Data Studio, Google’s free Business Intelligence platform, is finally available for the general audience. The tool is getting out of beta two years after extensive tests and optimizations, along with Cloud Dataprep, a fully managed data preparation product.
Data Studio is part of Google Marketing Platform and closely integrated with Google Cloud, enabling analysts to visualize and explore data in holistic dashboards and reports, and easily share insights or collaborate in real time with fellow colleagues.
The tool facilitates easy access for analysts to data from Google Analytics, Google Ads, Display & Video 360, Search Ads 360, YouTube Analytics, Google Sheets, Google BigQuery and over 500 more data sources.
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Google Data Studio is already being used by over a million people around the world, every month.
During the two-years of beta testing period, Google expanded Data Studio’s capabilities, also adding features such as Data Studio Explorer,, Data Blending and Marketing Platform Report Gallery
Data Studio Explorer is essentially a data exploration tool which has a native integration within BigQuery’s UI, which allows users to transform their datasets and queries into powerful visualizations. This is especially helpful for non-technical people, helping analysts gather insights faster, without any coding skills required and speeding up the workflow.
Similar to other BI platforms, Data Studio allows users to import multiple datasets from disparate sources in a single chart or visualization, a feature Google named Data Blending.
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Google Marketing Platform Reporting Gallery is one of the newest additions to Data Studio. It provides a series of templates that help analysts to create quick and informative reports using data from any Google Marketing Platform products.
Data Studio has a number of advantages over the classic reporting tools. For example, you can create and share as many reports as you like, and it’s highly customizable, so you can tailor the appearance of your dashboards and reports the way you want. You can also create calculated fields. Calculated fields let you create new metrics and dimensions in your data source that perform arithmetic, apply mathematical formulae, extract or transform text, or return new information based on logical comparisons. You can use the new dimensions and metrics in charts and controls, just like regular fields.
In addition to Data Studio, Google also made available Cloud Dataprep for the general public. This new product offers analysts a new way to unlock the full potential of analytics tools such as BigQuery.
“Data processing techniques and tools may have evolved, but one headache in data processing has remained constant: bad input data with anomalies, gaps, and inconsistencies. Taking action on bad data often leads to bad results, but cleaning and preparing data typically requires a lot of time and coding from developers and subject matter experts”, Google notes in their official launch announcement.
On top of team-based data prep, where the platform allows teams to collaborate by sharing flows, re-using samples or reviewing audit trails, Cloud Dataprep also added new features for business analysts.
Among them, notable functionalities include Sheets-like pivots and unions, an improved source: target schema matching, and parameter based dataset processing.