google data studio marketing dashboard

How to make great marketing dashboards with Google Data Studio & Google Analytics

One of my main challenges as a freelance marketer is… reporting.

Indeed, I learned the hard way that the way you show your work is as important as the work itself!

That’s why these days, I use Google Data Studio all the time to make visually pleasing and easy-to-understand marketing reports I can share with my clients. I love the tool because:

  • it’s free
  • easy to use
  • very versatile

In this quick tutorial, I will show you how to use Google Data Studio to make a simple marketing dashboard, and I hope that by the end of the article, you’ll love Data Studio as much as I do 🤗 

(If you’re more of a Youtube person, you can watch the video below instead of reading ⬇️) 


Step 1 : Get data from Google Analytics in Google Data Studio

So let’s started with our dashboard! 

To create a report with Google Analytics as a data source, we’re going to click on Create, then “Report”, then a prompt asking you to “add data to report” will appear. Here we’re going to select Google Analytics, but you could also use Google Ads, Search Console, Google Sheets, and much more. 

In addition to Google connectors, you can also use partner connectors like Supermetrics, Funnel, etc. Those ones are not free, but they’ll allow to connect other sources of data to your Google Data Studio reports (eg: Facebook Ads, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) 

Step 2 : Using filters to format our data

Next, we’re going to choose the data we’re interested in. The fields have the same names as in Google Analytics, so if you’re used to using the tool, you won’t be too lost! 

The only difference is that in Data Studio, the fields are divided into dimensions (text fields like Page, Source/Medium, etc.) and metrics (numeric fields like bounce rate, pageviews, etc…) 

In our case, what we’re interested in is the “Event Category” & the “Event Label” (watch the video below until 5:37 to see how we do it) 

Now, that we have our data, we need to format it. The first step is to create a filter that will select only the event categories we’re interested in.

To create a filter, click on “Add a filter”, then, “Create a Filter”. In our case, what we want to do is to keep the event category “btn-main mb-3 mb-md-0 mt-4 w-100” & “btn-main mx-auto”.  

google data studio marketing dashboard

Watch the video until 6:04 for more explanation! 

Step 3 : Play around with the different charts and graphs available

google data studio marketing dashboard

One of my favorite features of Google Data Studio is the wide array of charts and graphs available! Say goodbye to Google Analytics boring charts & funnels, and say hello to pie charts, donut charts, column charts, and many more. 

Today, we’re going to turn our table into a pie chart, as you can see below: 

Step 4 : Using Calculated Fields to format our data

Sometimes, just retrieving data from Google Analytics is not enough: you also need to transform it (remove unnecessary characters, remove duplicates, etc…) 

In our case, the event categories are actually different button names. What we need to do is to rename them so that instead of having “btn-main mb-3 mb-md-0 mt-4 w-100” & “btn-main mx-auto”, I have labels that allow my teammates to know which buttons the chart is actually referring to.

google data studio marketing dashboard

Let’s go from this…

google data studio marketing dashboard

To this!

This is where calculated fields come in handy! With calculated fields, you can: 

  • Do basic math with your numeric fields 

  • Manipulate your data with functions (you can find the list of all functions available on Google Data Studio here, and I’d recommend reading this excellent article by Optimize Smart to understand how they work)

  • Use branching logic in calculated fields

You can find more information about them over here.

What we’re going to do is to create a calculated field that is going to use the function CASE in order to rename our event categories.

To create it, we’re going to click on “Add a field”, give our new field a name, and then enter the following function in the formula editor: 

WHEN Event Action = “Get started now” AND Event Category = “btn-main mb-3 mb-md-0 mt-4 w-100”
THEN “Button Get Started (Movido Offer)”
WHEN Event Action = “Get started now” AND Event Category = “btn-main mx-auto”
THEN “Button Get Started (Header)”
WHEN Event Action = “Get started” AND Event Category = “btn-main mx-auto”
THEN “Get Started (Top bar)”
ELSE “other”

(Feel free to copy this formula and then reuse it for your own needs. The parts that you will need to change are underlined) 

After we’re done, you’re going to be able to find your new field in the available fields. Watch the video below until 10:24 to see how!

Step 5: Adding text & date range controls

Now that we have our chart, we can add final touches to finalize our report. First, we’re going to add text. You can also add images, shapes, lines, etc.

Then, we’re going to add a date range control. Other controls available are checkboxes, sliders, advanced filters, dropdowns, and more. 

You can find all of those options in the toolbar: 

That’s it! This little tutorial was meant to help you  start creating your own marketing dashboard with Google Data Studios, but if you want to become a Google Data Studio Pro, here are more resources: