Earlier this year, Google announced the launch of a new premium, enterprise-class data visualization and reporting platform — Data Studio 360 — as part of the larger announcement regarding its Google Analytics 360 Suite.
More recently, at the Google Performance Summit, Google announced a free version, Data Studio, designed for “individuals and smaller teams,” Google said in a blog entry.
Both Data Studio 360 and its younger free sibling let users connect their marketing data and turn it into charts, graphs and other visualizations that, the company says, are easy to understand, share and customize.
The primary difference between Data Studio 360 and the free version is the number of reports users can create. Data Studio users are limited to five per account. Both versions support connection to unlimited data sources and offer unlimited report viewing, editing and collaboration, the blog post said.
How Data Studio 360 Works
Data Studio 360 connects multiple data points in a mix and match fashion, to create custom, hybrid reports. For example, the screenshot below shows a report that combines Google Analytics and AdWords data.
Reports can also include data from Google Sheets, YouTube, CSV files, Attribution 360, Google BigQuery (its cloud-based big data analysis tool) and, soon to come, SQL databases.
Data accessibility is a big deal to Google as the blog post attests.
“One of the fundamental ideas behind Data Studio is that data should be easily accessible to anyone in an organization,” the post said. “We believe that as more people have access to data, better decisions will be made.”
Accessibility is one thing; collaboration is another — and that’s what both versions accomplish, using the same infrastructure as Google Drive. Users can edit reports jointly, in real time.
Data Studio 360 also provides flexibility in data presentation that includes new visualizations like bullet charts, which help users communicate progress toward a goal.
Heatmaps like the one shown below are another feature available on Data Studio 360 and Data Studio. These are used to identify outliers within tabular data.
Stylistic tools enable report design to represent a particular brand, and interactive controls make reporting interactive for viewers.
Prerequisites to Using Data Studio
You must have a Google account to view a Data Studio report. To create reports and data sources, you need the ability to use Google Drive. Data Studio stores files on Drive and uses its sharing model to enable sharing of Data Studio reports and data sources
Data Studio is currently available to users in the United States. Google will roll it out to other geographic regions throughout the year.
View an interactive walkthrough to learn more, or use this tutorial to create your first report.
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