Oct 12, 2022
Okay, so we know that marketing teams manage a lot of data from many different data sources. We know that data-driven and data visualization is essential to justify actions you take for your team and accomplish the goals you set. But, before you can act on this data, you must collect it, right?😞
In this article, we'll talk about how to turn your data into informative digital aids using Looker Studio (a free tool).
As we were saying, marketing teams manage a huge amount of data as well as tons of tools that provide this information and insights. 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 of a budget to hire a data analyst or to have one of those cool tools that analyzes everything for you, such as Supermetrics, Datorama, Improvado, Domo, Funnel.io (among others), then this is for you!
Obviously, if you have the budget, we recommend you use a specialized and customized tool 🤑. Here are some tools that will help 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 in Looker Studio for free to analyze your data and reduce the number of tools to check the data!
Well, as you could have guessed from the article title, we have been using Looker 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!
We are always talking about tools to analyze past data. Not current or future data. If we want a tool that can help us automate 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 (formerly data studio) is a tool that creates customizable informative reports and dashboards from Google Workspace. It allows you to unify your data and create simple reports and dashboards from a wide variety of data sources. If need more resources check 👉🏼Looker Studio help center.
Although Google says it is very simple, creating and customizing a report requires time (a lot of time...). So, we made a summary of how we did it so you can spend less time learning and more time turning virtually any kind of big data into valuable data-driven decisions and insights.
Here are the steps:
Okay, the first thing is to check the analysis needs 🧐.
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 and channels based on our OKRs:
We can integrate the first three of these using Looker Studio for free. We then can reduce the number of tools we need from four to just two: Looker Studio and Hubspot!
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 that you can use Looker Studio. However, some of them might not be free, and integrating your own is not going to be 100% reliable. Check here for all integrations.
Psst. Are you already using GA4? Then check this quick tutorial for Looker Studio with GA4:
We all love easy-to-read and interactive dashboards, don’t we? They’re wonderful for analyzing data in-depth, and you can create custom dashboards that are easy to read, merge, and share 😍. However, the sheer amount of information out there can be overwhelming.
Therefore, the logical step is to decide what data sets or metrics you want to track and visualize. Let's say: select your KPIs.
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 use the power of your data to leave this information more detailed for deeper analysis.
Not sure what metrics to choose? Check these articles with relevant metrics from the most common channels:
We suggest you connect your data sources to build fully customizable dashboards and reports with Looker Studio. It will enable you to share your insights and make smarter business decisions for your daily data tracking.
It should contain data from a database that one person, or a few people on your team, can review, analyze, and act upon in a single day, max.
You can also collaborate in real time and access a wide variety of complex dashboards to empower your team through business intelligence with Looker Studio (Pro).
Your limit is your imagination... and obviously the capabilities of Looker Studio.
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:
If you didn't skip the 3 third step, you most likely already have one, two, or three templates to start with!
What should you put in your Looker Studio Dashboard? This step involves aligning your KPI with the templates.
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 you and your team.
So, if you preselected templates, ensure 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.
Now that everything is defined, it's time to gauge your success 🙌!
Always remember to include a date field at the top of your Looker Studio report templates. This way 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 you can track trends and identify campaigns that have performed better or worse, and see how our campaigns are changing.
Additionally, you can include percentage variations, charts, and tables to help visualize your data in the reports. This will directly display the increase or decrease of each data point and also be able to display comparisons to earlier periods.
We hope you find this useful and that you start measuring your results now! Furthermore, we want to remind you that Gretel is the best partner for dashboards in Looker Studio. This is 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.
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