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How to Create a KPI Dashboard in Data Studio: Step-by-Step

Tables, graphs, and charts make numbers simple. They break down a ton of information into one easy-to-read visual format. Instead of flipping through pages of data, you can understand exactly what’s going on with a quick glance.

As a business, data is valuable. Data helps you evaluate your past efforts and informs your future decisions. You want to measure your progress and results to know what you should continue doing and what needs to improve.

Google Data Studio makes this process simple and easy. You can choose the data you want to review and use a Data Studio template to visually review the results. Here’s how you create a marketing KPI dashboard in Google Data Studio in a few simple steps.

Digital Marketing KPI: What Metrics Do You Choose?

Before making your dashboard, you must know: what KPI do you want to measure? Your KPI, or Key Performance Indicator, will vary depending on your industry and your business goals. For example, you may want to measure one of the following metrics:

  • Impressions
  • Cost evaluation
  • Sales volume
  • Sales change
  • Revenue
  • Etc.

Choose your KPI, the data you want to review. Once you have your KPI, you can create your dashboard.

Create a Marketing KPI Dashboard with Templates

Google Data Studio includes a small selection of templates to choose from. However, third party templates make customising your data easier. Third party templates are structured to fulfil a specific need. Using the right template makes viewing your data more effective.

Do you need to measure your eCommerce Google analytics? There’s a template for that. Are you reviewing your Youtube analytics? There’s a template for that. You can find a template to review any data: LinkedIn ads, Search Console SEO, Google shopping, and more.

Step-by-Step: Creating Your Marketing KPI Dashboard

Step one: Choose your metric.

Begin with the end goal in mind. As we’ve already reviewed, you’ll need to understand the exact metrics you want to review before creating your dashboard.

Step two: Choose the right template.

Once you know the KPI you want to measure, choose the best template for reviewing this data. Remember, you can choose from Google’s generic templates within Data Studio. Or make your data easier for everyone to read with a custom template designed for your KPI.

Step three: Choose the data source you want to review.

Your data source refers to the platform your data is on. For example: Facebook, Youtube, Google, and so on. You can view just one source at a time on your dashboard. Or you can choose to “data blend” by sourcing from multiple platforms at one time. With Google Data Studio, you can choose a maximum of 5 sources.

Data blending can be helpful to compare the performance of several platforms against each other. This is helpful if your business needs to consider which platforms need to be prioritised. You can answer marketing questions such as: “which platform should we focus our advertising budget on?” Or, if your KPI is a broad metric such as total impressions, you can choose multiple platforms to get a better view of this comprehensive information.

Step four: Adjust data source metrics (CPC, CTR, etc.) and finalise.

Each data source contains a number of metrics you can choose to analyse. For example, your data source may be Facebook. Within Facebook, you can choose to measure: cost per conversion, click through rate, cost per click, and more. Once you have your chosen metrics, you can finalise your report.

Based on your goals, you may choose to revise your chosen template during this process. You can change headings to fit your needs, delete unnecessary sections, and more. The entire Data Studio process is incredibly customizable, adding to its effectiveness.

Optional: View this data in a number of tables depending on template.

How do you want to view your data? Choose the format you prefer: pie chart, plot graph, bar graph, and so on. Depending on your template, you can even choose creative charts like maps to view where a metric is coming from.

Special note: Google may choose only a sample of your data to graph if the data set is over 500k.

If your data set is over 500k, Google may only look at a percentage of your numbers and use an average estimate in your results. For some reviews, this may be fine. But be careful, drawing conclusions based only on a sample of data can lead to inaccuracies. You can choose to tell Google not to do this, but the process might take longer while it measures your large data set.

Extra Functions and Tips

Once your dashboard is made, you can “refresh” it over time to keep your data current. Data Studio will keep the same formatting and update all graphs based on the new data from your data sources. This ensures you can always stay up to date with any fluctuations in your progress.

You can also share your dashboard using the “Share” button. Enter the email of the person you wish to add to the dashboard. Before sharing with anyone, be sure to manage the type of access you want them to have. You can choose to share with a view only or view and edit access level, for example.

Another great feature is the ability to schedule a recurring email to automatically send your dashboard to an individual. Share your progress with clients to keep them up to date on a regular basis. You can create a dashboard specifically for each client to measure the KPIs they want to track all within Google Data Studio.

Find the Perfect Template

After choosing the KPI you want to measure, finding the right template is the most important decision you can make in this process. The wrong template can make data harder to read. The right template saves you time and keeps your data easy to interpret. Before you build your KPI dashboard with Google Data Studio, explore our prebuilt free and premium Google Data Studio templates. Visualise your SEO, ads, eCommerce, and website performance with one of our custom templates. Just copy and connect your data to start visualising it right away!

Check out our Data Studio templates! Free and premium available.