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Smarter Reporting with Data Studio

Video Summary

Leave the energy-wasting agony of useless, ignored reports behind. Learn how to use Google Data Studio to create reports that take less time, contain more insights, and bring the dream of data-driven decisions into reality. Using auto-updating dashboard-style reports, transform your reporting time from data-thrashing to exploring insights and highlighting the actual return of SEO activities to the business.


Influential women leaders hire me as their Chief Online Officer because most are, unintentionally, hiding from Google, can't convert clicks to income and likely 1-click away from getting hacked.

As a Digital Marketer Certified Partner with more than 2 decades of experience in business and technology, I help clients with simple, innovative automations, create an irresistible online presence and secure their digital assets to get them the RIGHT clients, more money and more freedom.

I help your business do digital right.

? You've got way better things to do than chase after partners who don't do what they say they are going to do, or invest in projects and services that don't produce results for your business. I start with a strategy directly connected to your business objectives for a "perfect fit" every time.

? With SitePro our team protects the digital presence that you have invested blood, sweat, tears, and more than a few dollars to create. We make sure your investment is secure, backed-up, and working at it's best so your clients can make the right purchase descion.

? When I talk about it, you'll get it. Digital marketing can be intimidating or worse, watch-paint-dry snooze-fests. Ugh! That’s not fun, and certainly not engaging enough to be useful. I bring my marketing & tech genius in a plain English, no-judgement wrapper that educates and entertains audiences. Attendees leave my talks grinning and ready with at least a handful of strategies, tips or tricks to implement immediately in their business.

Get in touch -->brandy@brandylawson.com
Twitter: @thefieryfx

Schedule a 15 minute call: http://chat.brandylawson.com

Other things I do well:
► KPIs, Metrics & Analytics
► Google Analytics
► Google Data Studio
► WordPress Website Site Care & Security
► Digital Optimization
► Business Automation
► Digital Strategies
► Marketing Strategy
► Mobile

What you will learn?

  • Create more engaging and interactive reports using Data Studio
  • Present reports in a way that clients understand
  • Cut down the usual time it takes to complete reports

Smarter Reporting with Data Studio

Brandy Lawson:
Awesome! Oh, okay. Stick with me. That was very technical. We’re going to do stuff that’s not technical now, okay?
All right, but I want to tell you a story. I actually hope you’ve heard this one a busy factory was suddenly interrupted by silence. A critical piece of machinery have failed. And the technicians were scrambling because assembly line stopped, inventory was backing up, tens of thousands of dollars are being lost for every moment that this factory is not running.
Panic. Chief Engineer is called in, he gets debriefed. He’s like, there’s only one guy we can call. The expert comes in, expert arrives carrying a simple tool box. He gets the information. He checks out the machine. He looks at it this way. He looks at it that way. He goes back to his toolbox and everybody’s waiting. Seriously. He gets a hammer out of his toolbox. He walks over to the machine. Still, everyone was waiting to see what he was going to do. He looks at a particular part of the machine.
Whack. Boom! Suddenly, everything’s back online. The assembly lines are moving, things are going, crisis averted. He gets his invoice out and he walks it over to the Chief Engineer, hands him his invoice for $10,000. The Chief Engineer’s like, “I’m a, my bosses are not going to pay this you are going to have to itemize this.” He’s like, takes it back, bottom two line items. Item #1: hits machine with the hammer. One dollar. Item #2: know where to hit the machine with the hammer. $9,999.
All right. Now we’re going to figure out if I knew how to do this. Nope. Nope, not that. Oh, there we go.
It’s not the tools. But you already knew that. It’s how you’re demonstrating your value. You know how to use the tools. The tools in the hands of a lesser person is not going to get the job done. You get the job done. The difficulty we have is that our clients aren’t always there to witness us doing the job, are they?
So we have to talk about how to demonstrate our value and how to communicate our value. So, how are you doing that? And actually I am going to hit this button for a second because I have the opportunity to come after a whole bunch of fantastic speakers. Have not the speakers been fantastic? Have not you learned something amazing?
But we’ll mention something about priorities. And so I’d like to actually talk about the first half a second here is that I am going to invite you to make a conscious decision about your priorities in this very moment. You will never have this kind of moment again, this moment will pass and it will be in the history. It’s not there won’t be more fantastic speakers because there will be. And it’s not that you won’t be at SearchLove ever again. But you have this moment and I want you to make a conscious decision about your priority in this moment.
You can prioritize being here and being present or you can prioritize whatever else is going on. I get it. We have businesses to run. We have jobs. There’s important things in your life. It’s perfect. And if you prioritize your email over me, my feelings are not going to be hurt. I’m okay, but I want you to make that conscious decision about what you’re prioritizing in this moment. So, you with me?
Alright, excellent! We’ll get on with this thing then.

