Dr. Viratkumar Kothari

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Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio (datastudio.google.com) is a part of the Google Marketing Platform but has its own ecosystem. It’s free (with limited features) and an excellent solution for Data Visualization and Dashboard creation. You will need your google account to work with it. The Dashboards are helpful in all the domains, whether it be healthcare, share market, or inventory. You will need it for your inventory status, project status, or your portfolio performance.

There are lots of solutions available in the market for this, and one has to choose a smart solution to fulfil their needs. It starts from a simple reporting tool to massive business intelligence (BI) tools. The cost of such solutions depends on the functionalities it offers. Generally, heavy business intelligence tools are costly compare to simple dashboard solutions. Most of the time, people need a simple solution which satisfies their need, and Google Data Studio is for them! It’s a great example of simple and easy to use tool which offers you to create and share beautiful reports. It is quite useful for small and medium-size organizations.

There are four major parts of the Data Studio viz. Data Source, Connectors, Services, and Reports. Data sources are basically data on which reports will be built. There is a many to many relationships between data source and reports. So, one data source can be used in many reports, and in the same way, one report may have many data sources. The Connectors is an interface of receiving data from various platforms like Google Analytics, Big Queries, etc. It fundamentally connects data to the data source. Few important features are as follows:

Data Connections: Data Studio is easy to use, allows creating wonderful reports, sharing them and also scheduling them. Data Studio has built-in connections to over 200+ data sources. It also supports live data sources.

Drill Down data: This is one of the essential features. User can select any data which has a hierarchy and drill it down. This feature allows users to deep dive into the data.

Dynamic Controls: This is a handy feature which allows users to surf data without having to update the reports. Viewers can filter the reports with dimensions, date range selectors and many others. It also allows users to preserve their settings which they use on a regular basis using custom bookmark feature.

Customization Controls: Google Data Studio offers various customization starting from selecting themes, edit the layout, page size & alignments, a wide variety of charts & maps. It also provides conditional formatting.

Add or remove dimensions: The dimensions are basically columns. It provides a facility where user can add or remove columns of their choice in the table. This feature allows users to concentrate only on important data.

Advanced features: It also offers advanced features like use of complex formulae on data, creating calculated fields, use of CASE statement for conditional expressions.

Although Data Studio offers lots of useful features, you will still miss some important ones e.g. advanced formatting, Business Intelligence. Also, Data Blending (using data from two or more different data sources) can still be improved.

(Image courtesy: support.google.com)

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