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Your company may store Data on an Excel file, Google Sheets, Google BigQuery, and many other sources. Looker Studio is the perfect place to unite all the data in a single platform.
Being able to visualise data helps you get valuable insights for better decision-making in your business and gives you a serious advantage when it comes to getting competitive opportunities.
There are many tools available to help visualize data, but as Looker Studio is entirely free and accessible to all, more organizations and individuals have been preferring Looker Studio over other platforms. Once you are familiar with the tool, it can be used to create stunning and informative reports for your company.
This article will introduce you to the different types of Looker Studio Connectors. Before that let us go through some features and benefits of Looker Studio.
What can you use Google Data studio for?
Looker Studio can be used to visualize data and create and share dashboards and reports. With Looker Studio around, you can easily report on Data that can be pulled from a wide variety of sources, without the need to learn to program.
With just a few clicks, you can connect your data from any database, Google marketing platform, consumer products, flat files, social media platforms, etc.
Data studio allows sharing your insights with just anyone, from your team members to make them visible to the public. You also can just invite others to view or edit your reports or schedule emails to automatically send the links to these reports.
Want the world to know your story and findings? You have the provision to embed your reports in other pages like blog posts, marketing reports, Google sites, etc.
Why Should You Use Looker Studio?
The world is changing every single minute. In this internet era, traditional marketing strategies do not work for our impulsive, yet intelligent audience. People are fickle these days. Hence, the advent of digital marketing.
Digital marketing led to the development of many strategic tools for marketing such as Google Ads, Slack, Trello, Mailchimp, etc. The most important skill for utilizing these marketing data is analytical skills.
Today, analytics play a very important role in our world. Studies show that one in every four jobs requires the candidate to have good analytical skills. A candidate with analytical skills means they will be able to think logically and use data in hand to make informed decisions making.
How will analytics skills help a marketer, you ask? As a marketing professional, being able to understand the logical connotations behind a problem and providing helpful solutions is the path to a successful career.
This ability helps you to notice trends, understand what needs to be done next and thereby provide innovative solutions.
The marketing and advertising data generated by your business can be overwhelmingly large. The data generated by Google Analytics and Google Ads alone is humungous. But What if you want to present a “to the point” report to your boss? Neither of these platforms can help with that. That is where Looker Studio comes into play.
Now that we know how Looker Studio is helpful for Digital marketing professionals, let us look into some of its benefits.
- Access unlimited widget options
Looker Studio lets you include any number of widgets, which is very much unlike the Google Analytics platform which allows only up to 12 widgets at a time.
This gives you the freedom to share and explain your data in different ways. There are multiple widget options such as Heat Graphs, Pie charts, etc which can be modified following a variety of metrics. The below image shows a template from Windsor.ai with a few such Looker Studio widgets
With Looker Studio, you have immense freedom in how you create your reports and convey your data. That’s why Looker Studio is becoming an essential tool for companies.
- Pull data from multiple sources
Being able to extract data from up to 12 data sources and consolidate those into a report must be one of the most unique and beneficial features of Looker Studio. You are allowed to pull and collect data from several important platforms like Google Analytics, Google Ads, CloudSQL, Youtube, Search Console, etc.
With this feature in tow, Looker Studio fulfills all your reporting needs and helps you create simply professional reports. Don’t miss the chance to “WOW” your company’s decision-makers, plus demonstrate the value of digital marketing, with this free tool.
- Easy sharing of Looker Studio reports
Making a report when having to comply with the management and stakeholder’s wishes, you may need to get the opinion of your team members. With so much at stake, it is not an individual decision that is needed for a report.
Instead of spending time downloading and sending a file, Looker Studio has the same built-in file sharing capacity which is seen in Google docs, Google sheets, etc. With just a click, you can generate and share a link, allowing others to view and customize your reports.
Your entire team can look at the same report and make changes simultaneously. This feature is a huge time saver for businesses and marketers.
- Create easy-to-read reports for everyone
In Looker Studio, reports can be one page or 20 pages These reports demonstrate the flexibility and customization of Looker Studio. Your company’s needs will be given priority making it a stress-free process to share critical data.
You can easily change fonts, colors, themes, sizes, etc making reports easy to read. Data studio allows the addition of up to 10 widgets per page. This layout allows a view into your campaign from every angle.
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- Dynamic Reporting
While you can make edits with your team in real-time, you can also allow Looker Studio to pull real-time data into your reports too. You can set your reports to update and fill your widgets with in-the-moment data automatically as well. Every piece of your report is customizable too.
If you want a few widgets to display current information you can, but you can also keep some data set to last month if you want. This dynamic report gives you unlimited data options to better serve your business.
- Build interactive experiences
Give a twist to your reports by bringing your reports to life. The graphs and charts need not be one-dimensional.
