Great for Tight Budgets or Simple Data Visualization
April 27, 2021

Great for Tight Budgets or Simple Data Visualization

Scott Walker | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Google Data Studio

[I used Google Data Studio to] create a dashboard for each of my clients that combines all their data sources (social, ad networks, Analytics, etc.) into one easy to read report for them. I download a PDF for them to view each month, but I also send the link to the dashboard in case they want to view it or play around with the metrics. I've found that many clients are often asking for updates on the performance of the campaigns or site performance, so giving them an easy one-stop-shop where they can find all their performance data is very convenient.
  • Easy to design/brand
  • Native data support for all Google products such as Adwords, Search Console, and Analytics
  • Constantly improving and growing
  • No native support for many outside sources like Facebook or Twitter (must build own or use third party software)
  • Many features that are available in Tableau or other dataviz solutions aren't available yet
  • Available templates aren't styled using default colors, so you have to update the color palette of each module by hand.
  • Data Score boxes are very limited in what they can report
  • Free, so the only investment is time
  • Because it doesn't have native support of non-Google sources, it can cost more money than Tableau
  • The time spent formatting the templates or building connectors can have a negative impact on ROI
  • As a agency, charging for the reporting service is profitable after the first month or two after building the dashboard.
Obviously, Google Data Studio is an improvement over Google Charts, which I believe powers the chart modules used in Data Studio. I think of Data Studio as a convenient way to combine multiple Google Charts in one, easy-to-read report.

In many ways it is similar to SmartDraw's graphing program. It has a better appearance and more utile graph types than native Microsoft programs, and it it easily lives online. But, Data Studio is free and offers a little bit better data porting than SmartDraw and has modules that are more than just graphs and charts.

The best comparison is to Tableau Online. It is essentially the same program. Tableau is more powerful and has data warehousing, tons of dataviz tools, and lots of connections to outside sources. However, Tableau starts around $70 per month per user, which can be very expensive. Data Studio doesn't offer as many tools, connection, or power but starts out as Free with unlimited collaborators. This is a major advantage when budgets are tight. However, as I mentioned, you may have software costs with Data Studio if you need to purchase third-party connectors to import your data directly into Google Data Studio from outside sources like Facebook and CRMs.

Do you think Looker Studio delivers good value for the price?


Are you happy with Looker Studio's feature set?


Did Looker Studio live up to sales and marketing promises?


Did implementation of Looker Studio go as expected?


Would you buy Looker Studio again?


[Google] Data Studio is a great tool for someone who is starting out with Dataviz software or doesn't have the budget to purchase Tableau or something more powerful. I personally like using it because the bulk of my data sources are Google related (adwords, analytics, search console, etc.). So the native support is very convenient.

If you have to pull a lot of CRM data or outside connectors, you'll need to build the API yourself or purchase a connector from a third party. If doing so, you may want to seriously look at the all-in costs of the software stack; you may find that other (more supported) dataviz programs will be worth the cost. This is especially true if your pulling from 5 or more sources or if you need to query large amounts of data. But, if you're a SMB or a small agency creating a value-added report for your clients, then Data Studio is definitely a great place to start!

Looker Studio Feature Ratings

Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Predictive Analytics
Customizable dashboards
Report Formatting Templates
Pixel Perfect reports
Drill-down analysis
Formatting capabilities
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Report sharing and collaboration
Publish to Web
Publish to PDF
Report Versioning
Report Delivery Scheduling
Delivery to Remote Servers