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Google Data Studio

Google announced a free version of Data Studio at this year’s Google Ads & Analytics Innovations Keynote that will allow you to create and share beautiful interactive reports from multiple data sources.

Data connectors for the Google Ad and Analytics ecosystem let you pull that data (AdWords, BigQuery, Google Analytics, Google Sheets, Youtube Analytics) into Data Studio. You can also pull in data from other sources, although I’m not sure if that will be just through Google Sheets, the cloud SQL connector or other pre-built connectors.

This tool will compete with other visualization tools such as: Domo, Tableau, Klipfolio, Chartio, Cyfe

Google Data Studio is a completely new, free version of Data Studio 360 that we’re launching today! Starting now, anyone can use Data Studio to create up to 5 reports with unlimited sharing, editing and collaboration. We’re starting the BETA in the U.S. and rolling out to other regions throughout the year.”

Google Data Studio
Google Data Studio Beta (free version) is not available in Canada yet


Here is the Introduction to Google Data Studio video:

Data Lens

Data Lenses
Lenses used to derive insights from data.

We are finally at the tipping point where data strategy is the focus for new business ventures. Hooray! I’m not just talking about the tech world. Sure, there are still a few laggards in the digital industry that have recently realized the need to mature their data strategy…and that’s one reason people like us are so busy.

As a digital marketing consultant I’ve worked to mature the data strategy of many small businesses and large corporations. I’ve grouped them into a few buckets here:

Some–> Don’t collect any data–> Completely blind
Many–> Have data but no insights–> Therefore no action
Few–> Using this data to drive tactical changes–> Therefore no optimization
Too few–> Using data to optimize all aspects of their business–> Growth limited to specific areas

By the same token, there are a few businesses that have insights, but don’t have a strategy that allows them to connect the economic motivation for change. This is a failure to communicate the value of recommendations. It’s not for lack of hard work or focus; It’s often because they lack the resources and bandwidth. Ultimately, that’s where vendors and digital marketing consultants like myself can fill the gaps.

The Analogy

The maturity of a company’s data strategy can be compared to lenses of different sizes.

Eye Glasses – See & endeavour – Readiness

Don’t be blind. Without the basic ability to see the data, you won’t know what is working and what is not working.

Enablers: Basic digital analytics implementation and dashboards with basic measures

Telescope – Observe the macro – Directional

Use this lens for looking back in time to see trends and set goals for the future. If your telescope is powerful enough you can peer into the trends of your industry and see how you trend against your competition.

Enablers: Conversion tracking, marketing research data

Microscope – Study and experiment with the micro – Tactical

This lens is for looking at the details associated with the mechanics.
Done right, you will be able to derive immediately actionable insights to promote growth of good seeds and quash the growth of poisonous spores.

Enablers: A/B testing, micro-conversion tracking, segmentation, conjoint analysis

Google Glass – Put everything in context with augmented reality – Tactical

Now you are looking at information in context instead of disparate insights. Qualitative data is ultra-useful for optimizing all aspects of the business, yet too few have a data strategy which allows insights from this data source to be used effectively across the whole organization. Get data out of the silo and stop data hoarding!

Enablers: internal ratings, feedback & research programs, external reviews and ratings data


All these lenses will be used to generate insights. The key enabler to science, including marketing science, is observation. Improve your observational powers and you will enable better analysis.

You are limited or enabled by the maturity of your data strategy.
In your case, which is it?