Set up product analytics with Google Data Studio

When the product is launched and is running wild and free on the world wide web there's only one thing that can tell how good is it doing. It's the data! For each product, data is the resource that helps to make better decisions. Nowadays, to set up a product you need to create:

- website/landing page where potential customers can interact with the product, see features and get a first grab of what kind of services are you providing,

- social media accounts where you promote your product and track the customer's engagement.

Generally, there are some numbers that are important for everyone like:

- Number of unique visitors,

- Bounce rate,

- Number of returning visitors,

- Average session duration,

- Number of impressions,

- Click-through rate.

The list of metrics is different from each service and business model. Frankly talking about metrics will take a very long time (and is a matter of separate blog post). Today in this post will be focused on creating a one-stop-shop for the startup or company to create an actionable and informative dashboard for the product, based on your needs, without spending any money.

To have a practical example I'm going to build a dashboard for this blog.

There are a lot of analytics tools that provide information about the main metrics. You can have one analytics tool that gives you everything or have multiple ones for different purposes. My personal setup is:

- Google analytics - to check all the main boxes for my product analytics,

- Hotjar - to see the user's behavior on my website, with their session recording feature.

As for social media platforms, my go-to is Twitter because that's where my main audience is.

My goal is:

 - to spend less time overviewing different resources,

 - understand which traffic source is getting most customers so I can focus on 1 - 2 social media accounts.

To get to this goal previously I was using Google Analytics custom reports, but recently I started to use Google Data Studio for that.

Let's get started!

Create a data source

The first step is to get your data into Data Studio. It has a pretty big list of data sources you can use. It also includes functionality to connect to PostgreSQL, SQL server or BigQuery database, which is a nice bonus.

To achieve my goal I'm going to use connectors for Google Analytics, Twitter and Google Search Console. To connect the data you just need to authorize in the respective service within Data studio and here it is.

Unfortunately, Hotjar doesn't have a connector for Data studio.

Create a report

Now let's create a report, which is really easy you need to add the desired data source and eighter select already available report template.

Graph 1. Finding out the traffic source with highest sessions

Here's the result:

I got this table by using the setup:

The table is stating that currently, the most valuable traffic sources for me are product hunt and indie hackers, but also I'm getting the most data and the most sessions from the shares of my posts. Hence the direct data source in the report.

This kind of information may not be visible in the general Google Analytics reports.

Graph 2.  Finding the country with the highest session durations. This one is self-explanatory, in the "Dimension" field I set the "Country ISO" and in the metric is set "Avg. session duration". This report also can be done in Google analytics.

Graph 3. Finding the countries where the most active hashtag is #HRTech

For this report, you need to use the Twitter connector. During the setup, the connector will ask you to input a hashtag that you want to track. As I'm currently doing HRTech industry research it was interesting to me in which countries the hashtag is most used and hence, how much is it overlapping with my currently active countries. Here is the result:

Graph 4. Active people by the hashtag

Using the same Twitter connector I created a table to see what kind of twits are circulating under the hashtag of #HRTech and sorted the values based on the number of retweets.

This is how I'm currently using Google data studio. Undoubtedly, it has much more capabilities than I've explored so far. This blog post is just showing how easy it is to create a beautiful dashboard on the interesting theme using 1 tool, with 0$ spent in just an hour or two.

Good luck, with playing around with Data studio.