A Short Background on Brandy
So who I am, I’m Brandy. I run a small boutique agency. We help influential women leaders ignite their businesses online. I refer to myself as a Chief Online Officer because we do a lot more than most digital agencies. Yeah. This this is our ham and I loves me some ridiculous shoes.
These are my first employers. At the tender age of eight, I started doing data entry for my parents’ restaurant. They opened this restaurant the year I was born. It really was not until I also started a business when we had a child that I was like, “What were you thinking?”
But it’s okay. I grew my skill set from data entry to eventually become a product director at the world’s largest domain registrar. You may have heard of them. When I was there I was also responsible for their email product, which means we had 10 million plus customers, multi-million dollar worth of revenue, and I was responsible for making decisions for the entire systems and operations behind what I really hope is not your email account.
I’m a DM partner. I’ve got a degree in marketing, but I was I was that marketing person that went to the C++ class. No? They’re not? Okay maybe it’s just me. I also have a master’s degree. I founded my business the year we also created our son, which was interesting. But you know, things worked out and I’ve enjoyed it.
Here’s where it all started. A green screen and 10 key skills and two floppy disks because I was doing that data entry for my parents and it was really because of this that I learned to love the intersection of technology and business and the importance of reports.
My dad had a background in engineering and not the culinary arts. He used his programming skills to create programs to manage payroll and sales and operations so that he could use that information to track their trends. To know the profitable hours of operation. To save time by having all of his information in one place and make intelligent decisions based on real data.
That was that was a big hill to climb. He had to write his own programs. We no longer have to do that, but how do we feel about reports? There’s a reason that they are the butt of every joke, like did you put your cover letter on your TPS report? So we’re going to talk a little bit about why we hate reporting.

Why Do We Hate Reports?
But first, let’s take a little survey. Who in this room has never heard of Data Studio before it was on the agenda. Oh, a couple. Alright, excellent. Who’s already using Data Studio? Nice, excellent.
So then let’s go a little further and talk about who is doing monthly reports or with some frequency. Okay. I like this like, hand, like me. Okay, excellent.
Alright and who loves it? Oh, no. Okay.
So I’m going to poke this bruise just for a minute and talk about why it is that we hate reports. Yeah, I feel like that. First of all, there’s nothing like trying to take this and turn it into some tangible ROI. Like this is the MarTech stack of all the things that we possibly could be doing for our clients. Does it feel like you’re doing all of those things for your clients?
Also, they can suck your time away. This is my favorite point of reference. Let’s be completely honest about how we feel about this. It just is like one thing after another sucking on time away.
My team specifically used to spend over 4 hours a month doing reports for our clients. We didn’t have that many clients. And then Ben actually shared an example with me that I’d like to share is that he had client whose team has a standing meeting at 1:00 p.m. every Monday to review the weekly reports. So what were they doing on Monday morning? Creating the weekly reports! And at some point they were spending 20% of their week on weekly reports.
It can also feel like a waste of energy. I don’t know about you but I feel a little bit of like Wile E. Coyote. I put it like this complicated plan concocting how it’s all going to work and then it doesn’t quite work out like I wanted it to and they can be complicated. Like this kind of complicated. So this is actually a screenshot of a page instruction set we had on how to create a single report. There was a reason that was taking us a lot of time. And then no one uses them.
I had a friend of mine who’s in the search space complaining to me recently that a client kept calling asking when they were going to see the results. He’s like, but I sent them the link to the dashboard. Clearly there was a disconnect in his attempt to communicate his value and their willingness to use what he was writing them.
And it doesn’t always live up to the promise of the reports. Pinterest fails are so much fun. Here is, what we want is those over on that side? Like it’s all the numbers right there, big numbers, and usually what we get is something more like this where you have the information is there but you got to work for it.
Why We Need Reports
So why do we need reports? Why am I standing up here talking about reports when they suck so bad? Well, here’s why we need them.
Especially in the beginning, well, at least in my experience, we sold invisible services. It’s essentially voodoo to the uninitiated.
Have you heard the definition of a developer? That’s a person who fixes the problem you didn’t know you had in a way you don’t understand. It’s kind of like that. It’s not like a magic trend or a bucket truck of money is going to show up.
Also, there can be a difference in perception of value and understanding of the terminology. The stuff that we understand and value is not necessarily what the client understands and values. And it can be difficult to quantify in the beginning, to evaluate and measure for the person till the phone starts ringing, right? Leads, sales, calls, appointments. Yeah, but even when those things happen, we have to properly connect them to what we did that resulted in that. So reports are necessary.
Any South Park fans?

