How to create Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards? Simplified 101

• March 4th, 2021

Marketing Dashboards are Marketing reports that display metrics and important KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) using Data Visualization for continuous monitoring and broad distribution. Google Data Studio provides you with an efficient Data Dashboarding solution with Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards, allowing you to make smarter business decisions.

This blog talks about how to set up Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards along with its key features and benefits. It also talks about explaining Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards for Marketing Analytics. Read along to find out about Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards.

Table of Contents

What is Google Data Studio?

Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards- Google Data studio Logo
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Google Data Studio aids marketers/analysts to create reports and Dashboards based on data from various sources. Being an offering from Google, it integrates well with other Google products like Google Analytics, Google Sheets, etc. It also inherits the excellent sharing and collaboration features that are part of Google products. As of now, Google Data Studio is offered free of cost.

Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards help marketers keep track of the critical metrics that determine the success of their efforts. Most Marketing teams will use separate third-party services to manage their Marketing activities. Services like Pardot, Google Analytics, HubSpot, etc are typical weapons found in the new age Marketer’s armory. Almost all of them provide basic reporting and analytical ability within the software itself.

That said, nothing can replace a full-fledged Business Intelligence tool, and Marketers often use such a tool along with the Marketing applications to make sense of how the users are interacting with their collaterals.

Key Features of Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is known for making every bit of your data viable and accessible, so your team can dig into the most important questions for your enterprise and share the answers with everyone. Here are a few key features of Google Data Studio:

  • Data Connectors: Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards have a number of data sources that act as pipes connecting a Dashboard to a collection of underlying data. You can create a Dashboard for each of these connectors like Google BigQuery, Google Ads, Campaign Manager 360, Google Sheets, MySQL to name a few.
  • Data Transformation: You often need to convert your raw data into more complete and meaningful information. Google Data Studio turns your data’s metrics into stepping stones for charts and graphs. You can even come up with new metrics as and when you deem fit based on custom formulas. This can also include fields from the data source, numeric values, or text. It also provides numerous mathematical, string, and date functions to transform your data.
  • Sharing and Collaborating: You can democratize your data by tapping into all your Google Data Studio Dashboards and reports. You can do this through collaborating and sharing the data with your entire team to make use of their collective wisdom. You can easily manage access to your Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards by deciding who gets the right to edit or view in a few simple clicks. Google Data Studio also provides you with built-in features to help you collaborate in real-time. This also allows you to see edits as they happen and have all the changes saved automatically.
  • Usability: The Google Data Studio Dashboard was built for your average user which means it comes forth with an easy-to-use web interface and a handy library of report templates. The drag-and-drop features make it extremely intuitive.

Key Benefits of Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards

Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards are super helpful when it comes to bringing the process of Data Analysis together while creating compelling visualizations. It also helps bring about actionable insights to guide the decision-making process. Here are a few key benefits of using Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards:

  • Putting Data to Work: Irrespective of the data sources involved, Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards handle data authentication, user rights, and the structure to be used for data transformations and visualizations.
  • Transforming Your Data: You can transform your data without having to bother writing SQL queries; to find what you are looking for in this Marketing Dashboard. This ensures that your Dashboard consists of data that is easy to follow. This helps ease the extraction of actionable insights.
  • Visualizing Your Results: Charts and graphs can be built with just a few clicks here. You can customize literally everything from colors to logos while adding dynamic controls to the data. It also allows viewers to select the data they want to see in a Dashboard.
  • Leveraging Teamwork: Google Data Studio offers you the choice of inviting people to edit, collaborate, and manage your Marketing Dashboard within and outside the confines of your company. With multiple heads working on improving performance, your efficiency receives a boost with teamwork that actually works.

Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards for Marketing Analytics

Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards help marketers visualize their most critical metrics. They connect to one or more data sources, pull data from the sources on a scheduled or real-time basis, and display the metrics that define the success of the marketing efforts. These metrics are directly coupled to the Marketing collaterals. Typical Marketing collateral in the digital age is a “contact us” form or a Marketing website or even a mobile app.

