The Google Marketing Platform team quietly made a huge update to Google Data Studio over the past week. Analysts now have the ability to choose “Extract Data” directly from the data source selection screen. Previously, this feature was part of the new Data Blending features that Google rolled out over the summer, but now as a stand-alone feature, Data Studio’s potential as a go-to analytics tool has increased immensely. Here are the 3 reasons why this is such a monumental update:


1. Faster Load Times and Report Refreshes

It’s no secret that Data Studio can be quite slow at times, especially when you are trying to connect massive data sets together. Instead of connecting to your entire data set, you can select a small extract that will be faster to update and load in the interface for your end users.

Instead of connecting to your entire data set, you can select a small extract that will be faster to update

2. Row-Level Metric Calculations for Google Analytics Reports

This was my biggest pain-point when trying to do any advanced Google Analytics reporting in Data Studio. Typically, your most granular GA data is stored in Event tables, but the out-of-the-box GA connector does not allow you to do row-level metric calculations because metrics are auto-aggregated. For example, the following function to get a metric for just ‘button clicks’ would not work in the past, but now it does:

3. Better Data Management

The Extract Data feature also allows you to easily exclude entire sections of your original data set. If you had sensitive customer data that you didn’t want anywhere near your final report, you can choose to exclude that information in your extract. Pretty neat.

What’s Next?

I can only imagine what the next interaction of this feature will bring, but I hope it involves an even more robust version of Data Blending — similar to Tableau Prep and Power BI Query Editor.

Thanks to Ryan Harrington.

AuthorPatrick Callahan