How to deal with slow Google Data Studio reports? Google’s Extract Data connector to the rescue
Good news: Slow Data Studio dashboards are now a thing of the past — Google’s Extract Data connector is coming to the rescue!
With the Extract Data connector, you can preload your data yourself — free of charge — and wave goodbye to frustrating load times.
What does the Extract Data connector do?
Since you’re reading this, you’ve probably noticed that Google Data Studio dashboards can sometimes take their sweet time to load.
Slow load times are typically a symptom of Data Studio fetching a large volume of data directly from the original data source.
Google’s Extract Data connector lets you extract and store data from the source before using your reports so you get the freshest data without slow load times.
How does the Extract Data connector work?
- You can link a Supermetrics data source with Google’s Extract Data connector and pick the fields you want to use in your reports.
- The connector then extracts and stores the selected data, and the data is updated at set intervals.
- Then, Data Studio uses the stored data rather than fetching live data from the data source, so your reports load much faster.
- You’ll have full control over what data is stored, and you can delete the stored data by deleting the Extract Data source at any point.
Simple as that!
To get you going, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide at the end.
A few benefits in using the Extract Data connector
Much faster loading times: using extracted data is faster than fetching data from the marketing platform.
More responsive reports: less data is moved around, so calculations happen faster, and reports respond to filters and other changes quicker.
It’s free to use: you can use the Extract Data connector when you need the speed and use the direct data source connectors when you need more flexibility and deeper analysis.
Control over stored data: the data flows from the data source to Google Data Studio, just like with direct connections. Only the fields you select are extracted and stored, and the stored data is deleted when you delete the Extract Data source.
Some limitations in using the Extract Data connector
Only a subset of data is available: only the preselected fields and a limited date range are available. However, you can easily add more fields to the Extract Data connector if you need to.
The data is not live but refreshed at set intervals: the available intervals are daily, weekly, and monthly.
One connector can only store 100MB of data: 100MB is usually enough for your daily reports, but it may be limiting if you need really granular data for deeper analysis. In those cases, a data warehouse is the way to go.
When should you use the Extract Data connector?
The Extract Data connector gives you speedy reports but with a limited number of fields.
It’s best suited for reporting on a limited set of metrics that you need regularly. For example, you can use the Extract Data connector for your standard marketing dashboards that include a fixed set of KPIs and cover a fixed period of time.
For ad hoc reports and analysis, you may want to use the direct data source connectors since they give you more freedom for exploratory analysis.
Note: you can freely combine Extract Data and live connections in the same report to get the best of both worlds.
A step-by-step guide to setting up the Extract Data connector
1. Configure your Supermetrics connector
Select the Supermetrics connector you’d like to extract data from.
Set the connection parameters and click ‘Connect’.
The Extract Data connector works with all connectors.
2. Add the Extract Data connector to your report
After you‘ve set up your Supermetrics connection, you can link it with the Extract Data connector.
The Extract Data connector is available in the connector gallery under ‘Google Connectors’.
Add the Extract Data connector to your report.
3. Link the Extract Data connector with a Supermetrics data source
When setting up the Extract Data connector, first select the Supermetrics data source you created in step 1.
4. Select what data you want to extract and when to update it
Select the metrics and dimensions you want to have available in your report.
Select the date range and add possible filters to the data.
Turn on ‘Auto Update’ and select the frequency you want your data preloaded to the storage.
Click ‘Save and Extract’.
5. Use the Extract Data connector like any other connector
Now, you can use the Extract Data connector like any other connector. The available fields and date range are based on what you selected when setting up the connector. The data is updated automatically from the data source based on the update frequency you selected.
Over to you!
Gone are the days when your Google Data Studio dashboards slowed you down. For template ideas, visit our Google Data Studio template gallery.
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