In my 5+ years in digital marketing, I’ve always hated one task, reporting. And not because the reports weren’t rosy, no. Mostly because the amount of time it takes to generate these reports drives me mad. And the thought that I have to do this every week…? God help me.
But project reporting is a necessary evil. It helps guide decision making, marketing optimization and tracks progress. So the next question was always “how do we automate this?”. A simple Google search turns up hundreds of paid solutions, but who needs to spend more money on yet another platform. It’s at this point that the Google Data Studio comes in.
What is Google Data Studio
In a nutshell, Google Data Studio helps you visualize reports and provides free unlimited usage as of the time of this writing. You can also connect with most Google products including Firebase, Google AdWords and Analytics to automate data reporting.
What this means is that when running AdWords campaigns for clients for example, you can share a unique dashboard URL. The client simply needs to access this URL and see real time reports on their ongoing ads. Here’s an example
This gives you an idea of how much detail can go into this real time dashboard. And the good news is, because there are so many data connection platforms, you can create reports like this for almost anything. Here’s one from Google on a TV campaign performance
So what does this mean for the average marketing professional?
- If you’re working on the brand side, you can create unique dashboards like these for management. You’d never get asked to create impromptu reports again (hopefully) 😀
- If you’re working for an agency, you can have each account manager tasked with creating dashboards like these for every client they manage. Now if the client needs to know what’s happening around 12AM (like some of them do), they don’t need to call you anymore. They have a real time dashboard to take care of all their needs
- If you’re a freelancer managing multiple client ad campaigns… you figured right? Create a dashboard for each client
I’ve tried this out myself and I must confess, it helped me too. I immediately got some insight being able to see all the data all at once. And if you’re wondering if this works for Facebook too, yes it can, with some tinkering and (unfortunately) human intervention.
Already using the Data Studio? Let me know what you think, drop a comment below.
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