Leading versus Lagging Indicators
All right, leading versus lagging indicators. So leading indicators are things that we are responsible for doing. We do onsite SEO optimization, we build the stacks. We do the citations. There’s landing pages. There’s email campaigns. There’s all the things that we can do and we have control of. Those are leading indicators.
We know that if we get up on Monday, we make 50 phone calls. We get up on Monday and we launch the landing page and we get the emails out there. Those are the things that we need to do to get the results we want.
The lagging indicators are the actual result that we want. The stuff we wanted to really have happen.
There’s users. There’s traffic. There’s phone calls. There’s leads. There’s sales. Yay, but at some point, we also have to tie those two things together. The client may not intrinsically understand that that whole email series of nine emails ended up into more traffic to the website and the conversions in the sales.
This is actually one of my clients. Her name is Jane. We moved Jane into G Suite. We improved our internal systems. We took the porn off of her website. We manage her website for her. We’ve created product pages for her. We worked on a marketing strategy. And this is an actual quote from her two weeks ago.

On screen:
“I still don’t know what to do.”

Brandy Lawson:
Yeah, it’s not we can’t just demonstrate value at one time. We have to keep doing it again and again to stay in front of our clients. So our world is not theirs.

What is Data Studio?
So let’s get into it. Let’s do Studio. It’s Google’s true data visualization tool. This is what it does. You get your data, you get to see it nicely, you can just share it with people. It’s fantastical! And it’s free for unlimited reports with any Google account. You have a Google account? You have five Google accounts? I know you do.
But it is in beta and I went looking on the web to get Google’s definition of beta. I found this little quote from them in 2008, which I thought was hilarious. It’s Google Beta.
So let’s look at a few examples of Data Studio reports. Now, here’s the thing. As I pulled up a couple of examples for you guys, oh this deck will be available for you on Distilled SlideShare, on my SlideShare. I’ve got links in here for you. But like don’t panic about taking a bunch of notes. You can have all the slides. And at the end, if you want just an email to show up in your inbox that can happen to you.
So here’s a few examples. LunaMetrics has this example out there for you and you’ll see those navy blue fields over there? Those are actually changeable fields. So you can change the date, you can change the channel, you can change the device, it’s interactive. You can change what’s actually happening on the report and people can do that without needing to edit the report. That’s just actually the interactivity of the report. So this is a great example of interactive report.
Then this is one by Helpfullee, and this is not pretty but it’s an example of literally, I think anything you could ever do with Data Studio. So it’s kind of interesting to go look at and see all the data sources he’s pulling from, all the different ways that he’s doing it. I think the report is six or seven pages. Obviously I didn’t screenshot all those for you. But this is just a good example of what’s possible with Data Studio.
Next is SEO, about, I gather that Jeff Canyon is known in this room, but this is an example he put together of an SEO dashboard and all those links will take you to the actual inner live Data Studio report, not just a screenshot of it.

