To get started, I thought you wanted to meet your instructors.
First, Ahmad Kanani, whom I found on great Google Data Studio tutorials that we will actually reference a lot in this course. He’s a digital analytics expert and many more things, but to know more about him, I encourage you to visit his company’s website siavak.com.
Why learning Business Intelligence
In my journey as a marketer and co-founder, I learned that any tactical or strategical decision starts at asking and answering questions, such as:
- Who are our audience and customers?
- What is doing our competition?
- What are our main acquisition channels?
- Why people buy—and especially, why they don’t buy?
The answers of these questions are the inputs to come up with new experiments, ideas, tactics, and strategies.
Something as simple as noticing that people don’t buy from you because they don’t trust your brand as they expressed that on a survey so you started implemented more case studies, reviews, testimonials, and all kinds of stimuli that build trust is a decision that was based on data.
All these questions are answered through Business Intelligence and data analysis which, by the way, are the most demanded skills in digital marketing.
Business Intelligence is all about answering business questions with data.
And this is exactly what you will learn in this course, not only about Google Data Studio but to learn to answer questions and tell stories with your data.
Business Intelligence is all about collecting data to enhance business decisions. Competitor monitoring tools, keyword research tools, PCC reporting, social media monitoring—all those tools have in some way Business Intelligence capabilities, but they’re not BI software.
While they offer data, you cannot visualize it or transform it easily; while they offer dashboards, you can hardly customize such visualizations.
Business Intelligence software, on the other hand, lets you connect, transform, and visualize data automatically. I know this sounds abstract, but it’s pretty simple.
Just think of using a Google Sheet that has a column with dates and another one with sales volume data.
You just connect it to Google Data Studio with a few clicks (aka. connect), then you explain Google Data Studio that you want to switch those dates into months (aka. transform), and then you visualize time in a time series (visualize). That takes like 30 seconds.
Why learning data visualization
We may think that data-driven decision making is 100% rational, but you’re selling ideas to humans. No matter how good is your prediction, model, or insight, most of your work is about persuading and influencing others.
There’s where data visualization comes in. Data visualization helps you tell stories with a single chart, or a set of them (which we call a dashboard).
I can prove right now that a single chart can tell a story; a set of them give context and a narrative.
This video by Data is Beautiful describes the war between Marvel and DC, based on their sales over years.
This one is about how Blockbuster grew and died in over 30 years.
Why learning Google Data Studio
If you want to enhance your digital analytics and marketing skills, Google Data Studio may be the best fit because:
- It’s easy to use; I promise that you will be building your first dashboards in a few minutes
- It’s user-friendly, just like most Google products
- Even though it’s commonly used in digital marketing, you may visualize any dataset
- You don’t need coding or advanced statistical skills
- Unlike other providers like Microsoft Power BI Tableau, Looker, Datorama, and Qlik, Google Data Studio is free.
- Google Data Studio is open to let anyone build connectors and visualizations, so you will leverage a growing community that, like us, is helping others learn and develop.
- It’s part of the Google Marketing Platform (e.g. Google Analytics, Tag Manager, Optimize, etc.); their integration works seamlessly.
I suggest you watch this Ted Talk about how to tell stories with Data Visualization. I think it will help you think better of the dashboards you will create.
We wrote an article about Google Data Studio most common questions, where we discuss the most important misconceptions and doubts of people around Data Studio, why it’s free, and how it compares with other solutions.
Go to the next lesson
In the next lesson we will see how other companies, agencies, and marketers use Google Data Studio to automate their marketing reports.