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This article is about Looker Studio. For Looker documentation, visit https://cloud.google.com/looker/docs/intro.

Set report date ranges

Configure the timeframe and comparison periods in your reports.

Looker Studio offers two ways to control the timeframe in your reports:

  • Setting the date range property for one or more components, for the current page, or for the report as a whole
  • Using a Date range control

Only editors can set date range properties. However, Date range controls can be used both by viewers and by editors.

In this article:

How date ranges work

Date ranges filter your data within a specified timeframe. You can define a custom date range by choosing start and end dates, or you can select from a list of predefined ranges, such as Yesterday, Last 7 days (include today), Last quarter, This year to date, etc.

This article covers the following steps to set up date ranges in your reports:

  1. Select the Date Range DimensionThis is the dimension in your data source that contains the date (or date and time) data that you want to use to specify a date range.
  2. Specify the Default date range for the component.
  3. Specify the Comparison date range for the component (optional).

Date Range Dimension

The Date Range Dimension governs the timeframe of the selected components, of the current page, or of the report as a whole.

Set the Date Range Dimension

For Google Analytics components, the Date Range Dimension is set automatically and can't be changed.

For other data source types, you may need to set this manually if Looker Studio can't find a valid date dimension, or if your data source contains a different dimension that you want to use.

To set the Date Range Dimension for a chart, follow these steps:

  1. Select a chart or control.
  2. In the Properties panel, select the SETUP tab.

  3. In the Data Source section, select the Date Range Dimension, and then use the dimension picker to select a valid date dimension.

To set the Date Range Dimension for the report or page, you can use either the File > Report settings menu or the Page > Current page settings menu.

Default date range

The default date range for your charts and controls depends on their data source. You can change the amount of data that is shown by setting the Default Date Range property. You can set this property for your entire report, for a specific page, or for one or more charts and controls on a page.

Set the default date range

To change the default date range for the entire report, edit that report and select the File > Report settings menu.

To change the default date range for a specific page, edit that page and select the Page > Current page settings menu.

To change the default date range for one or more charts or controls, select them.

Next:

  1. In the Properties panel, select the SETUP tab.

  2. Scroll down to find the Default Date Range property.
    • Make sure that you have already selected a Date Range Dimension.
  3. Select Custom.
  4. To display the date range options, click the currently selected range.

Date range options

When you configure date range properties for a chart, or use a Date range control, you have the following four kinds of date ranges to choose from:

  • Auto
  • Fixed
  • Preset
  • Advanced

For comparison periods, you can also select one of the following:

  • Previous period
  • Previous year

Auto date ranges are set as the default based on the data source for the selected chart. For example, Google Analytics defaults to the last 28 days from yesterday. Sheets data sources default to the entire date range found in the Sheet.

Fixed date ranges specify exact beginning and ending dates, for example, January 1, 2019 to January 31, 2019. Charts with this fixed range will always show data for those dates only.

Preset date ranges give you options such as Today, Last week (starts Monday), and This year to date. Preset date ranges are relative to the value of today and adjust as time passes.

Advanced date ranges let you create flexible custom rolling dates. See the following section for more details.

Previous period compares the currently selected period for the chart to the previous matching period. For example, if the current period is Last 28 days, the comparison is to the previous 28 day period prior to the last 28 days.

Previous year compares the current selected period to the same period last year. For example, if the current period is This week to date (starts Sunday), the chart displays comparison data for the matching dates from last year.

Use the Include today check box to include any data collected so far for the current day (if applicable).
Looker Studio defaults to starting the weekly rolling window on Sunday. You can change this to start on Monday by selecting This week (starts Monday) or Last week (starts Monday) in the date options list.

Advanced date ranges

Advanced date ranges let you configure custom date periods for both the current date range and the comparison date range. For example, you can create date ranges such as last 90 days from yesterday, or last 52 weeks from last week; or  you can compare the current 30 days to the last 30 days, aligned by day of the week.

