Introducing Google Analytics Segments in Data Studio!
By now you’ve assuredly used, and come to love, Google’s Data Studio (DS). If you haven’t—what is stopping you?! For an in depth walkthrough of the tool itself, check out this post by my colleague, Jeremy Echols.
Since the release of this new, completely-free, data visualization product, there was a key feature which was missing. Not one to let feature requests fall on deaf ears, Google has just released segments for Google Analytics in Data Studio. This feature rolled out globally to 180 countries during the second week of March, meaning that if you’re not poking around in DS regularly, you’ll need to refresh your reports to take advantage.
These Data Studio segments work just as they do in Analytics, and now will overlay onto individual components (widgets) or entire reports for maximum breakdown potential. Segments should be created in the Google Analytics user interface & ported over to DS, as it is not yet possible to create segments within the data viz interface itself.
There are two ways to apply segments to your reports. 1) Individual component application, and 2) Full report applications Follow along with the below screenshots for both applications:
As mentioned, segments do function identically to the interface, which means there are three general types that you can interact with. By default, system segments can be seen by everyone in the report, with zero permissioning required. Custom segments are generated by individuals and can include custom dimensions and metrics, meaning that if shared outside of the original data set, the person who has been shared may not also be tooled with the same CD’s & CM’s. Finally, shared segments are segments that you have access to based on someone else sharing those cohorts with you.
There are a few considerations to keep in mind when starting to play around with segmentation in Data Studio. To apply a segment to a DS report, you must have editor permissions on the report. If segments are added to a report, and then updated within Google Analytics by the owner of said segment, they will also change in DS due to consistent syncing with the UI. Syncing of segments takes place when the Refresh Data button is pressed on the top menu bar, or when your cache expires. When shared with others who do not have Editor permissions on the report, Segments will apply, but cannot be changed by the non-owner.
There are of course limitations to Segments within DS. Unlike the GA UI, only one segment can be applied per component (widget) at a time. Additionally, if a shift in data source occurs, and the custom dimensions and metrics used in the segment are no longer available, the segment will break.
Our team here at Analytics Pros is already having a lot of fun demo’ing and playing around with segments in Data Studio, and would love to hear how you’re using them in your business as well. As always, feel free to contact us for any visualization questions you may have.