Benefits of Data Studio
So what did we get when we started using Data Studio? We cut our reporting time in half and actually has even improved more since then. We also get to label information in a way that the client will actually understand. Okay, where do users enter the site from Google? Instead of landing page and channel and things that we would understand in this room, but my clients were like, I don’t know that means. Those words are all English but using that that way I don’t know what they mean. What I’ve found is that after we started doing this, clients actually read their reports. And a lot more action.
I’ve been talking about doing annual reviews for our clients for three years. I actually did it for 2017 in January. I did annual reviews for our clients and it’s because we had Data Studio reports where I could change the timeframe and then I used Loom, that tool to go to, and record a video of me talking about it and then I sent them a PDF and the video and they head an annual review. I actually got that done after three years of talking about it.
So why would you use Data Studio? Favorite gut guess.
First of all, it’s automatically updated. When you create a report you set a default time frame and whatever that default time frame is, it will automatically update. Also, part of the eight pages of instructions that we had before? A lot of that was applying segments. Do you know that spam thing that used to happen with analytics? A lot of that was with playing segments. Right now with Data Studio, I can have a report level segment that automatically gets applied. I don’t have to mess with that anymore.
And here’s an example. So these are the two templates we’ll walk through here in a minute. One is set for the last seven days and the other is set for the last month so you can set a default time frame and then automagically, when that time frame changes, so on the first of April, all the reports will suddenly be from March instead of February. Fantastical. They’re interactive, so you’ll see this will go through, your clients can go through and they can actually mouse over and see the data points. They can change the timeframes. They can change the sorting on the tables. There’s all sorts of interactivity that can actually happen on the report.
And you know because Google loves Google. So here are all the native data sources available with Data Studio. You’ll see the usual suspects on there. We’ve got Analytics, YouTube, AdWords, Search Console, and then a lot of other usual suspects for data.
But you can also add any other data source. So if you’ve got a CSV file, your own business, or you can create your own custom connector. So there’s a community of sort of like analytics, there’s a community of connectors and also people can publish templates to the community. So maybe the templates I give you are cool and you want to go from there or you can go check out the community and see if there’s some other templates that you want to start from.
They’re very versatile, like a pair of black pumps. You can use them for dashboards. You can use them for monthly reports. You can use them in many different ways. And the templates. Oh, so good. So unless you really like starting with a blank page, a blank page completely freaks me out. I will do nothing with a blank page. Then use a template. Start with a template and Frankenstein it together and make something that’s going to work for you.

The Downside to Data Studio
So why wouldn’t you use Data Studio? It is still in beta so it can at times be a bit buggy. Things are changing. They’re actually they’re adding more features, more functionality. But again, if you work in a team that likes to have things be exactly the same that might be a little bit of a challenge for you. It can be sluggish. I really like doing this as a live demo. I really didn’t have any confidence that I could keep on time. If I did it as a live demo because who knows what’s going to happen.
And it’s currently free but that could change right? We don’t, things that are free don’t always stay free and if they’re free then I feel like there may be a little bit higher risk than paid products.
So those are things to consider.