The Marketing collaterals usually will have some mechanism to capture how the users are interacting with them. Some typical examples are Google Analytics, Mixplanel, etc. To create Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards, user engagement data from these sources have to be pushed to Google Data Studio, most straightforward way to do this is by using the built-in connectors.

Google Data Studio also offers a marketplace from where third party connectors for different services can be purchased. If you are out of luck with both the options, you may have to use the APIs provided by your Marketing service, load the data to Google Sheets and then upload that to Google Data Studio. In this case, you can use Google Analytics as your data source. 

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  • A Google Data Studio account.
  • A Google Analytics account is connected to a website or a mobile app.
  • The basic idea of Digital Marketing concepts. 

11 Steps to Set up Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards

The most important aspect of creating Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards is knowing what exactly to report on. In the most basic case, this can be the number of views for your Marketing collaterals. If you want a more involved Dashboard, you can think about reporting on your Marketing Funnel.

A Marketing Funnel captures information of the user’s buying journey through awareness about the product, engagement with the collateral, and then becoming a lead by explicitly expressing his/her interest. In this tutorial, you will see the basics- Number of sessions, new users, group sessions by different channels, location of viewers, etc.

Step 1: The first step to creating Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards is to head to Google Data Studio and login using your Google account credentials. Google Data Studio is completely free and greets you with the following page.

Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards Home Page
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It shows you options for creating reports from a blank report or by customizing available templates. For simplicity, you can use the blank report here. 

Step 2: Click on the blank report and Google Data Studio redirects you to the ‘Add Data’ section. This section gives you a list of built-in and third-party connectors.

Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards- Add Data Page
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Step 3: Click on Google Analytics and select the account you want to add data from.

Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards- Google Analytics Page
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Step 4: Once you select the account, property, and view, you will be directed to the report building page that looks like this.

Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards- Report Building Page
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Step 5: The next step is to select some widgets and create the Dashboard. You will then select a text box and add the name of the report. Click the text box icon, give it a name and place it on top of the Dashboard.

Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards- Name Of Report
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Step 6: You will now add a couple of scorecards to display some metrics. For this click on Insert and select scorecard and place it at the required position.

Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards- Insert Scorecards
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Step 7: All the available metrics will be listed on the right-hand side. Select ‘Page views’ from the metrics area.

Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards- Page Views
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Step 8: Similarly, add one more scorecard for sessions.

Step 9: The next step is to add a bar chart. Head to the ‘Add Chart’ section and click ‘Bar chart’. 

Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards- Add Chart Section
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Step 10: Change the dimension and metric on the right-hand side to device category and page views respectively. This chart will display the number of views coming from different devices like mobile, tablet, PC, etc.

Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards- Dimension and Metric
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Step 11: As the last step, you will add a geographical map to display the number of page views from different geographical locations. For this head to ‘Add Chart’ again and select ‘Google maps’. The completed Dashboard will look as below.

Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards Template
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That’s it. Setting up Marketing Dashboards in Google Data Studio is as easy as clicking a few buttons and dragging widgets to the necessary places. As mentioned above the critical element here is not the actual implementation, but knowing what to display in the Dashboard and how to integrate your data source to Google Data Studio.

Limitations of Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards

That brings us on to a few of the typical challenges that you may face while setting up Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards.

  • The above approach seemed easy because you used a data source for which the connector was readily available. In many cases, connector availability is a concern, and users may need to opt for third-party connectors or implement their own. 
  • There are cases where data that needs to be reported on is not readily available from the sources and they need to be extracted by transforming the available elements. Google Data Studio offers basic transformation features, but the feature set is not comprehensive for advanced use cases.

A solution to such challenges is to use a Cloud-based ETL tool like Hevo to connect your data source to Google Data Studio. Hevo can connect with a variety of data sources and destinations. It can transform data on the fly and handle multiple sources simultaneously.


This blog talks about Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards, and how as a beginner you can set up Google Data Studio Marketing Dashboards to incorporate into your workflow. It also touched upon the key features and benefits of using Google Data Studio and its Marketing Dashboards before zeroing in on the setup process.

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