How to track your data when you have no budget with Looker Studio!

lucia-pons-creative

By Lucia Pons

Marketing brain

Okay, so we know that marketing teams manage a lot of data. We also know that data-driven is essential to justify the actions you take for your team and accomplish the goals you set. However, before you can act on this data, you need to collect it, right?😞

Well, in this article, we'll talk about that. 

As we were saying, marketing teams manage a huge amount of data as well as tons of tools that provide this information. You either have the budget to hire someone to analyze this information, or, in the vast majority of cases, you’re the one doing the dirty work. 

If you are among those companies that don’t have enough budget yet to hire a data analyst or to have one of those cool tools that analyzes everything for you, such as SupermetricsDatorama, Improvado, Domo, Funnel.io (among others), then this is for you! 

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Obviously, if you have the budget, we recommend you use a specialized tool 🤑. They are amazing at helping you manage your data! But, if right now your budget is limited or focused on other priorities, you can use our guide to help you set up a dashboard to analyze your data and reduce the number of tools to check the data!

How to make dashboards with Looker Studio? 🔎

Well, as you could have guessed from the article title, we have been using Looker Studio (previously known as Data Studio) at Gretel for a while. Although we now have other tools that can help us a little more (like using Gretel), we still find it very helpful! 


Let’s take a brief pause here ☕️.

We are always talking about tools to analyze past data, not current or future data. If we want a tool that can help us with real-time data and what to do with that data, Gretel is your key partner!


Let’s move on! For those who haven’t used it yet, Looker Studio is a Google tool that allows you to create simple reports from your data. Here 👉🏼 you can find more info.

Although Google says it is very simple, creating a report requires time (a lot of time...), so we made a summary of how we did it so you can create yours if you like the idea! 

let's do this

STEP 1: Less is more, let’s start!

We all love reports, don’t we? They’re wonderful for analyzing data in-depth, and you can have lovely dashboards 😍. However, the sheer amount of information out there can be overwhelming. 

Therefore, the logical first step is to decide what we want to track. Keep it simple! You might want to know how many times a person scrolls before clicking your main CTA, but that information may not be retrievable. Nevertheless, you can find practical, straightforward substitutes and leave this information more detailed for deeper analysis. 

We suggest building a dashboard with Looker Studio for your daily data tracking. It should contain data that one person, or a few people on your team, can review, analyze, and act upon in a single day, max. You can also create amazing and complex dashboards with Data Studio. Your limit is your imagination... and obviously the capabilities of Looker Studio.

STEP 2: Define your campaign needs.

Okay, now that it is clear that we must simplify and keep things concise, let's move on to the analysis needs 🧐. 

Here, we need to consider the types of campaigns we are running, the priorities we are tracking in our OKRs, and the initiatives we have established. Once those items are clear, we will be able to see what our future needs will be. Here is a very important rule of thumb: make sure not to forget any campaign that could be integrated with Looker Studio.

At Gretel, for instance, we identify various campaigns based on our OKRs:

  • Home traffic, measured with Google analytics.

  • Google Ads report, measured with Google ads.

  • Meta Ads report, measured with Meta Ads.

  • Hubspot report, measured with Hubspot.

Since we can integrate the first three of these using Google Looker Studio, we can reduce the number of tools we need from four to just two: Looker Studio and Hubspot!

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If you are working with other tools, check the possibilities of integrations they may have. There are a lot of tools creating free integrations, so you can use Looker Studio, but some of them might not be free, and integrating your own is not going to be 100% reliable. Check here for all integrations.

STEP 3: Search templates (optional).

We could jump to step 4, but I suggest pausing to look into Looker Studio templates first. You can clone and edit pre-made reports directly in the tool and on many third-party platforms, which will save you a lot of time! 

Here are our favorites:

STEP 4: Select the data you want to check.

If you didn't skip the 3 third step, you most likely already have one, two, or three templates to start with!

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What should you put in it? The benefit of using a free tool is that you can add as many items as you want whenever you like, and there are no additional costs involved. However, you must remember the adage that less is more and that the items you add must be useful to both you and your team.

So, if you preselected templates, make sure you only leave the information you may need at your company. Even if the nation's map is beautiful, if it isn't something you need to check on a daily basis, create a separate Looker Studio to check once a month and keep this data studio clean.

You can find a lot of tutorials and articles on how to use Locker Studio, such as this one from Hubspot. However, starting with a template will save you a lot of time. 

STEP 5: Measure and monitor.

Now that everything is defined, it's time to gauge your success 🙌! Always remember to include a date field at the top of your reports so you can choose the time period in which you are most interested in each case. 

Every week, if not every day, historical results should be measured so that we can track trends, identify campaigns that have performed better or worse, and see how our campaigns are changing. 

Additionally, you can include percentage variations in the reports to directly display the increase or decrease of each data point and also be able to display comparisons to earlier periods. 

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We hope you find it useful and that you start measuring your results now! Furthermore, we want to remind you that Gretel is the best partner for these tools and reports because it analyzes data in real-time and gives you useful information that will enable you to choose what actions to take in response to the findings.

Do you want to track your data in real-time? Meet us and help us build the most amazing app for marketing professionals.