Three Must Have Reporting Tools.

This is a story about Google Sheets, Google Data Studio and a Google Sheets add on called SuperMetrics. With these 3 tools we have created a workflow that has allowed us to create a series of reports to help aid our customer in their decision making. For an in-depth reviews of each tool, please go to the end of this post for a few relevant links.

Quick Overview

Google Data Studio

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Create visualization of your data.

Create live connections to third-party data sources.

SuperMetrics

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Create a connection to your database and automatically import records from a third-party data source on a routine schedule.

Google Sheets

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Import Data

Create Pivot reports and/or Charts

Export the results as PDF

Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is a great tool with a lot of charting options. You can control who gets to see your reports and you can auto email your reports to other gmail accounts.

There are a lot of cool and powerful features within Google Data Studio, the two that really help us when it comes the reporting needs, are the FILTERING and DATE EVALUATION features.

Filtering

It has great filtering options to help create dashboards that always show the newest data. Things like – show this Week, or this month. There are interactive filter options that let the user toggle which filters values they want to see, and there are data filtering that you can set to forcefully only show certain records from a particular data table

Date Evaluation

It has the ability to take a date and let you display the aggregate of the date into a Year, Month, Day, and even a fiscal quarter. This is really helpful if your data does not have separate columns for Year, Month and Quarter. Google Data studio lets you aggregate this on the fly.

Google Sheets

Google Sheets is great when you need your data in a spreadsheet. If you do not need it in a spreadsheet, you can just stay with Google Data Studio. Our favourite thing about using Google Sheets is the ability to create PIVOT reports. You can make many different views to summarize your data in a way that helps you make decisions. And like all Google products, you can invite others to view your spreadsheets.

SuperMetrics

SuperMetrics is the bridge between our MySQL database and a spreadsheet. Without this addon/plugin we would not be able to automatically import records from our MySQL database into a spreadsheet. Yes, it is a plugin.Some of you might be thinking, “What about when this becomes unsupported, like Adobe Flash?”. Well, your concerns are very valid. We had the same concerns. So why did we move forward with this option? We did our research and found that the developers of this plugin had a solid following, which means they had enough customers to warrant continuous development of their product. Additionally, we tested it out and it worked as advertised, and continues to get better year after year.