calculations and Manipulation
The tool does also lets you join different data sources together which can be useful in some basic cases. This functionality is quite limited as there is only one way to join this data. Other business intelligence tools give you more than one way to join data. Also, Google Data Studio does not allow you to do calculations across data sources. This means you cannot use data or metrics from one source and multiply that with a metric from another source when looking for a correlation or when you want to do a comparison.
This often means that you have to work with the data elsewhere before pulling it into Google Data Studio which diminishes the need of having this tool available to you in the first place.
Google Data Studio gives you various data visualisation types to use. The list is extensive enough that you have all that you need to build everything from graphs to tables to donut charts. There are also community visualisations which are built by third-party partners that you can use.
The visualisation interface is also intuitive enough and organised in such a way that it would be difficult to make a mistake when building a visualisation.
Another thing you will love about Google Data Studio is that you can build good-looking and interactive dashboards. These dashboards also allow you to explore, discover and add data from outside the report builder – the main visualisation tool – so you can create more complex dashboards.
Google Data Studio is a great business intelligence tool that is lacking in some areas. It is free and has everything you need to get started, but it lacks some functionality that other, more robust tools come with. If you are looking for a simple business intelligence and visualisation tool, Data Studio might be right for you. If you are looking for something more advanced, it might be better to look elsewhere.