Google Data Studio: Free gets more useful

What’s better than free? For the free version of Google’s data analytics and visualisation tool, first announced in March 2016, the answer to that question has always been obvious: unrestricted.

Google has now removed the five-report limitation on free versions of Google Data Studio. This is clearly good news for anyone not needing all the functionality of the pricey enterprise version (but for whom five reports per account was clearly insufficient).

Why should you care?

OK, there are still some restrictions in using the free version of Data Studio (but you knew that, right?). Most notably, although reports can be shared with anyone who has a Gmail or Google for Work account, there is only one account owner/editor.

Data connectors are increasing but still limited and favour the Google ecosystem. However, Google Sheets integration presents a workaround where direct integration is not supported (for example, for Bing Ads and Facebook Ads).

Large companies will still want to license the paid version as it allows up to 200 account owners (all can edit and manage reports), and comes with full customer support.

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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 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 develops search strategies for SureFire clients and helps them make sense of their website data.

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