Data Studio 360: First Steps

Now that you have access to Data Studio (Thanks, Google!), and you’ve connected your first Data Source, what’s next? Before diving in and randomly adding charts—which is tempting because it’s incredibly quick and easy!—you want to lay a strong foundation and set yourself up for success.

Step 1: Create Consistency

First, visit the Report Themes and Settings and ensure that you have structured the report in a way that is consistent across all pages and charts within the report.

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Once in the Report and Theme Settings section, you want to choose your report layout. It’s pretty simple: Data Studio 360 offers both portrait and landscape oriented reports. Keep in mind that when you select portrait or landscape, you’re choosing the page layout for all pages within the report. This might come to bear on the charts, graphs, and tables in your report.

Step 2: Choose Your Theme

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Next, head over to the ‘Theme’ tab of the Report and Theme Settings section of your report so you can set up the overall look and feel that each of your reporting widgets. Here you can choose options like primary and second colors for the pages of your report, along with choosing colors and styles for lines and borders within your report. Here you can save yourself a lot of time with your pie and bar graphs by building your chart palette to match your brand colors. This way all of your graphs and charts will honor the palette you choose up front, unless you decide to change the palette for a particular chart within the report, as that option exists as well. If you don’t like gridlines on your graphs, no problem! You can use the option here to make gridlines transparent on all charts and graphs within your report.

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Step 3: Choose Your Data Source

Now that you have the report laid out and set up to look how you want, you can go into the Data tab of the Report and Theme Settings in order to adjust any overall settings that will affect the actual data that is presented in the report. In this tab, you’ll notice that you can edit or completely change your data source. In the case you want to make a copy of a previous report, you will likely want to choose a new data source. In this tab, you can also select the default date range for your report, by which (unless otherwise specified on a per chart basis) all data in your report will display.

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In this tab, beyond choosing the source and date range for your data, you can also include filters that apply to all of the data within the report. For instance, if you’re creating a report for your SEO team, you may choose to add a filter to only include data with medium ‘organic.’ When you narrow the focus of your data from the beginning and build each filter on a per-chart basis, you’ll save loads of time.

Step 4: Add A Header and Footer

The final step that we would recommend for report presentation and consistency would be to add a global report header, footer, or sidebar. Since you are able to build in Data Studio just about any element you would need in order to created branded reporting, this provides a great opportunity to set the stage by having a global element(s) within the report to apply the professional look and feel that matches your brand.

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In the example above, you can see that I added a brand logo with matching brand colors (using the rectangle tool within Data Studio) to create a header template; a report title that will persist across all pages of the report; and a date selector that will allow those with view access to the report to adjust the date range for the data that is presented within my report. This way, those viewing the report will have some flexibility over the range and amount of data they are to view.

Bonus Step

Next, you will want to set these elements to persist at the report level (as opposed to the page level). To do so, simply select all of the elements you just created, right-click on them, and select ‘Make report-level.’ This will take those elements within the report and apply them to all current and future pages within this report. This allows for good design and consistent layout throughout each page of the report.

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All of these steps will set you up for success with the reports that you build within Data Studio 360. To help you get started, you can download this template. Simply click here and select ‘Make a copy’ under the File menu.

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