Marketers Are Taxed for Time
Many digital marketers and analysts are struggling to keep up with either increased online business or, unfortunately, reduced headcount in industries adversely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Reporting is still an important function that allows marketers to take action and make smarter decisions on how to improve the bottom line while effectively communicating performance to stakeholders. In today’s climate, it is hard for many to keep up with reporting requests.
With so many digital choices and campaigns that can span, for example, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, etc., marketers struggle to consolidate disparate data into actionable intelligence. Worse, many use a time-consuming and error prone processes like downloading data from each platform or copying and pasting data from these platforms into Excel for analysis and then attempting to cobble together a cohesive report. This process is not only time consuming but data suggests that up to 90% of spreadsheets contain errors. Worse yet, manual data entry & copy and paste errors in the medical field can lead to devastating outcomes. While your Facebook reactions may not lead to poor patient outcomes, companies have lost billions (yes billions with a “b”) at least partially to reporting or spreadsheet errors.
API’s Reduce Errors & Introduce Efficiency
Over the course of my 14 plus years at MoreVisibility; I have had the privilege to work on countless data projects and those that automate reporting are my favorites. Some great examples include a project for a prestigious, luxury real estate organization where 40 hours to create 1 monthly static report was transformed into a 30 second process that could be done on demand, whenever needed. Another changed reporting cycles from 32 hours to 3 for a nationwide brick and mortar retailer. Many of these data automation projects leveraged Application Programming Interfaces (API) to query platforms and compile data in real time. Leveraging API’s directly and charting with code and software leads to complex custom projects. Thankfully, with the evolution of Google Data Studio, things have gotten much easier (and less expensive).
A Better Way
Google Data Studio (GDS) is a free online data visualization (storytelling) platform where users can either interact with their data in real-time, or schedule report delivery via PDF and email. Google Data Studio natively connects with Google data sources like Google Ads and Google Search Console and Google Sheets. Native connectors also exist for ubiquitous data sources MySQL. For everything else you can either have your development teams write connectors to sources that have API’s or lean on a robust third-party Data Studio marketplace to connect to the platforms required. For example, several connectors exist to connect to all the ad data sources previously mentioned (and many more) in this article. Rather than wasting your precious time sourcing and combining data; why not invest your time in revenue generating efforts?
After a small investment to create the Data Studio reports and connect your data; you’ll have actionable, self-serve, branded, informative reports available to all stakeholders. Reach out today to learn more and take the first step towards streamlined, efficient and accurate reports with Google Data Studio.