The engineers at Google continue to roll out updates to Data Studio at a relentless and impressive pace.
Back in September they released community connectors, which allow you to connect any web service with an API to Data Studio for reporting.
Yesterday, they released an update which gives developers much more control over the connector fields in Data Studio, by allowing developers to define Data Types and Semantic Types with more granularity, in your Apps Script code.
Additionally, developers can now embed calculated fields into the connector’s schema too, so it’s not left up to the user to figure this out.
This is a huge improvement as it obviates the need for the end user to select the correct field settings (for example, which aggregation to use) and should therefore make it easier for users to build accurate reports.
Data Type and Semantic Type features in the connector fields
Data Studio is relatively new dashboard tool from Google, launched in mid-2016. It’s a superb tool for creating professional looking reports, easily and quickly, and it connects seamlessly to other Google data sources (e.g. Analytics, AdSense, Sheets, …).
Do you work with data outside of Google’s ecosystem though?
I’ll go out on a limb here, and say, yes, most likely you do.
Perhaps you’re a digital marketing analyst looking at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, MailChimp data (etc…) for example.
Many of us work with other web services and that data has been unavailable or difficult to display in Data Studio (requiring a sub-optimal workaround of importing it into a Google Sheet and connecting that to Data Studio).
This post shows you how to connect a Google Sheet to GitHub’s API, with Oauth and Apps Script. The goal is to retrieve data and information from GitHub and show it in your Google Sheet, for further analysis and visualization.
If you manage a development team or you’re a technical project manager, then this could be a really useful way of analyzing and visualizing your team’s or project’s coding statistics against goals, such as number of commits, languages, people involved etc. over time.
Note, this is not a post about integrating your Apps Script environment with GitHub to push/pull your code to GitHub. That’s an entirely different process, covered in detail here by Google Developer Expert Martin Hawksey.
It’s day two of a four day product launch. You’ve worked hard all year to create a fantastic product, test your sales systems and tell the world about this amazing offer. You know you’ve sold 100 products so far, but…
…you don’t know whether your ads are effective, which affiliates are really killing it versus which have forgotten about your launch, or even whether your own emails are converting.
Looking at your sales log only, and having to decipher what’s happened since the last time you looked an hour ago, is like trying to drive in the dark without headlights.
Thankfully there is a better way to track your sales, so you can see your data, get insights about what’s working and what’s not, and immediately act to increase your bottom line.
This post looks at how to build a real-time dashboard for the E-junkie digital sales platform using Google Sheets:
E-junkie is a digital shopping cart, used for selling digital products and downloads. The system handles the shopping cart mechanics, but does not do any data analytics or visualizations.
You can view a transaction log (i.e. a list of all your sales) but if you want to understand and visualize your sales data, then you’ll need to use another tool to do this. Google Sheets is a perfect tool for that.
You can use a Google Sheet to capture sales data automatically in real-time, and use the built-in charts to create an effective dashboard.
You’d be crazy not to have a tracking system set up, to see and understand what’s going on during sales events or product launches. This E-junkie + Google Sheets solution is effective and incredibly cheap ($5/month for E-junkie and Google Sheets is free).
The Write Life ran a Writer’s Bundle sale this year, during the first week of April. It’s a bundled package of outstanding resources for writers, including ebooks and courses, heavily discounted for a short 4-day sales window.
I created a new dashboard for The Write Life team to track sales and affiliates during the entire event. This year’s dashboard was a much improved evolution of the versions built for the Writer’s Bundle sales in 2014 (which, incidentally, was my first blog post on this website!) and 2015.