There have been a great number of new features introduced to Google Data Studio since it’s official release in September, many of which you can read about in this handy article (cheap plug, I know). For every new update that brings quality of life additions and optimisation, there is another tool highly requested by the userbase.
One of the most desired features that continues to elude us however is quickly creating clickable images with hyperlinks for our dashboards. Thankfully, while there may not be an immediate button in the interface for adding hyperlinked images, there is a relatively simple way to achieve this effect already present in Data Studio.
Hyperlink and Image Functions
The process for creating a clickable hyperlinked image in Data Studio may appear complicated at first, but it is more a case that it is a bit hidden rather than complex. There are two things to keep in mind before starting:
- The Image must be hosted on a unique URL
- You must have access to at least one of the data sources in the dashboard
We’re going to make use of two functions in Data Studio when calculating a new field in our report. Specifically, the HYPERLINK function, and the IMAGE function. Respectively, these functions will create attribute a URL to a specific string of text, and display that text as an image.
HYPERLINK(“Link URL”, IMAGE(“Image URL”))
Using The Formula to Create A New Field
We’ll work through an example, creating a clickable brand logo to add to our reports. The first step is to create a new field in our data source. Since we’re creating an entirely new dimension that doesn’t require any existing data, you can use any of the data sources connected to the dashboard.
There are three ways to do this: Create New Field at the bottom of the available list, Edit Data Source and Add A Field, or Manage Added Data Sources. Don’t see these options? They may not be available to you, which tends to be an indication that you don’t have full access or permissions with that data source. If that’s the case, then you can even connect a new data source to the dashboard and create the new field in that.
Once we’re in the Create New Field, you can enter the formula into the textbox. The formula itself is quite simple, all we need is a link URL and the URL of the image we’d like to use. The logo we’re going to use can be found at https://www.glowmetrics.com/wp-content/uploads/GlowMetrics_Symbol_250.png, and we’re going to direct the user to our Homepage (https://www.glowmetrics.com/).
HYPERLINK(“Link URL”, IMAGE(“Image URL”))
You’ll need to give the new field a name, and then click Save. You’ve now created a new dimension in the data source, which crucially, you can use in tables.
The Invisible Table
It might sound like a magic trick, but that’s just a fancy name. We’ve now got to find a way to place your hyperlinked image onto the report, just as you would any other image in Data Studio. We can do this by creating a table widget with our new dimension, and hiding most of the elements. Here’s a run down of the actions to take:
- Create Table Widget
- Set Dimension as Newly Created Field
- Remove Any Metrics Attributed to the Table
- Style Tab: Under Table Header, uncheck “Show Header”
- Style Tab: Under Table Colours, change the Cell Border Colour to “Transparent”
- Style Tab: Under Table Footer, uncheck “Pagination”
You should now have a clean table, that only display your image. Adjust the size and positioning of the table as necessary. By extending the table horizontally, you’re expanding the dimension column and increasing the size of the image, whereas expanding the table vertically will change the area of the table itself. You may need to extend this beyond the image to avoid any visual issues if the user scrolls while their cursor is above the image, just as you can scroll down a regular table.
An Unofficial Solution to Clickable Images in Data Studio
While a serviceable solution to creating clickable images or hyperlinking images in Google Data Studio, we still hope this process is integrated into the interface in the future, and it becomes a case of quickly applying a URL to an image’s settings.
We hope this short guide helps you to hyperlink images in Data Studio until then! If you’re having trouble with any of the steps above, please feel free to leave a comment or contact us and we’d be happy to help. You can find more guides and articles for all things Digital Analytics in our blog section, or you can also follow us on Twitter.