Share your reports digitally and give them the liberty to click and change reports to see the data points they want. This makes it easy for users to visualize data.
- Use free Looker Studio templates
Are you a novice in Google Analytics or reporting in general? Looker Studio is at your rescue. Looker Studio has preloaded templates for Google Analytics, YouTube, Google Ads, etc in place that will help create reports.
It even contains templates for specific industries, such as eCommerce. This feature helps make reporting quick and painless.
- Learn with free Looker Studio tutorials
Everyone is a beginner when starting with Looker Studio. Do not worry as Google offers free training. Pair with the preloaded templates and just like that you are an expert. Google offers videos, report tutorials, and data source tutorials.
You can access the Looker Studio learning center via the help menu.
For specific questions, you can always ask in the Looker Studio forums.
- Embed Looker Studio reports on social media
If you ever wanted to publish your reports across different social media, Looker Studio is the best go-to platform for that. It is easy to embed your report with Google Studio, and you can easily demonstrate your findings or study. This can be a very simple yet effective marketing strategy.
Now that we are familiar with what Looker Studio is all about, the features, and the benefits, let us look into what Looker Studio Connectors is about.
What are Looker Studio Connectors?
Looker Studio connector is a feature that helps to automatically pull data from your tracking and analysis tools. These connectors enable direct connection between the Looker Studio to any data source which is internet accessible.
Looker Studio Community Connectors was a program devised by Google to develop an open-source project which will help in bringing public and open data sets around the world to the Looker Studio users freely and with ease to access.
You are free to develop and use community connectors thereby creating reports and dashboards with data from sources such as:
- Social media, CRM, search, finance, HR, and advertising platforms.
- Public and other open data sets.
- Private company data.
You can also use any data source or service that can be accessed using the App Script.
There are three types of connectors in the Looker Studio Connector Gallery, which are as given below:
The Looker Studio team is behind the development of Google Connectors. These are used to connect to the Google-owned data sources and platforms such as Google Ads, BigQuery, Youtube Analytics, etc.
Google calls these connectors “Looker Studio Partners”. These are usually SEO, Data reporting, and tracking platforms like Supermetrics, SEMrush, etc. These connectors pull data from a variety of sources, including social media platforms such as Facebook Ads, Shopify, AdRoll, etc.
You can read more about this later in this article.
Open Source Connectors
These connectors are developed and maintained by the Looker Studio open-source community team.
Every time a connector is hosted in the open-source repository, the Looker Studio Developer Relations team will manage deployment for the latest code of the connector.
This deployment will enable all users to try the connector in Looker Studio by simply clicking a link immediately.
The following Open Source Connectors are directly available in Data Studio:
- npm Downloads connector: This connector helps to fetch the number of downloads for specific npm packages by date.
- Stack Overflow Questions connector: This retrieves the Stack Overflow Question metadata for specific tags.
Let us now look into why should we build a connector for Looker Studio.
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Why build a connector
Till now, we have seen what Looker Studio is all about and what a connector is. But why do we need a connector? Let us delve into the reasons.
- Community Connectors are powerful and easy to build
Using Google Apps Script, not only you can build the connectors but can also deploy them easily. You will also get the services and APIs such as caching, storage, translation, JDBC services, etc at your disposal.
- Promotion and monetization of your connector
If you are developing/building a Community Connector, you can publish and promote it in the Looker Studio Connector Gallery. All the users of the Looker Studio platform can explore this gallery from inside the platform. There is also a public Connector Gallery viewable by anyone.
- Open data for everyone
Connectors connect all the Looker Studio users to all the public and open data sets around the world with ease.
- Leverage Looker Studio as a reporting platform for your customers
Building a Looker Studio Community Connector provides significant value to your customers. You can rely on Looker Studio as a free and powerful reporting and analysis solution for your customers with the minimal development effort.
- Free Community Connector development
You can build, deploy and distribute connectors for free and can use these connectors for free in Looker Studio.
There are different Looker Studio connectors, some of which are free while others are paid. The next two sections take you through the various such connectors provided by Windsor.ai.
Paid Looker Studio connectors
Windsor.ai provides the facility to set up a dashboard for working with Looker Studio. Once done, the Windsor.ai system will instantly pull up data as much as information sources that you need.
The best part is that the entire process just takes a few minutes as all you need to do is validate data sources. You can sign up to run a free trial to see firsthand how it works.
We’re focusing on the non-Google connectors here as the Google connectors already with great documentation and are in general very reliable.
To make the navigation easy we split them into sections:
- Paid Media Connectors
- Attribution Connectors
- CRM Connectors
- E-commerce Store Connectors
- Analytics Connectors
- Other Connectors