Data Studio Demo
But now, it’s demo time.
So the first thing I’m going to tell you and this, so this goes through Data Studio and it assumes that you got a good data set to work with. So hopefully your Analytics is set up correctly or if you’ve got another data source then you scrub that data and you’ve got good data to work with because we all know it’s shit in and shit out. Right? So if you don’t put good stuff in here, you’re not going to get stuff out.
The other thing is start smart. Think about, do you have access to all the data sources that you need? What Google account are you going to create your Data Studio under? Just consider some of these things and also, we’re going to walk through this step by step. Use a Google account that has all the access. If you don’t currently have that set up in your business or with your company, do that first. Establish the access because you’re going to want one account that has access to the search consoles, all the analytics account. If you’re going to use Google Sheets, make sure it has access to the right Drive. Make sure, make all your access decisions first. I prefer to have a branded account with our domain that is responsible for if you need a Gmail account and go do that or just create another Google account because why not?
It’s also easiest to start from existing report but before you hit that copy button, please set up your data sources. Trust me on this one, really. Just trust me on this one. Set up your data sources. You could do it another way, but this is how you add a new data source. You collect data sources and then you click the plus button down there. I’m not going to add any point attempt to justify Google’s UI decisions. I’m just going to show you how it works.
This is how you add Analytics so you, again, access is really important before you get started because otherwise you’re going to keep, it will not be very effective or efficient process. You’re going to click down to the view for whatever analytics account you have. For Search Console you select down to the table. YouTube, down to the channel, again back to the accessing, make sure you’ve got the access you need. AdWords, down to the report. Google Sheets down to the worksheet or you upload your own. So grab your file, your CSV, and then Google, they will tell you if it’s successful. So it will say uploaded. If there’s a problem, it will say that there’s a problem. Ask me why I know that.
Then, before you hit that connect button, change the name of your data source to something that you know, you will remember later. Having a way that you label, especially if you’re working with a team, having an understanding of how you label all these data sources will help you later. So do that. And then you can hit connect.
Now, you’re free to create a number 4. Go ahead and use that copy button.
So here are the two templates that I created for you.
This first one is a monthly client report template. It is seven pages and note the sidebar navigation. So the layout, what you’re looking right now is the view layout. It’s got seven pages in it. This data included with monthly site care service, if we do some technical stuff for our clients and we pop a graphic in there, that shows them how many times somebody tried to hack their site and how many WordPress updates they were etc. etc. Use it, dump it, whatever. But I’m just showing you some of the ways that we can, this can be done.
And then this is the dashboard template which is one page you can obviously see that there’s no navigation or anything on here. It’s really designed if you can set a web page as your background on your desktop, you could do that with this sort of an e-commerce last seven days. Here’s the help of our business thing.
Alright, so the first thing you’re going to do after you have set up your data sources is copy the report and then set the data sources. So it’s really quite easy to just click and then click your data source. There is a workflow that you can go set up data sources from this. I’ve tried it, just learn from my mistakes. Don’t do it that way.
Then you’re going to hit the create the report button. You will then be dropped into the report copy and edit mode. Simple, right? Totally got this. Now I’m going to rock out Google Data Studio reports.
So here, the thing I suggest doing is renaming the report and then you can make any layout changes that you want. Here’s where you can select the sidebar. You can change the size of it you can change the theme. Report level theming. If you like to do things efficiently and effectively use report level theming. If you use, if you change colors on an individual chart or graph, then when you go to copy that later and you want to change it up for an individual client, or you want to change your brand colors, it’s going to be a pain in the butt. So don’t do it that way, do it this way.
And then, you can, so what you might not have seen there, there’s a view button, view and edit. So there are two different modes. When you first open up a report, you’re in view. You got to click edit to get into it. These are the logo, the example website.com and the date, our report level items, which means that they are across every page on the report. So if I create a new page on the report, they’re already there. When I copy this report for a client, I only have to change example website.com and I have a new report for the client because that goes to every page.
So report level items are really handy when you’re building a template.
Alright. Editing items. So this has been, for me, this is very much like PowerPoint. You click on to an item. We’ve got a tab that we can manipulate the data. When you create, when you set those data sources, when you first create the report, they’re set up as the default data source. So you can change it on a graph by graph level if you want to, if there’s a need for that, but automatically everything goes to the default data source. And then you can also style individually, but we just talked about that. You really want to make sure that you’re using report styling so that you can be consistent and make copies easily.
Bulk editing. You can do more than one at a time. This is a huge time saver. So if you select like items, so as long as you don’t have a text box in there or a background image in there, if you select multiple graphs or multiple charts at a time, you can edit their data. And you can also edit their style. So you could conceivably on a page have a set of charts and then have the top set be one segment. The middle set be a second segment and the bottom set be a third segment and you just copy and paste and then change out the data sources.
Item settings. So here, what they’ve done is you can choose metrics. If you’re going to choose a new metric, you search. It’s Google. Just search. Unless you really have memorized where everything is in Google Analytics. If so, good on you. And then you can rename the metric right in the interface. This is new. And this is awesome because I was fighting against the goals stuff, calling it something useful, so you can rename the metrics right here in the interface. So use that.
And then I back to the style. Okay, and you also, you see – I’ll walk on over and point right up here. You can change the chart type. So again, you can, if you like, if you start with a template and you’re like no, I want a line chart instead of the pie graph or whatever, just change the chart type.
Copy and paste is your friend. Use it all the time. So you can copy and paste between reports. So you, I selected those items. I copy them. I flipped over to the other report. I’m going to make some room here for it. And then I’m going to paste them in. When you paste items into a new report, they will take on the default data source. Once you have them pasted in, you can go up and change that data source if you want to or if you need to. And then you can also style. Occasionally, like I said buggy, occasionally, it won’t pick up the default and also occasionally I’ll need to go in and apply the report level styling which is down at the bottom of that second tab, which is a huge time saver because then I don’t have to style individual items. So I just select everything that’s not right and I go to the style tab and I scroll to the bottom and I hit report style. Boom. Done.
New items. It’s not rocket science. I’m sure you can figure it out. You just click the kind of chart you want, you pop it in, you select your metrics, again search, and use the lowest common denominator for search. So in a minute here, you’ll see me struggle to try to add average session time because I didn’t put avg dot. So just search for session. If you’re trying to find something related to session just user or if you’re someone trying to find something related to user. You can add additional columns. You can choose a default sort.
They also have recently added in the ability for those column headings to wrap which is great. Especially if you’re trying to get users to use the reports and see what that column is actually supposed to be called. So the formatting is improving, the interface is improving.
Layout helpers. So again, this is very PowerPoint-like, so you’ll see me select, click select or control select works for that, and then go down to align and I’m going to align the top of these and then you’ll see me go in and right click, go down to distribute. So it can be very easy to create clean-looking reports. You don’t have to dig around just use the, use the layout helpers.
And then when it comes to sharing, it works much like Google Drive. You can link, you can grab a link, you can share individually with clients. So this also can help preserve the security and privacy is if you got a report for clients, you can share it with them directly. They have to log into Google. Google authenticates, etc.
You can also embed reports. So there’s a link embed or another the code embed. You can put this into something else that you’re doing or a dashboard maybe they’re already logging into. It’s very flexible in that way. And if you use Google Drive at all, it’ll feel pretty familiar.

