How to Track your Google Data Studio Report Usage with Google Analytics

Key Points

  • It’s taken you ages to build and refine that Google Looker Studio dashboard. Now use Google Analytics to make sure people are actually using it.
  • Not everybody needs dashboard analytics. But if you’re an agency creating templates and reports for clients, or an in-house marketing team sending reports company wide, you can get some good insights.
  • You can make one report that tracks multiple dashboards. So you get tons of analytics data in one place.
  • This article will show you how to link Analytics to your dashboards. And it includes a template so you can get started right away.
Data Studio Inception! – Here’s a free report and our guide on how to set up Google Analytics tracking for your Google Data Studio Reports. In this article, we’re going to show you how to setup GA tracking so that you can track the usage of each of your GDS reports.  Not only that, we will create a new GDS template that can display this data in an interactive report. So you will be tracking GDS templates with a GDS template!

Who should implement this?

If you’ve spent a lot of time setting up a dashboard in GDS it’s only natural that your going to want to know if people are using it.  So everyone should implement it! The real usefulness is the ability to track multiple templates in one dashboard.  This is perfect for:
  1. A company like ours, marketing multiple dashboards and looking to understand performance
  2. Agencies creating multiple template & reports for clients, using this tracking you can see how your clients are utilizing your reports.
  3. In-house marketing teams that are generating reports for the rest of the company.  It’s insightful to see which areas of the company are making use of your dashboards.

Setup Google Analytics

The first step to setting the tracking is to create a Google Analytics account.  And then a new property within this account. Choose the website option and the url should be: Under the ‘property settings’ GA should now provide you with a tracking ID

Add Tracking ID into Templates

This step is straightforward.  Navigate to the GDS template that you want to track.  Once you are in edit mode. Select file >> report settings. This will open the right hand side bar, which has a section ‘Google Analytics Tracking ID’.  paste your tracking ID in there.
Repeat the same steps for all of the template you want to track using this same ID. Note: using the same ID in all templates will allow you to see the data for all of your templates in one dashboard.  You can later separate them using segments or GA view filters, therefore this is recommended. If you did want to keep them separate you should create a new GA profile and new tracking ID for each template.

Create a GDS template – (already done for you)!

We’ve already created a GDS template to allow you to track multiple templates here.  All you need to do is make a copy of the template and connect it to your GA account and GA profile you used in the steps above.   Note that the demo template is connected to dummy GA data. On the top right of the screen make a copy of the report and then follow the prompts to connect to your own Google Analytics account.

Charts in the report

The following is a quick overview of the filters and charts available in the report. In the top section of the report there are 2 filters.  The first filter ‘page title’, allows you to filter by pages.  Pages in this sense is the actual report names. This filter allows you to filter all of the metrics and graphs in the report to focus on one or several individual templates.
Session Trends shows the number of sessions and users per day visiting your template(s). Channel Sources show which source in general the traffic has come from.
Top Templates, lists the top templates by sessions and can also be sorted by the average session duration.  This is best used when no page filter is applied. Traffic sources shows more detailed information then channel sources.  It shows source and medium combinations of where the traffic to the templates has originated from.
Devices shows which devices people are using to view the templates Country shows where your users are viewing from.

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