How to use Google Data Studio Explorer

Manuel Martinez Data Studio, How-to guides Leave a Comment

Google has given us a lot to be excited about recently, from new external link attributions to quirky homages to F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Monica Geller

But the savvy marketer will probably be most excited by the ‘Explorer’ feature that’s now available in Google Data Studio. The feature is still in the experimentation phase so there will most likely be a few chop and changes along the way, however, setting up this feature is simple and straight forward.

Before we continue…

If you are looking for Data Studio Templates, check out:

The templates in those articles listed above are created with the help of premium connectors, provided by a company called Supermetrics. You can read more about them here.

Now, let’s move into how to use Explorer.

Sign up to Google Data Studio

If you haven’t already signed up to Google Data Studio the process couldn’t be simpler. If you already have a Google account (which you must if you use Google Analytics or Drive) then all that’s left to do is accept the terms and conditions…

Google Data Studio Ts&Cs

And set your preferences…

Data Studio Preferences

And you’re ready to go.

Google is still in the process of rolling this feature out, so if you can’t find it on your dashboard, just sit tight. It will make its way to you eventually.

Why bother with Explorer?

Essentially, Explorer is a tool that allows you to take a set of data and gain a high-level understanding of what this data is trying to tell you. You can choose a range of visualizations and send these to your bosses or stakeholders and even import them to your current reports in Data Studio.

Some may, and probably would, argue that Explorer is a different version of the reports already available, however, there are a couple key differences:

  • Explorer is essentially a scratchpad, so if you want to keep any of your reports you have to manually save them.
  • Explorer is optimized for filters so you can see your data in a whole new light.

You can utilise Explorer as part of reports and vice versa, but it is important to remember that when you do this you are creating a copy of the original document.

Explorer templates

There are 31 display options including tables, donut charts, bar charts, treemaps and many more; which is a brilliant option for people who digest data better when it is showcased in a visual way.

Data Studio Templates

You can even add in additional features that have been built by third party developers. These are called ‘Community Visualization’ and you can find these under the main title, next to the ‘add a chart’ button.

Featured Visualizations Data Studio

You can drill down even further and customize the background color, font and loads more so you can take company branding to the next level.

Create your first report

So, you have a wealth of data at your fingertips, but how do you actually use Explorer?

Let’s say you want to demonstrate that the length of time it takes for someone to convert varies depending on the day of the week they visit your site:

Step 1: For this, we will need to choose ‘Google Analytics’ as our data source.

Step 2: Choose an initial chart, let’s start with a simple table:

Data Studio Table

Step 3: Navigate to the ‘days of the week’ section in the ‘available fields’ and drag and drop into the ‘dimension’ section.

Step 4: Navigate to the ‘days to transaction’ in the same field and drag and drop into the ‘metric’ section.

Data Studio Metrics

Step 5: Play! Click through the different visual options and filters we mentioned earlier. Each visualization may allow you to see something different in your data and you can add in more fields to tease out even more amazing information.

Here are just a few of the amazing visualizations you can opt for:

Data Studio Visualization

Step 6: When you are ready, you can save your report, share it with other team members and even import it into one of your Google Data Studio reports.

Enjoy your explorations.

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