Use Google Data Studio for client reporting

1. Open Google Data Studio and select a template to start a new report.

You can choose Blank Report for a fresh canvas, or select an already created template from Report Gallery.

2. Select a connector from Add data to report overlay, select your source and click on Add.

To add additional sources or connectors, click on Add data in the top navigation bar.

3. Click on Add a chart and select the type of visualization you want to add, using a chart suited to the data you're using.

A scorecard works well for a single metric summary. Tables display multiple records across different dimensions or metrics. Bar charts work well for category comparisons. A time series chart shows data changes over time.

4. Increase the contrast of key data using the Style panel to improve readability.

You can control each metric series individually on the style panel: Adjust color, weight, scale, grids and axes to build contrast and emphasis. Draw attention to a single metric by using a high-contrast color and selecting gray for the other metrics. Limit or remove excessive data points and lines.

5. Add text boxes for chart headings and microcopy to provide context and highlight performance highs and lows.

Charts don’t include headings by default, but they go a long way in helping clients understand what’s happening. Use microcopy below headings or charts to give extra details on how to interpret data, such as spelling out acronyms or including targets. Explain key performance changes with annotations. For example, label significant spikes and drops in a line chart. Create additional ‘deep dive’ charts if needed. Reports don’t need to be identical from month to month; you can provide more details when your client is likely to have questions. Create additional pages as necessary.

6. Within your report, explain what happened, why it happened, and what should happen next.

Include an explanation of internal and external factors that led to observed performance.

7. Create hierarchy by organizing data from 'big to small' and put the most important information of your report at the beginning.

Like the inverted pyramid of journalism – give a performance overview before you get into the details.

8. Select or change the theme for all your charts by clicking on Edit and opening the Theme and Layout panel.

9. Export the report in a PDF document so that it can be viewed on any platform.