Jul 7, 2023

How to import Google Analytics 4 data to Looker Studio (formerly Data Studio)

6-MINUTE READ | By Isha Shinde

Data ManagementGoogle AnalyticsLooker Studio (Google Data Studio)

[ Updated Sep 25, 2023 ]

As of July 1, 2023, Universal Analytics (UA) has officially reached its sunset phase, and with this end of service, your UA properties will stop gathering new data. Taking over in UA’s place is Google Analytics 4 (GA4), a new version of Google Analytics. It has a lot of core similarities to UA, but there are a few important differences between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 that you need to know before starting your reporting journey with GA4.

There’s no denying that GA4 is a robust analytics tool, but those used to reporting through UA might not find it as intuitive when it comes to generating visual reports or delving deep into data analysis. That’s where Looker Studio — a fantastic free tool for data visualization and report sharing — comes into play.

In this article, we’ll explore how you can leverage Looker Studio to visualize and generate reports using all your data from Google Analytics 4 using Supermetrics.

Getting started with importing Google Analytics 4 data in Looker Studio

Step 1: Install the Supermetrics Connector

So let’s get started by creating a new blank report in Looker Studio. Once the new report is created, it’ll automatically open a connector gallery with all the connectors available.

Next, locate the search bar and search for ‘Google Analytics 4’ connector and click the Google Analytics 4 connector by Supermetrics.

Select from a range of Google Looker Studio options to easily connect your data through Supermetrics.

Upon clicking on the connector, an authentication page will open where you can choose your associated account and allow Supermetrics to add the connector to your report.

If you’re part of multiple teams, then you’ll need to select the specific team from which you want to pull the data.

💡 Pro tip: Before we begin, make sure you have a GA4 property. Watch this ‘How to set up your GA4 property’ tutorial if you’re unsure how to do it.

You can quickly and easily authenticate your access to data through Supermetrics.

Finally, choose the account or accounts you want to connect to and click the connect button located at the top right corner of the page.

Congratulations! The connection process is now complete.

Step 2: Modify or transform your data

Before digging deeper into the data, let’s start by transforming it. After you’ve connected the ‘Google Analytics 4’ data source, you’ll see a list of all the metrics and dimensions provided by Supermetrics.

On this page, you can edit the names of these dimensions, change their types (number, text, geo, currency), define default aggregation rules, and add or edit dimension descriptions.

If you have internal calculations or formulas, you can also add them to this page by creating new fields and parameters.

Google Analytics 4 allows you to blend data by creating new fields and parameters from your connected datasets.

Once you’re happy with all the data, click on the ‘create report’ button at the top right.

Blending data is quick and easy with the Supermetrics connector for Google Looker Studio.

Once we have added a new data source, Looker Studio will open the report and display a few randomly selected fields from the newly added data source. 

Now, let’s begin creating the reports.

Step 3: Creating and visualizing reports

Add Charts to visualize your data

To add new elements to the report, you can go to the top menu and click ‘Add a Chart.’ This will display a list of default charts available. Choose the desired chart and click the area within the report where you want to position it.

You can connect and add charts from a wide variety of visualization options and charts providers.

For our example scenario, let’s add a ‘Time Series Chart’ with the following parameters:

  • Data Source: Google Analytics 4
  • Metrics: Session
  • Sparkline: Week (Mon-Sun)
  • Date range: Last 30 days 

As a result, the time series chart will present the number of sessions along with the corresponding time series graph for the selected specific time.

💡 Pro tip: Looker Studio also allows you to add additional community charts in the report. To add them, click the shapes icon on the right side of the ‘Add a chart’ button. Here you can find a wide range of additional visualizations like gantt chart, user journey map, sunburst, and many more.

After adding the chart, you can begin customizing it.

Google Looker Studio allows you to customize your charts with an extensive range of options.

To customize the chart, there are two options on the right-hand menu:

  1. Setup: here you can configure the data in the selected chart as per the requirement (for example data source, metrics, date range, and more)
  2. Style: here you can style the selected chart by adding conditional formatting, adding/changing colors, background, or fonts.

You can learn more about formatting, styling, and managing your Looker Studio data with our step-by-step Supermetrics for Looker Studio tutorials, or get detailed guidance in our How to visualize your GA4 data in Looker Studio using user journey visualizations guide.

Add Controls to dive deeper into your data

Here you can choose different types of controls like drop-down menus, sliders, and date ranges. Just like charts, you can select and place these controls wherever you want on the report.

If you want the charts to change according to the controls you added, you need to set default values for those charts.

For instance, if you add a date control to the page, make sure that the chart’s “Default date range” is set to automatic.

💡 Pro tip: Looker Studio also gives additional options to make the report more presentable and interactive. To learn more about this, you can watch these short tutorials on advanced options, styling, and filtering, sorting and adding calculations.

Data Blending

Don’t stop there! Just like in Google Analytics 4, you can also bring data from multiple sources together in Looker Studio.

Looker Studio has a powerful data blending feature that allows you to join data from different sources and gain a comprehensive understanding.

To get started, follow step 1 in our guide above and add the desired “Data sources”. Once you have connected all the data sources to Looker Studio, you can begin blending the data.

To blend data, look for the “Blend data” option below the “Data Source” in the right-hand menu. Clicking on it will open a new module where you can select the data sources and metrics you want to connect and blend.

To join the tables, you’ll need a common key, such as the date. Once you have selected the data sources and metrics, define the type of join using one of the following operators:

  • Left outer
  • Right outer
  • Inner
  • Full outer
  • Cross

After defining the join, save the blend and use it as a new “Data Source” to use it to build new charts. Now you can easily access data from different sources in one consolidated table.

A word of caution: while data blending in Looker Studio is a great feature allowing you to enrich your data and unlock its full potential, it also comes with some limitations that could slow your report down or affect your data accuracy. Head over to our article on the limitations of data blending in the Looker Studio to see how you can avoid these data blending headaches. 

💡 Pro tip: If you already have Looker Studio reports, you can still update them to use the data from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4.

Kick-start your Looker Studio with our free reporting templates

Congratulations on completing the crash course on Supermetrics for Looker Studio! As a graduation gift, we’re offering you our free plug-and-play report templates. 

These templates are pre-designed and ready to use with all your data in just minutes. They will give you a detailed overview of your website’s performance, including monthly cohort analysis, top pages, and top events. Check them out:

In addition to the GA4-specific templates, Supermetrics offers a wide range of templates with single or multiple data sources. You can explore more Looker Studio templates here.

Alright, we did it!

Your data should now be connected and running smoothly, with your chosen charts pulling new data blended from your chosen dimensions. Goodbye, outdated reports, and hello actionable insights!

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Isha Shinde

About the author:

Meet Isha, a Junior Demand Gen Manager at Supermetrics, who loves decoding data mysteries and empowering customers with data-driven marketing insights.

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