Does The Tool Fit The Solution

Published on Apr 19, 2019

There is a saying, "Begin With The End In Mind" being an experienced Digital Marketing Analyst it is a concept that clients have a hard, difficult time understanding. The other thought it is the data that tells the story.

Analyzing websites and mobile applications has gone from using Excel and PowerPoint to using data visualization tools. Tableau is the industry and having exposure to the product; it is an excellent solution, but it is expensive. Google Data Studio, is Google's answer to Tableau and is free. For the Google eco-system of products, it is a seamless connection.

In my practice, the clients I have engaged with have been thrilled with the ability to look at their website or mobile application analysis with a few clicks of the mouse. If your business has Google Analytics implemented it is a great solution.

Using Google Sheets with Data Studio presents hurdles. Clients have this impression that the entire workbooks data can be used to create graphs, and charts. During an engagement with a client and through testing and learning we determined that all the data must be in a single tab. Additionally, if an additional column is inserted into the sheet in the middle, there is a strong chance that it will break a visualization in Google Data Studio. The reason is that the data once connected is in a fixed position.

When working with a client using Google Sheets, I tell them that if they are going to add additional columns of data it has to be added to the end of the sheet. At the end of the sheet, once the connection is refreshed, it does not present any issues.

A potential client yesterday contacted me about using Google Data Studio so her boss can view the daily sales data and profitability. Once I looked at her data in Google Sheets operationally, her setup is good, and it scales well. The only issue is that it will not work with Google Data Studio because the data is in multiple tabs and there are linked formulas. In this case, the tool does not fit the solution.