• Hristo Piyankov

Dashboard gallery (Google Data Studio): Simple sales funnel

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

In the “Dashboard” gallery posts, I will be showing you various dashboards (from simple to more complex). Those sections are mainly about showcasing various layouts and functionalities, rather than instructions on how to build the dashboards. In case you are looking for series focusing on step by step building of the dashboards, you can check out Interactive Dashboards – why not do it on your own?

The dashboard below is INTERACTIVE. If there are display problems, please refresh the page. The dashboard is using CRM sales cycle data.

This dashboard is similar to the one here prepared with Google Sheets over the same data set. The goal is to highlight the difference between the two approaches.

Sales funnel data in Google Data Studio

The source data for the dashboard shown below is as simple as it gets, just 5 columns:

  1. Customer id – a unique identifier for each customer.

  2. Campaign – the date when the customer was added to a campaign.

  3. Call – the date when (if) the customer was called.

  4. Lead – the date when (if) the customer became a lead.

  5. Sale – the date when (if) the bought our product.

Even though the data is quite limited, we can still draw valuable insights from it. It can help us identify our sales funnel and give early warnings in case not everything is going as planned. You can select/deselect months to see how the sales/funnel data changes.

The bad

A few words on Google Data Studio. I realize that (as of the time of posting this) the product is still in Beta, however, I fee that a lot of features are lacking. The types of charts are too few (even less than Google Sheets! they could have at least included the same set of charts). Cleaning and processing of the data is next to impossible – unless your dataset is really prepared for analysis, you will have quite hard time cleaning it up in GDS. The formatting options are unforgivably few, again I would have expected that anything you can do in Google Sheets should also be doable here, alas this is not the case.

The good

On the flip side, there are quite a few things which I like here. It is so easy to align and size the charts. I cannot count the hours of struggle I had with this in Google Sheets, here it is fast and simple. Slicers, slicers, slicers – reporting changed forever since their “invention” (and I am still wondering what is taking them so long to add it to Google Sheets). The reports are quite crisp and the formatting (although limited) is quite easy. In the end, if you combine Google Data Studio functionalities and Google Sheet functionalities you end up with dashboarding which is comparable to Excel or Tableau.

The great

However, there is more. Where Google Data Studio really shines (and significantly outshines Excel and Tableau) is the native integration with various web sources (Google Analytics, AdWords, Twitter/Facebook feeds, Google Sheets). Not to mention the possibility to use 3rd party integration or write one on your own. It is also by definition deployed online and everything that you need to edit your dashboard is just a browser. Bottom line is that all reporting/dashboard tools have their pros and cons. Picking the one that is best for you is a matter of your specific needs. If you need relatively easy to use the tool, which produces crisp but simple dashboards from a lot of online sources,  Google Data Studio might just be the one for you.

#Automation #Dashboards #Reporting