Nobody wants to constantly build reports from the ground up. It’s a hassle whether you’re only doing it once and automating it in Data Studio. It’s even more of a hassle if you have to do it daily.
Luckily, Data Studio gives you the ability to steal any dashboard that you have access to view. Just 3 simple steps and you have replicated someone else’s report. The first two steps are very easy. The third step may be a bit more difficult because of the table filters and Google Analytics segments.
Table of Contents
Copy The Report
Navigate to the report in question and while in “view mode”, click on the two sheets of paper. A popup will appear for step 2.
Add Your Replacement Data Source(s)
Most reports, like above, will only have one data source. Some reports will bring Facebook, Twitter, Google Analytics, Google My Business, and a host of other data sources into one report. When that is the case, you’ll have a list of data sources to match up like above.
Once you’re sure that you’re connecting the correct corresponding data source, hit “Copy Report”. Here’s where the fun kicks in.
If you’re copying a large or specialized report, the report is probably using specialized filters and Google Analytics segments.
Fix Table Filters and Google Analytics Segments
Unless I’m building a very high level dashboard, most of my reports have table filters and segments applied. It allows you to drill down and track very specific metrics.
As I work for a large retailer, there are a lot of vendors driving traffic to our website. Table filters and segments allow me to narrow down the reporting of the vendors traffic via UTM/URL parameters.
This way, I can automatically report the metrics they want without exposing the rest of our sites data. Yes, this can be done with pixels or other tracking technology, but you risk exposing customer data unnecessarily.
Once the report is copied, it’s best to do a quick run down of all of the charts and tables.
Click on each chart or table and scroll down in the data field to check the filters and segments.
At this point, you have to decide whether you’ve got some work to do.
If there is a table filter applied, I’m willing to bet that you’re going to have to change it. Table filters seem to be the ad hoc way of what you do in Google Analytics with a segment but on a much more basic level.
I generally use them so that I can quickly build a report targeting a specific page, parameter, or event. Most all of which are going to be unique to the website.
Because of this uniqueness, you’re probably going to have to change it to match your use case, the uniqueness of your website, and how your events are set up in Google Analytics.
Google Analytics Segment
Google has a lot of great default segments. However, they miss the boat on a lot of segments that I think should be standard. For example, “Affiliate” as a default channel grouping segment is missing.
If the report you’re using has a segment that isn’t a system segment, you have two choices.
Since Google doesn’t keep the connection between the original segment and the segment in a copied report, the decision comes down to whether the segment will be changing in the future or if the segment is unique to that website. If the original segment changes or could change, you should create your own and import it.
- If the segment is pretty standard, like my affiliate example above, you shouldn’t have to do anything. The definition of affiliate isn’t going to change based off of the default channel grouping.
- If the segment is based off of a moving target or uniqueness such as referral traffic from a domain, you should customize to suit your needs.
If I missed anything in the above explanation or you have any questions, leave a comment below. I love getting feedback from readers and learning more about other people’s use cases.
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