Configure an advanced date range

To configure an advanced date range, follow these steps:

  1. Select the component.

  2. In the Properties panel, select the SETUP tab.

  3. On the right, under Default date range, click Custom. Then click the calendar icon Date range control calendar icon..
    (For a Date range control, just select the control and then, on the right, click the calendar icon Date range control calendar icon..)
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the list of preset date options.
  5. Click Advanced.
  6. Set the Start date:
    1. To make the start date a rolling date, select Today.
    2. To make the start date a specific calendar date, select Fixed.
    3. To make the start date a date in the past, select Minus.
    4. To make the start date a date in the future, select Plus.
  7. Enter the number of date units.
  8. Specify what date units to use.
  9. Repeat steps 4 - 7 for the end date.
  10. Click APPLY.

Examples

Last 90 days from yesterday:

Start Date End Date
Today Today
Minus Minus
90 1
Days Days

 

Last 30 days from today:

Start Date End Date
Today Today
Minus Minus
29 0
Days Days

 

Next two quarters from this quarter:

Start Date End Date
Today Today
Minus Plus
0 2
Quarters Quarters
You can see other examples by selecting a preset date range and then viewing how it is configured as a custom rolling date range. For example, configure your chart to use the Last week (starts Monday) preset range. Then, select Advanced to see how it is set up as a custom rolling date range.

Visualize dates in charts

Any chart in Looker Studio can display date dimensions. However, the time series and area chart are optimized to display date-based information. For these charts, you’ll provide two types of dimensions:

  • A Dimension (also called a time dimension) that specifies how you want to aggregate the data according to the data type that you select
  • A Breakdown Dimension that specifies how you want to measure the data over time

For example, if you use a time dimension that has a type of date, your chart shows aggregated data by year, month, and day. If you choose a time dimension with a type of Year Month, your data is aggregated by those units (year and month). In addition, the time series and area charts automatically sort by date, while other charts allow sorting by any dimension or metric.

Comparison date range

Some charts can compare the current date range to another range in the past. For example, in a time series, the comparison data appears as a line of a different color from the current data. In a table, the comparison data is shown as the delta from the current data, with an increase or decrease indicator.

While viewers and editors can use the Date range control to set the current time frame for a chart, only report editors can set the comparison date range.

Set up a comparison date range

To set up a comparison date range, follow these steps:

  1. Select a time series, a table, an area chart, or a scorecard.
  2. In the Properties panel, select the SETUP tab.

  3. Scroll down to the Default Date Range section.
  4. Under Comparison date range, choose the comparison period.
  5. Click APPLY.

Examples

Previous period / previous year

Assume today's date is January 1, 2019, and the currently selected period for the chart is Last 7 days:

Comparison period Current dates Comparison dates
Previous period December 25, 2018 to December 31, 2018 December 18, 2018 to December 24, 2018
Previous year December 25, 2018 to December 31, 2018 December 25, 2017 to December 31, 2017

Fixed

June 1st, 2018 to June 7, 2018

December 25, 2018 to December 31, 2018 June 1, 2018 to June 7, 2018

 

Now, assume today's date is January 2, 2019:

Comparison period Current dates Comparison dates
Previous period December 26, 2018 to January 1, 2019 December 19, 2018 to December 25, 2018
Previous year December 26, 2018 to January 1, 2019 December 26, 2017 to January 1, 2018

Fixed

June 1st, 2018 to June 7, 2018

December 26, 2018 to January 1, 2019 June 1, 2018 to June 7, 2018

 

Advanced date comparison

Compare the last 30 days from yesterday to the 30 days prior to that, aligned by day of the week (for example, compare Monday to Monday):

Current date range Comparison date range
Last 30 days (excluding today)
Start Date End Date
Today Today
Minus Minus
58 29
Days Days

 

Compare year to date to two years ago:

Current date range Comparison date range
This year (excluding today)
Start Date End Date
Today Today
Minus Minus
2 730
Years Days

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