Quick start guide

Learn the fundamentals of working with Data Studio.

This article explains six key steps that will help you get started quickly using Data Studio.

Throughout this Help Center, glossary links provide more information on selected terms. Hover over the link to display a summary, or click the link to jump to the full definition. There's a table at the end of this article summarizing the terms used here.
 
Data Studio is a flexible tool: there are often multiple ways to achieve the same results. The workflow described here is just a basic example.

1Start with a report

Reports let you visualize your data, gain insights, and share those insights with others.

Instructions

When you sign in to Data Studio, you'll see the home page with the Reports tab selected. All the reports to which you have access appear in the middle of the screen. The plus buttons let you create a new blank report, or start with a pre-built report template.

Create a report

In the top left, click , then select Report.

In a moment, you'll see the report editor, with a blank canvas ready for you to tell your data story.

2Connect to your data

Data sources let you manage connections to your data and configure the fields you can use in your report. You must add at least one data source to the report before you can add charts. In this step, you can A) add an existing data source, or B) create a new one.

A) Connect to sample Analytics data

  1. Use the list on the right to select the [Sample] Google Analytics Data data source.
  2. Then click ADD TO REPORT.

B) Connect to your data

  1. At the bottom of the data source list, click CREATE NEW DATA SOURCE.
  2. Select the kind of data this data source will provide, for example, Google Analytics or Sheets.
  3. If prompted, click Authorize to allow Data Studio to access your data on your behalf.
  4. Provide your account details, then in the upper right, click CONNECT.
  5. In a moment, you'll see the data source schema (structure). In the upper left, click Untitled Data Source and then type a new name.
  6. In the upper right, click ADD TO REPORT.
  7. In the confirmation message that appears, click ADD TO REPORT again.

3Add charts and controls to the report

Use the menus and toolbar to add components to the report canvas. Use the properties panel on the right to configure the data and style options for the selected items.

Instructions

  1. In the toolbar at the top of the editor, click Insert and select a chart, or select one from the toolbar.
  2. Select any of the available charts.
  3. Move and resize the chart, as desired.
  4. Add or change the dimensions and metrics by clicking the fields in the properties panel, or dragging and dropping them from the Available Fields panel (to the right of the properties panel).

4View your report

See your report the way it looks to other viewers.

Instructions

View mode lets you see all the data and use any interactive controls you've placed on the report to change that data. You can't change the structure of the report in view mode.

Switch between view and edit modes

  1. In the upper right, click PreviewVIEW. You are now in view mode.
  2. To return to edit mode, click EditEDIT.

5Share the report

Share reports with other viewers. Collaborate with other editors.

Instructions

Editors need to sign into Google to edit the report but viewers don't need to be signed in.

Share a report

  1. In the upper right, click .
  2. Specify the people and/or groups with whom you want to share your report.
  3. Use the advanced options to change how individual addresses can access the report.
Sharing a report doesn't share its data source. Whether or not a viewer can see the data in your report relies on the data source credentials.
 
However, if you the share report with others and give them edit access, they can still use the fields from that data source in charts, even if the data source itself has not been shared with them.

6Share the data source

Let other people create their own reports based on your data source.

Instructions

There's no need to share a data source if you only want other people to view or edit your reports.

To share a data source, you must access it directly from the DATA SOURCES home page (not via the report). You must be signed into Google to view or edit a data source.

Share a data source

  1. In the upper left of your report, return to the Data Studio HOME page by clicking the logo .
  2. On the left, click DATA SOURCES.
  3. Locate the data source you selected in step 2.
  4. On the right, click More More.
  5. Click Share.
  6. Specify the people and/or groups with whom you want to share your data source.
  7. Use the advanced options to change how individual addressees can access the data source.

Use caution when sharing a data source with edit access. While sharing does not grant access to the underlying data, modifying a data source could cause it to be incompatible with existing charts that use that data source. Sharing a data source with view access lets people create reports without being able to change its structure.

Key concepts

Here's a recap of the terms and concepts used in this article and throughout this Help Center.

Concept What it does
Report

A Data Studio file that contains a collection of components whose purpose is to present to viewers information and insights derived from your data.

Learn more about reports.

Component

A widget you add to a report to display your data, such as charts, tables, and interactive date range controls and filter controls. Data components get their information from a data source.

You can also annotate your report with text, shape, image, and embedded content components.

Connector / Data source

Connecting to your data involves two components that work together:

  • Connectors connect Data Studio to your underlying data. Connecting to your data creates a data source in Data Studio.
  • Data sources represent a particular instance of a connector: for example, a connection to a specific Analytics view, MySQL table, or Google Sheet. Data sources let you configure the fields and options provided by the connector used to create that connection instance. In addition, the data source gives you a secure way to share information and insights with report viewers who may not be able to directly access the underlying data.

Learn more about connecting to your data.

Field

A column of data.

There are 2 basic kinds of fields in Data Studio:

  • Dimensions are things you want to measure, or that serve as ways to categorize your data.
  • Metrics are numbers that measure the things contained in dimensions.

Learn more about fields in reports.

Credentials

The mechanism by which a data source determines who can see the data it provides. There are 2 credential options:

  • Owner's credentials uses the credentials of the data source owner to authorize access to the underlying data. This option lets viewers see the data from this data source without requiring them to have their own access to that data.
  • Viewer's credentials requires anyone attempting to view the data provided by this data source to have their own access to that data.

Learn more about data source credentials.

View mode / Edit mode
  • Edit mode allows you to edit the structure of a report and change, add, or remove data sources.
    • People who can edit a report or data source are referred to as editors.
  • View mode allows you to see all the data you are authorized to see, and to use interactive viewer controls. View mode does not allow you to modify the report structure.
    • People who can only view a report or data source are referred to as viewers.
Sharing and file access

When you share reports and data sources, you determine how other people can access the file:

  • Can edit access lets people modify the file (making them editors).
  • Can view access lets people view the file, but they can't modify it (making them viewers).

The advanced sharing options let you control other aspects of file access, such as the ability to download the data or print the report.

The link sharing options let you share your files more broadly around the internet.

Learn more about sharing.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?