Earlier this year, Google Data Studio (GDS) added a game changing new feature. Dashboards can now use Google Maps as a chart type, enabling a user-friendly, familiar way to visualise location data. This update opens up a number of possibilities for businesses and digital marketers.

GDS is Google’s free tool to create dashboards, giving us the ability to turn data into informational, easy-to-understand reports through data visualisation in the form of tables, graphs, maps and more. Google’s new Google Maps integration provides GDS users with an alternative form of interactive geographic data mapping, improving on the functionality of the existing Geo Map feature.
 

What’s New?

Compared with the Geo Map feature, GDS’s existing mapping feature, Google Maps offers an upgraded method of visualising location data. Users and creators are now able to control the map scale, allowing for a more localised view at state, city and suburb level.

Creators also have the option to overlay a wider range of metrics including traffic, conversions, Cost per Acquisition, Cost per Lead and more.

The Google Maps feature also offers elevated styling options, with creators able to select from a variety of styling properties and pre-set themes for a more cohesive dashboard appearance.
 

 GDS1
Use bubbles to overlay geographical data on a standard or styled map.
 

GDS2
Maps can now use satellite or standard map format.
 

GDS3
Filled areas can also be used to demonstrate concentration of data. 
 

How Does it Work?

Google Maps can be incorporated into any GDS dashboard and is compatible with any data source that includes geographic dimensions (i.e. country, city, region, metro area, store location, etc.). Google Analytics and Google Ads data sources will automatically include these fields, however users can edit other sources to include geographic dimensions such as Google Sheets, BigQuery, Supermetrics and more.
 

What Does This Mean for You?

Unlike the previous map feature, GDS’s new update provides marketers, advertisers and analysts with more granular control over their geographic visualisations, resulting in a new level of interactivity and accuracy for viewers and clients. Integrating the new Google Maps feature in you or your clients’ dashboard can assist with:

  • Understanding media spend, Cost per Acquisition and Return on Ad Spend by localised area, enabling campaign optimisation and informing marketing strategy
  • Measuring the success of localised marketing campaigns, and understanding the uptake of specific promotions by postcodes and regions
  • Measuring the effectiveness of Above the Line strategies by observing an increase in branded search volume and sales at a localised level.
  • Ensuring you and your clients are acquiring the right customers based on their business objectives.

 
If you’d like to know how the new GDS upgrade could improve your data visualisation capabilities, reach out to our team of data analysts and digital marketers for more information about the new Google Maps feature.

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