Google Data Studio - A good data viz starting point.
Meredith Walter | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated May 07, 2019

Google Data Studio - A good data viz starting point.

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is used mainly in our marketing analytics department. It serves various purposes ranging from post-campaign reporting to general data pulse checks. It expedites the process of collecting data so that we can focus more on insights drawn from the data and action items created from the insights.
  • Ease of creating data visuals - you don't need to be an expert to manipulate the charts
  • Ease of adding and removing data sources from a wide range of sources - google products, spreadsheets, etc
  • Ease of sharing your reports with a URL link that anyone can access and use
  • Ease of reproducing reports and templates for client-like work or recreating the same report for a different data source, like GA property
  • The ability to calculate custom metrics is limited. Unfortunately, you can't apply a "filter" to a custom metric, which has been a major road block for our org lately
  • GDS has made our cadence reporting much more efficient. We can create a template in GDS and then reference it over time knowing we're collecting the same data each time.
  • We've been able to connect a few of our data sources to have a full picture look at our marketing efforts and make better, data-driven decisions on how to tailor our next marketing initiatives.
Tableau and Domo are MUCH more robust tools than Google Data Studio. We did try to use Tableau before using GDS and we ended up not using Tableau to its full potential since we didn't know what we didn't know.

After using GDS for almost 2 years, we now have a solid understanding of what we need out of a data viz tool. We know GDS's limitations and can take that knowledge with us to making the next step up in a data viz tool.
If a user is looking for a free data visualization tool, I'd highly recommend using Google Data Studio as a starting point. As you use GDS, you'll gain a better understanding of the features you'll actually use and perhaps some that you wish GDS had. You could then take that insight into your purchase decision of a more robust data viz software like Domo or Tableau.

If a user is looking for a tool that will connect several custom data sources or making very advanced data visualizations, GDS is more than likely not a good option. It is limited with its connections and calculated metrics, as well as the type of visualizations you can create.

Google Data Studio Feature Ratings

Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
7
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
8
Customizable dashboards
10
Report Formatting Templates
7
Pixel Perfect reports
8
Drill-down analysis
8
Formatting capabilities
8
Integration with R or other statistical packages
3
Report sharing and collaboration
10

Using Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio has a clean interface that follows a lot of UX best practices. It is fairly easy to pick up the first time you use it, and there is a lot of documentation on line to help troubleshoot, if needed.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Changing the look and feel of a chart or table
  • Adding in additional functionality like filters
  • Customizing the look and feel of your report - it's a blank slate. You can add color, icons, images, etc.
  • It's hard to find how to edit the way a metric is displayed, such as a percent of total, percent of sum, etc.
  • It's hard to add calculated metrics if you're not a pro at it.