Google’s Looker Studio (formerly known as Google Data Studio) is a powerful, robust, and free data visualization tool that can be utilized as a central reporting hub for the various campaigns and platforms in which you advertise. In this post, we’ll delve into the various features of the program, with the hopes that you’ll discover what Looker Studio or other data visualization tools can do for your organization.
Here are the key functionalities of Looker Studio that can help take your reporting to the next level.
1. Google Connectors
Looker Studio offers free connections to Google products such as Google Analytics, Google Ads, Youtube, and Search Console. If you’ve correctly set up your various digital campaigns to populate your data into Google Analytics, the Google Analytics connector will allow you to represent your key campaign data in nearly any way you’d like. Of course, you’ll be able to display your overall website data as well. In the event that you have a data source that isn’t from a Google product, Looker Studio allows you to import any data present in Google Sheets! So as long as you can export your platform data to Google Sheets, you’ll be able to display it in Google Data Studio.
2. Third Party Connectors
If you have data sets that aren’t from one of the Google connectors, and don’t feel like messing around with Google Sheets data imports, there are a great number of third party connectors that cover nearly any platform you can think of. We’ve successfully reported from campaigns from LinkedIn, Adroll, Facebook, Instagram, Shopify and Twitter, to name a few. There are some larger connector companies such as Supermetrics that offer integrations to over 90 marketing and data platforms.
3. Data Visualization
Perhaps the strongest feature of Looker Studio is its ability to display your raw data in easy-to-digest charts, graphs, maps, and other data visualizations. This affords those who aren’t adept at viewing, sorting, and analyzing data in ad platforms the ability to easily comprehend a slew of important metrics. The geo map and colored heat map options are especially handy.
4. Publishing and Embedding
Once your report has been built, you are able to share the report with various access levels via email, or a link. Additionally, Looker Studio reports can be embedded on web pages, which is useful for sharing company reports on an intranet or client web page.
Perhaps the most important feature of Google’s Looker Studio is the capability to dramatically reduce the amount of human hours needed in reporting activities. Instead of employees needing hours of each week or month to manually collect all of the data points for input on an excel sheet, this is done automatically via the Looker Studio connectors. Even better, the data is always real-time.
6. Data Freshness and Integrity
As mentioned above, the data from your various advertising or tracking platforms streams are automatically imported, real time, into your report via the connectors. Data is never stored in Looker Studio- all presented data is fetched via the API connections. This means that the data that is presented in Looker Studio is just as fresh as the data that you would see by visiting your various platforms. Freshness of data and data integrity go hand-in-hand, and a company that analyzes old data is jeopardizing their ability to make informed, timely campaign decisions. Looker Studio puts an end to that problem.
The data in Looker Studio reports doesn’t just sit there. There are several sorting and filter tools that allow a user to easily parse data between ad sets, flight dates, creative options, and so on. Filters may be added report-wide, or specifically to individual graphs and charts. Sorting and filtering tools include drop down lists and sliders. Individual charts and graphs may also be exported in a variety of formats.
Looker Studio allows for calculations of fields that aren’t currently present as default field options. For example, let’s say the API of a particular connector you are using imports frequency and reach values, but doesn’t import impressions values. This is not a problem in Looker Studio! With the use of some SQL based syntax, a user may write a fairly simple formula that divides the frequency by the reach. A new field is created, and presto, you have impressions reporting!
Should we be reporting with Looker Studio?
Overall, Looker Studio is user friendly and quite intuitive. If you’re looking to improve the integrity of your reported data, save countless hours of data culling, and make your data representations more accessible to a wider range of team members, we strongly encourage you to consider reporting with Looker Studio. As always, Immerse Agency is ready to help on any complex reporting projects you may have, as well as any other marketing needs. Contact us today to discuss your company and goals!