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
It probably won’t surprise you to hear that I use Google Sheets to build financial/budget templates and track my incomings and outgoing, both at home and for my business.
The dashboards available through online banking sites are pretty rudimentary and don’t give me much insight into what’s happening with my finances, particularly over longer time frames.
I like using Google Sheets, as opposed to another third party service like Mint, because it’s fully customizable, it’s easy to use and I can share any spending or budget templates easily with my wife.
I’m not a financial expert, so I won’t be dispensing any financial advice here. I won’t opine on what you should or shouldn’t show in your spending and budget templates in this post, nor will I talk about what your financial goals should be or how to get there.
What I will do in this post however, is show you some useful techniques in Google Sheets that you can use for building your own budget templates. Techniques to make them more insightful and more helpful for reaching your goals. They are: