Benjamin Estes's Posts



Google Data Studio: The Beginner’s Tutorial

Google Data Studio is a communication tool. It brings together data you store in several places so you can visualize it on one screen. The goal of using Data Studio is to become a data communicator, not a data plumber.

There are several Data Studio beginner’s guides in the wild. I’ve created this one to get you thinking in Data Studio terms. It’s a proper tutorial, taking you through things step-by-step. Where there’s too much to say about a feature, I’ll link to relevant documentation or other blog posts. And of course, this guide is for you — please ask questions and leave feedback so that we can improve it!

Contents

Data Studio lets you visualize data from many sources

You only need a Google account to get started

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How to present a recommendation

A follow-up to Effecting Change: Discovering the Technical Problem.

My first consulting success was down to pure luck. If I had been collaborating with any other client, it would’ve gone the other way. The point of contact was a woman handling digital marketing for a SaaS startup. She was a direct communicator — an all-around effective individual.

Her company had provisionally signed off on a one-month engagement. Our goal was to create a digital marketing strategy for the upcoming year. If the powers that be approved this strategy, they would extend their commitment to Distilled for a full year. We would put the plan into action together.

Now, I had prepared for this project.

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Effecting Change: Discovering the Technical Problem

Distilled’s Seattle office once engaged with an enterprise software company, who intended to merge their web properties onto a single domain. Leadership suspected gathering them together would be better for branding. But it turned out to be no small task — more than eighty different sites housed bits of their content!

As we talked with their team, we saw why the sites had proliferated. The company’s web team coded their brand site by hand. As a result, marketing teams couldn’t upload or change their own content. Marketers felt disenfranchised, so savvy employees gave themselves a voice. They made their own platforms.

As outside observers, we saw that this consolidation would be a temporary fix. The client needed to simplify content creation. Otherwise, they’d wind up playing whack-a-mole with their own teams. Painting a clear picture of these management issues is an important part of what we do.

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Technical SEO Audit Checklist for Human Beings: September 2017 Update

GET THE AUDIT CHECKLIST

Updated September 13, 2017. Changes include:

  • Made each line easier to understand
  • Added pointers for going straight to the relevant reports in each tool#
  • Changed which tool to use for some rows
  • Added more Google references
  • Removed a couple dubious lines (site speed, HTTP/2)
  • Removed superfluous timing column
  • Removed whole sections that made the audit less MECE
  • Fixed cases where some cells would say “Incomplete” and others wouldn’t

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Google Data Studio: Using Google Sheets as a Data Source

Data Studio lets us visualize data from many sources. At Distilled, we’ve been using Google Sheets to do most of our reporting for years. It works well—but transitioning to Data Studio is so satisfying. It’s easier to manage permissions. And it’s also easier to get Google Analytics data into Data Studio than Sheets.

Here’s the thing: it’s still downright fun to use Sheets as a data source in Data Studio. You can see your data, interact with it, and then chart it. Sheets gives you the power of Data Studio without the bother of managing databases. Anyone can do it.

This post explains how to use Google Sheets as a data source in Data Studio. I recommend opening these documents as you follow along:

SEE the final report

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