Google Data Studio: free data visualisation tool

In what’s good news for data geeks and bad news for startups in the crowded online dashboard space, Google’s releasing a free version of Data Studio 360.

data studio

An example AdWords report, created from a template in Google’s Data Studio

Called simply Google Data Studio and initially only available to US users, the free version is limited to five online reports per account. Data sources are also somewhat limited initially but include Google AdWords, Google Analytics, YouTube, BigQuery, Attribution 360 and Google Sheets. Connectors to SQL databases are coming soon.

Online reports can be shared with anyone who has a Google account, and edit permissions can be assigned as needed.

The design and style of the reports are based on reusable templates which can be customised. Reports are dynamic and can include interactive controls with which viewers can adjust the time periods, geographies, segments, or other available dimensions.

Here’s an example of Google Data Studio dashboards being used for SEO reporting that was developed by Webris, a US search agency.

Why should you care?

Five multi-page reports may be ample for some small businesses; others will be more interested in Data Studio 360. While Google has yet to publish pricing for the enterprise version, the base licence is for 200 users.

Regardless, the opportunity to combine reporting data from multiple sources, in dynamic reports easily shared across an organisation, should appeal to all.

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About the Author Jeremy Templer

Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in the development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End. At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he is the head of Paid Search Advertising and oversees the delivery of AdWords and other PPC campaigns. He also helps clients make sense of their website data.