Google Data Studio

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Google’s Data Studio for the Techy and Non-Techy Alike

Data Studio makes it incredibly easy for you to visualize, summarize, and present your data.

Organizing and visualizing your data has never been easier with the likes of Google Spreadsheet, Google Analytics, and Microsoft Excel, both of which allow for data input and visualization as well as reporting. But what about something that combines all these features and is perfect for marketers and information technology workers?

That’s where Google’s Data Studio comes in. It essentially acts as a service that has the unique ability to present, store, analyze, and share data, as well as creating different graphs and charts and having unique, easily usable widgets. 

What sets Data Studio apart from other similar services is its user-friendliness. Users can personalize just about everything imaginable, and Data Studio makes it easy and useful to do so. It is especially beneficial for marketers who need organized and presentable data to really visualize the data and be able to make decisions based on what is presented through Data Studio. 

Presenting data can be laborious and also hard to follow for clients, employees, or the like. With Data Studio’s extensive customization abilities, it’s already easy to make it look nicer and easier to follow. But there’s more - Data Studio also incorporates a level of interactive features that actually make the raw data interactive. 

Having all of this and more makes Data Studio unique and incredibly useful for data analysts, marketers, and any user who wishes to create effective advertisements and use expert, data-driven marketing strategies. 

But where does this leave an inexperienced user? Don’t worry, this article has everything you need to serve as a beginner’s guide!

Here’s what’s covered in this guide:

  • The basics on Data Studio
  • Data Studio Features
  • How to get started

Data Studio Basics

Its services can be quite useful, but opening it up for the first time can be overwhelming without knowing the basics. 

This section highlights some of the basic information about the beginnings of Data Studio and what its main use is, as well as who can get the most out of the service. Remember, it is a free service, so anyone from any field can use it, no prior experience required!


Screenshot of data graphs in Google Ads.
Data Studio can make interactive and engaging data visuals. Image courtesy of Supermetrics. 


What is Data Studio Used For?

Data Studio was created in 2016 and has been growing ever since. It’s a free service that allows users to take their data and form it into easy to understand visuals, as well creating reports to share with clients. You can do all of this right in Data Studio, from inputting the data, creating charts and graphs, and then making an interactive, storybook type report. We’ll get into what kinds of charts and graphs and other data visuals later. 

Notably, Data Studio has a lot of similarities to Microsoft’s Excel and Google’s own Sheets, but there are some limits to what those services can do up against Data Studio. Basic spreadsheets also can’t say as much as Data Studio can, or show the extent of the data in a way that is understandable to just anyone. There’s also pretty basic design choices in these services, whereas Data Studio boasts a generous amount of features and customizations to really make the data stand out and look presentable. 

Who Can Benefit from the Service?

Pretty much anyone can use Data Studio, but it is most useful for people who have a need for data organization and creating visuals for clients, employees, or marketing teams. Since most of those roles, as well as businesses as a whole, really rely on solid data, Data Studio is an incredibly beneficial and useful service. 

With the ability to customize, it supersedes other data-driven services like Google Sheets by taking it one step further and allowing for beautiful, intricate, and engaging visuals that make the sometimes overwhelming and even confusing data into something that is super simple to follow and comprehend. 

Here’s who can get the most of Data Studio: 

  • Marketers and marketing teams
  • Data analysts
  • Business owners
  • Digital marketers and creators
  • And anyone who wishes to see their data in visuals!

The Main Features of Data Studio

Data Studio promises numerous options and features, and some of the main ones are popularly used and particularly useful. 

Data visualizations mean more to consumers, and marketing that is dependent on the data can be put to best use when the data is presented in a useful and insightful way. That’s where Data Studio’s features stand out and set this service apart from other data-driven services like Excel and Sheets. 


Getting Started Google Data Studio Tutorial 2020
The options are endless with Data Studio. Image courtesy of MeasureSchool.


Data Visualization Tools

So you’re having a meeting where you have to discuss the data and make it so that clients or employees can follow and understand what you’re sharing with them. Data guides marketing and business decisions, as well as making it much simpler to understand how well a business is doing or if there needs to be major improvements. All of these are important to guiding decision making and communicating successes and failures, but presenting a mere spreadsheet with a whole bunch of seemingly unconnected numbers is not the best, most ideal way to do so. 

With Data Studio, this problem is fixed and not only that, it can be really fun to fix! For data nerds, business owners and marketers alike, Data Studio is like Disneyland for analysts. With endless customizations, tools, and options to make the data interactive and presentable, the boring and typical numbers that you’re used to working with can become so much more. The yawns and slouched shoulders in the meeting rooms won’t be so frequent anymore. 

There are several data visualization tools that are offered and available in Data Studio, most of which are the familiar visualization tools that Excel and Sheets can offer. But with Data Studio, you can make them your own, easier to understand and follow, and much nicer to look at. 

Here’s a quick rundown on the data visualization tools featured in Data Studio:

  • Line and bar charts
  • Mapping
  • Bubble graphs
  • Graphs
  • Data and pivot tables
  • Annotations
  • Content catalogs and libraries
  • Gauges
  • Radar charts
  • Storytelling

Creating Advertisements

A really cool feature that Data Studio has is the ability to take all that data and create customizable and unique advertisements in connection with Google Ads, a software that allows users to create advertisements and keywords for Google as well as their search engine. With the software, you can connect your projects in Data Studio and transfer them into Google Ads, where you’ll be able to create reports and optimized keywords that are data-driven. It also allows for users to run reports on the data, and further allows for shareability. 

Once you have the data reports, you can share them and open editing and collaboration access, making the project engaging and more interactive. Data Studio’s easy connections with Google Ads makes sharing incredibly easy and self-explanatory. 

Getting Started with Data Studio

Now that you know the basics and the main features, you can take a quick look on how to get started using the service. 

Data Studio has endless customization options and visualization options, so taking the overwhelming and difficult to understand data that you have and transforming it into interactive and easy to follow graphs or charts is a great service. You have the data, you know how to input it into Data Studio, so now what do you do with it? Read on to find out!


Laptop with Google's search engine open on the screen, and the laptop sits on a work desk.
Having the data is the first step, now you can get started with Data Studio!


Knowing the features and data visualization tools as well as what Data Studio, who it is used for, and what it can do for you, your clients, and your teams, is the first step. 

Now it is time to put Data Studio’s innovative and unique services to good use! Get the data, open the blank project, and get that raw data in without worrying about how it looks and if it is confusing. Data Studio will do that work for you. Once you get it all plugged in, start playing around with the different visualization tools and presentation options. Make it your own, make it easy to follow, and really create something that gets your messages and goals across. Now it’s time to connect with Google Ads, and get those beautiful charts and graphs into something shareable.

For a full guide on how to use Google’s Data Studio, follow the steps outlined here: https://analytics.google.com/analytics/academy/course/1

When you need a simple and customizable way to organize and present the data that doesn’t speak for itself on a spreadsheet, Data Studio is the answer to all your problems. So get the (free) service, kick back, and get the data going!

December 2, 2022
by 
Elizabeth Grobstein
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