Comparison Metrics in Data Studio | GlowMetrics

Nov 7th 2019

Digital Analytics Insights

3 min read

Posted by Conor Ross

Comparison Metrics in Data Studio

Looker Studio (formerly known as Google Data Studio) is a brilliant way of presenting the most relevant data from any source, in a way that’s easy to understand, interpret, and...

GlowMetrics Social Link GlowMetrics Social Link GlowMetrics Social Link GlowMetrics Social Link GlowMetrics Social Link

Looker Studio (formerly known as Google Data Studio) is a brilliant way of presenting the most relevant data from any source, in a way that’s easy to understand, interpret, and share.  Whether it’s Google Analytics, Paid Advertising Campaigns, or Social Channels, a fully customisable report allows for comparisons to be made based on historical data or between two distinct data sources.

One thing to be mindful of in Looker Studio is that, by default, the comparison metrics available may not immediately represent the nature of the comparison you are trying to highlight. Take for example the metric of Bounce Rate, the percentage of single page visits without a meaningful action. To say that the Bounce Rate has improved, the percentage has decreased. In Google Analytics, this decrease will be displayed as a positive change and show the comparison with a green colour, because it considers the nature of the comparison metric. Conversely, if the Bounce Rate increases, the value will show in red.

Style: Changing Comparison Metrics

This is not the case in Looker Studio, where any instance of a metric returning a higher number than the comparative data is shown as a green increase. This is counterintuitive for our example of Bounce Rate, as the Bounce Rate increasing in magnitude is a negative change, and should be displayed in red. Thankfully, this can be quickly and easily changed in the Style menus when editing a widget!

To change the colour of a comparison metric, click on the Widget while in Edit Mode and you will see two tabs appear on the right: Data & Style. In the Style menu, there is a section dedicated to the Comparison Metric of your widget. Here, you can change the colour of comparative increases and decreases, as well as show the absolute change rather than the percentage change, or show the comparison label which highlights the exact time period the comparison is based on.

Three Distinct Metrics: Clicks, Cost-Per-Click, and Cost

Let’s look at an example of three frequently used metrics for PPC Campaigns: Number of Clicks, Average Cost-Per-Click, and Total Cost. Here we have three distinct metrics, in which the nature of comparisons varies. For Clicks, it is a positive to see an increase in this number. However, for Avg. CPC, ideally we would like to see this value reduced.

Finally, for the total cost, it may not be indicative of a positive or a negative change in performance that the Cost is different from a previous period. We can change these comparison metrics using the Style menu.

Small Updates Lead To Big Improvements

These are all important features when it comes to presenting your data on a dashboard that is easy to understand for those who view it. The nature of comparisons may change, and it may be better to show absolute change instead of percentage change, particularly for metrics that regularly show a lower value, or when already dealing with percentages, to avoid any erratic figures or confusing figures.

Customising a Looker Studio report is an important process towards building and optimising a unique dashboard for your data. These features, including Comparison Metrics, Absolute Change and Comparison Labels may be small aspects of a larger report, but ensuring they are presenting the data in an intuitive and easy to understand way can make a significant difference towards reliable and effective data visualisation.

Want to Learn More About Looker Studio?

If you’re having trouble with comparison metrics or any other features in Google Looker Studio, please feel free to leave a comment below or contact us at contact@glowmetrics.com  – we’d be happy to help!

For more on Looker Studio, check out our Guide To Using Filters and Using Reference and Trend Lines. 

You can also stay up-to-date by following GlowMetrics on Twitter or LinkedIn or by subscribing to our newsletter (link below) for the latest tips and news in the world of digital analytics and marketing.

Don’t forget to sign up for a FREE account on our Resource Hub to access a wealth of valuable resources, including exclusive Looker Studio how-to videos and insights.


GlowMetrics Social Link GlowMetrics Social Link GlowMetrics Social Link GlowMetrics Social Link GlowMetrics Social Link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GlowMetrics

Posted by
Conor Ross

Conor specialises in data visualisation, designing and creating bespoke data dashboards and automated reports with Looker Studio. With a background in Psychology and Research Methods, he also works on projects focused on improving customer experience and website usability through A/B Testing and Personalisation.
Read more from Conor Ross

Browse by Category



GlowMetrics
Optimise your website and marketing campaign performance with Ireland’s leading digital analytics agency
Sign up to our newsletter