Tips and Tricks
All right. Tips and tricks.
One thing I really don’t like about it is when you drop into the Data Studio and you select a report it will open that in the tab you’re in. I work on multiple clients at a time. So I like to open each report in a new tab. So I just use ctrl click to open them in new tabs, and then I’ll have several clients open at a time.
Shift-click works for selecting multiple items or you can drag.
PDF-ing. So I really am trying to move most of our clients to interactive reports because interactive reports. But there’s several of them who need a PDF. They like to have that so we use a Chrome extension called Google Data Studio PDF export. It’s so like such a sexy name. It has had a bug in it. Well, I think it’s actually a chrome PDF thing bug for the last couple months that it’s inserting a blank page after every page. If you need this and you’re experiencing that, come talk to me, I’ll talk to you about the workaround. It’s not worth getting into here, but I’m happy to share that.
Copy paste all of the things unless you really like a blank page. And in that case, you do you.
And then if you have a lot of changes, so our template has really evolved over time. I got into one client’s report and I was doing that I changed the whole bunch of things and I’m like, oh that means I have to go change it for everything else. Nope. Instead, if you’ve used report level theming and you’ve set up your data sources, so you can find them again, remember when I talked about that? Then you’re just, what I do is I go delete all the client reports and I make a copy of the one that’s most up-to-date and I change out the data sources and I change out the URL and I have a whole new set of reports. So don’t beat yourself up if you have a lot of changes. Make sure and really think about using template.
The other thing is if you’ve got maybe two sets of clients, I do have one client. We have a much more thorough report for her and so when I go to the make my templates I make sure that I kind of use the one that’s all blown out and then when I make the copies, I may just have to delete a couple of extra pages. So that’s another way to think about how to structure your reports. So they’re easily templatable.
And then my biggest hack is change the timeframe, you have a new report. Yay. You can do annual reviews and stop talking about it. Maybe I’m the only one.
All right. So, whew! If you want if you want the links in your inbox just for ease you can text SearchLove to 33444. Otherwise, these slides will be up on SlideShare on mine, on Distilled. You’ll have full access to them. Don’t panic. You don’t have to actually text.
Thank you.

Thank you Brandy. I want to give you the chance to answer any questions that people have.
I’m going to just double down on that last tip for me about you said change the timeline, changed report. Yeah, I mean you can now quickly create like an annual report after something that was previously a monthly or weekly.

Brandy Lawson:
Yes. Yes. Oh, that’s exactly what I did in January is I took our monthly reports and I change the timeframe to last year, which is just a preset time frame, and then I had an annual report. And I could talk about the whole year for that particular client. And actually I’m thinking about doing it quarterly. So now this is perceived value added, right? So not only are they getting month reports from me but now I’m able to provide a quarterly overview and a yearly overview.
And then we can also talk about some of the initiatives that we did over the year and how they were effective and maybe what we do for next year. It’s an opportunity also to talk about the other things they should pay me for.

Man from audience:
Hey, Brandy. Thanks for the talk. So Google’s Data Studio is just something we started using at Distilled for our own internal reporting. I think most people know that it integrates nicely with Analytics. What else have you been integrating with? What have been the best APIs you’ve been plugging into it?

Brandy Lawson:
Oh, I’m, so obviously before I had Data Studio, Search Console stuff. Like I, meh, it was hard to re–, for our team to report on so that was one of the big wins for us. MailChimp. We’ve got a couple clients using MailChimp. So we worked around with bringing in the email statistics from there. Trying to think of any other apis we’ve done ourselves. Oh, Facebook Ads. Bringing in the, any of the non-AdWords pay-per-click stuff into Data Studio has also been great.

