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    Noticed changes to your Google Data Studio? You’re not alone. The tool has been given a new name, new features, a new price point, and it’s said to be more intelligent than ever. In this blog, we break down our thoughts on the new data visualisation tool and everything you need to know.

    What’s the update?

    Formerly Google Data Studio, Google has now rebranded their tool, and it’s now called Looker Studio. Google claims that this will unify its business intelligence tools – helping brands to see their data in one place. Will it? Only time will tell…

    But it isn’t all rosy. The main limitation of Looker Studio, as opposed to Data Studio, is that the integration with Google Analytics 4 isn’t smooth and simple. Meaning, more work goes into creating dashboards to view your data the way you want it, perfectly presented in charts and graphs that matter to you and your objectives, targets and KPIs.

    If you’re using Universal Analytics, you won’t be affected for now (until you have to make the inevitable switch to GA4 in 2023). However, if you’re using GA4, then visualising your data from GA4 in Looker Studio isn’t as easy to do unless you meet the requirements of your Analytics Data API quotas

    If these quotas are exceeded, data will not pull through from Google Analytics 4 to your Looker Studio dashboards – meaning you’ll miss out on key data due to paused connections between GA4 and your data sets. 

    The good news is that (when you do have access to them), the dashboards are more or less the same… some may argue they’re actually better! You’ll still be able to make use of the drag-and-drop features, alongside the sharing and collaboration of data.

    Why should you use Google Looker Studio?

    Unfortunately, there aren’t many alternatives that accurately view and report on data in real-time. GA4 is the best way of managing and capturing data; it’s a solution that’s also fit to surpass the removal of cookies, so there’s not really a way around biting the bullet and paying for Looker.

    But it does cause concerns over accessibility; Looker Studio Pro is the more premium, upgraded version that includes business management features, enhanced team collaboration capabilities and SLAs. Most businesses wanting to use Looker Studio similarly to how they were using Google Data Studio will likely need this option if they want to avoid missing out on key data from their analytics setup. 

    John Bachtiger, our Digital Lead, commented on the update; ‘Looker Studio adding quotas to their visualisation platform has caused much debate within the digital and analytics community. The good news is that, with a bit of creativity and the right expertise, there are solutions available to overcome this obstacle.’ 

    What are we doing at Arke for ourselves and our clients to navigate this change?

    We’ve explored solutions and requirements to bypass the Looker limitations with our tech partners, and we’ve got a solution that allows our clients to continue using GA4 and visualising their data the way they want to – at a cheaper cost than opting for the Looker Studio Pro option mentioned above.

    Despite the price increase, we’re still big fans of this business intelligence tool because of the wealth of data that it provides. And that means we’ll be continuing to use the tool for our own analytics and those of our clients. 

    If you want to talk to us about your data visualisation, get in touch. Our digital team will happily talk you through our solution and how you can make the most of your data this year.

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