Perfect for Rapidly Prototyping/Testing Dashboard Designs & Layouts
January 15, 2019

Perfect for Rapidly Prototyping/Testing Dashboard Designs & Layouts

Leah Jakaitis | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is used on a per-user basis within the organization to import, manipulate, and visualize datasets. Google Data Studio functions as a dashboard for displaying data analysis to a variety of audiences: internal presentations and client-facing purposes. It was used primarily within the data and analytics department (who gathered specs and built/deployed the dashboards) and accessed by account managers and clients. It is a useful platform for quickly prototyping/designing different dashboard/visualization strategies without investing the resources on a comprehensive or especially sophisticated solution.
  • Quickly build and prototype dashboards to test proof-of-concepts for data visualization.
  • Hosted on Google which means it's accessible internally and externally to different parties (dev, data/analytics, client reps, account management).
  • Well-maintained community connectors and documentation for extensive platform/data source support.
  • Community connectors are developed by third parties and sometimes cost money, which can disrupt building free dashboards
  • Reconciling disparate / multiple file types can be a hassle and usually requires doing it off-site (in SQL) to create a master data set for ingestion and viz in the Data Studio platform
  • Data Studio is especially helpful for prototyping, and saving manhours/resources by rapidly designing and testing viz/report opportunities.
  • Its positive impact is large: it is free, accessible, shareable, and can be used internally and externally. It is a viable stopgap solution too. More sophisticated reports are built in Tableau or Power BI.
Google Data Studio is widely available and accessible, can be shared easily, and it only takes 20-30 min to build a rudimentary dashboard. It has very little setup and does not rely on internal data architecture and development. For later development purposes, Tableau, Power BI, or QlikView may be the more appropriate choice. However, I've used Google Data Studio exclusively when it comes to displaying/presenting/sharing analysis and viz on Google data (Ads, Analytics) and have consistently been impressed with its quality and reliability.
I really love Google Data Studio and highly recommend it, with the understanding that it is a limited, free dashboard program, and does not have the robust analysis capability of an enterprise-level dashboard platform like Tableau or Power BI. It is perfect for dashboarding Google Suite data -- from Sheets, Ads, DCM/DBM, Analytics, etc. -- and readily ingests data from those sources.

If robust analysis on large datasets (>150,000) is a requirement, Data Studio is best deployed as a test-case or proof-of-concept before implementing a more comprehensive, powerful solution. It can ingest CSV and XLSX files, and community connectors/automation. This allows for data ingestion to come from platforms outside the Google Suite -- and while these connectors are generally reliable, they aren't maintained by Google and therefore can break, go out of date, etc.

Google Data Studio Feature Ratings

Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Customizable dashboards
Report Formatting Templates
Pixel Perfect reports
Not Rated
Drill-down analysis
Formatting capabilities
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Not Rated
Report sharing and collaboration
Publish to Web
Publish to PDF
Not Rated
Report Versioning
Not Rated
Report Delivery Scheduling
Not Rated
Delivery to Remote Servers
Not Rated

Using Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is a highly usable, approachable dashboard program to ingest and analyze/visualize data and information. It offers a number of templates to organize and present material in a logical fashion.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Geo heat mapping of events/values.
  • Sharing and exporting dashboard visualizations.
  • Connecting with other Google Suite data sources (Sheets, Ads, Analytics, etc).
  • Integrating with non-supported (community or Google) datasources