Google Data Studio is the best tool available today for reporting and dashboarding for digital marketers. I covered the advantages of Data Studio over other tools in a recent article on Search Engine Land. If your not yet convinced you can read about the pros and cons there.
Surprisingly the uptake within the marketing community has been slow. One possible reason is the lack of resources, guides & templates available to those getting started. In this article, we’ll review the best resources available to those getting started and looking to get more involved with Data Studio. The following are the best sites in our opinion:
Data Studio Report Gallery
This Data Studio Report Gallery is Google’s own gallery of report templates. It is the official site of Google, which contains approximately 50 templates at the time of writing.
The gallery mostly contains templates submitted by the community interspersed with a handful of reports made by Google teams. In general, the templates provided are high quality and cover quite a wide range of topics.
They have 3 sections available: ‘Featured’, ‘Marketing Templates’ & ‘Community’. The community templates are those submitted by the community. The marketing templates have been created by the Google Data Studio team and feature 9 examples of templates for marketers. The Featured sections display the best from the other 2 categories.
Overall there are some really good templates here. It is quite limited though for marketers looking for specific reporting templates. It does have great examples of how you can use data studio for reporting on other industries like visualising Marvel movies or displaying government statistics.
There are no guides or how to’s available here. It is simply a gallery of templates that Google has decided to feature. There also doesn’t appear to be an ongoing review of the templates. In some of the templates we checked data did not display properly and it was quite difficult to connect to the correct data source.
Datastudiotemplates.com was set up to offer premium templates and resources specifically for digital marketers. The goal of the site is to offer in house marketers and agencies a premium & fast solution for moving to data studio.
The other sites reviewed in this article tend to curate resources from around the web, however, datastudiotemplates.com is unique in that they are building their own templates and developing their own set of resources. There are individual sites and companies that offer one or two premium templates, but this was the only site we found dedicated to building their own library of templates.
The site offers over 50 templates today categorised into 5 sections. General website/analytics, SEO, SEM, Ecommerce & Social. The aim is to cover the full gamut of reporting and dashboarding, providing something for everyone.
Most of the templates come at a cost, usually around $10 to $20, but there are a number of free templates as well offered.
They also have a blog/resource section covering everything from the basics of setting up templates, to pros and cons of dashboarding tools and more advanced concepts like using regex and calculated fields.
All in all a great resource for the more premium end of the market.
Google Data Studio Resources by ‘Helpful Lee is a compilation of data studio resources. Lee has built this resource in Google Data Studio itself rather than as a website. This is really clever and he has done this to demonstrate the flexibility of Data Studio by using it to promote itself. He’s not only providing a wonderful resource but also demonstrating ways Data Studio can be used at the same time!
On the site/report, Lee has included a wide array of resources. At the time of writing, there are 303 resources, with 61 of these being templates. These have been categorised into 6 different types from Templates & how to’s to ‘Guides’.
Lee has also provided a handy template finder. He’s curated many templates across the web and added descriptions and ratings. All of this has been curated and is also filterable, making it quite easy to find a suitable resource.
We also loved how the report itself provides a stat counter on an inner page so that everyone can see the tracking options available.
All in all a really clever and useful free resource from Helpful Lee.
Sheets for Marketers
Sheets for Marketers is a website dedicated to Google Sheet templates that marketers can use. On the site, they have a section dedicated to Google Data Studio.
Sheets for Marketers has curated over 50 free Google Data Studio templates into a blog post format. They’ve categorised them into 8 categories all focused on digital marketing. At the end of the post, they also have several links off to other recommended resources.
Overall it’s a well-curated resource especially if you are a digital marketer looking for free templates. There is a lot to choose from. However, the templates have not been rated and the descriptions are very short.
I couldn’t work out who runs the site as well, there is very little information on it. While you are there check out some of their Google sheets as well, it’s a pretty awesome directory they have built.
We’ve searched out the top resources for those looking to get started with data studio and dive into using templates. There are a number of individual companies out there also offering a couple of templates here and there, which we haven’t included. Our focus was to look for the best resources. Getting up and running with a new template is really easy, especially now that you know there are so many options to choose from. If you feel there is anything we missed please let us know!
- Mark is a Co-founder at One Egg and Head of Paid Search