Man from audience:
Brilliant. Thank you. Next to me?

Brandy Lawson:
Head on down the line.

Man from audience:
As you were playing around I noticed similarities between Will’s talk with that Power BI thing and I was wondering can you do correlation research in Data Studio? Have you done anything like that?

Brandy Lawson:
So Dana is doing some crazy ninja stuff with Data Studio. So that may actually be a question better suited for her. For my purposes, Data Studio is the visualization tool. So if you want to do the correlation stuff like use the Power BI to get your data where you wanted it, like draw the correlations, and then you can use Data Studio to report it out.
But yeah, Dana has really ninja stuff that she’s doing with multiple Google Analytics things and bringing them together because in Data Studio you can bring multiple datasets together.

Man from audience:
All right. Thanks

Brandy Lawson:
Other question? Really?

I know one thing. We’ve presented these kind of reports to people in quite different ways and you saying you know, there’s a challenge of just getting people to read this and engage with it. Have you, have you seen the people of skewing towards wanting to you know, be emailed that PDF or people consuming it online or in other words, what’s been working best to get people to engage with the reports you’re giving them?

Brandy Lawson:
Well the first thing I will say is that you need to know your audience. So each of my clients, my clients are pretty homogenous, but there are a couple outliers so understanding the best way to communicate with them, I definitely have a client the one that has the biggest report. They need that as a PDF emailed to them because they probably actually print it out which tears up my soul a little bit. But they print it out and read it that way but I know that they’re consuming it because I’ve delivered it in a way that they want it. Other clients I’ve trained, like when we onboard them, I show them, like and most of our clients don’t have super sensitive data. So I’ll have a just a link. Click the link. And here you are and this is what you can do and back to that sort of quarterly reporting again, inviting them over and over to make that a part of their flow and then I’ll suddenly hear from clients like, “Oh, yeah, I read my monthly report and blah blah blah blah blah,” and I’m like, “Yes!”

One more question in the front.

Man from audience:
Do you know if there’s a method to say, filter out Google Console information? The scenario would be dealing with multi-franchise SEO on a page where each location wants their own report for their location.

Brandy Lawson:
Yes. So and when you add I didn’t get into it because I thought it was sort of a rabbit hole. But when you add a data source, you have the opportunity to go in and make calculated fields and basically filtered fields. If you’d like you can add, but you can add more dimensions from your data set inside of Data Studio.

Man from audience:
Okay. Thank you.

Fantastic. In which case…
Oh, no. There we go.

Woman from audience:
So since you’re the guru on reporting, I’m curious about when you send these types of I think you said auto-magically updated reports?

Brandy Lawson:
Yes, yes, automatically.

Woman from audience:
My experience is that I can’t just send data to a client or a report like this without lots of explanation, calls to really explain what’s going on, and help them understand the information. And my background, agency-side, was monthly reporting, and that was a time suck like you said and so when we launched our agency that was like when the first things, we were like, nope, no no monthly reporting in the corridors.
Yeah, well quarterly reporting and then just, you know ongoing communication. This is really interesting to us as something that’s automated. But I’m curious if you still have to sort of hold their hand.

Brandy Lawson:
So the secret sauce is always in the execution. So if you have had that conversation with your clients about, “What are your business goals?” Okay, great. “What are the key metrics?” You know in this room we would use KPIs that we are measuring to make sure we’re hitting those business goals. And then you’re, what I like about Data Studio is I can use that language whatever we decided to call it. Your coolest widget on Earth thing, I can use that language in the Data Studio report. So then suddenly they need less interpretation because it’s no longer a different language back to the, “Yeah. Those words are all English, but I don’t understand what they mean together.” We go from that to I’m able to pair it back to exactly the words that we use when we described whatever the metric was whatever we decide to call it. I don’t care what Google calls it. I don’t care what anybody else calls it. This is the magic wand of your website sales. I will call it that on the Data Studio report and suddenly the communication flows, and they don’t need me to interpret because we have a shared language. Did that help?

Woman from audience:
Love it. Thank you.

Don’t anyone want to go over the question and answer, do they.

Brandy Lawson:
Well, they know where to find me.

They do. Over coffee, hopefully. Fantastic! Brandy Lawson, everybody.

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