Marketing teams often start looking for Google Data Studio alternatives when they encounter common problems that come up, such as:
- Google Data Studio doesn't offer the connectors they need. Google Data Studio only offers native connectors for Google-affiliated platforms, such as BigQuery and Google Analytics, which means teams can't pull data from advertising platforms like Facebook, Amazon, or LinkedIn.
- Community connectors don't give the metrics needed. Marketing teams can use third-party community connectors to pull data sets from non-Google affiliated platforms, but most community connectors only offer limited metrics and aren't able to pull in historical data.
- The inability to scale due to inefficient dashboard management. With Google Data Studio, account managers are responsible for several (if not many) dashboards, which take up so much of their time that they're often stuck working on what's urgent rather than what's important.
If your main issues with Google Data Studio are the quantity and sophistication of connectors, then there are two solutions that can turn your Google Data Studio dashboards into more comprehensive reporting tools.
- Megalytic Connectors These are custom-built connectors that pull in data sets from leading advertising platforms such as Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and Bing Ads, putting the data directly into your Google Data Studio dashboards.
- TapFusion Google Data Studio Connector This is a more powerful ETL tool (extract, transfer, load) that takes data out of your platforms and organizes it within your Google Data Studio dashboards. You get data from over 250+ different data sets, including advertising platforms, CRM systems, and eCommerce platforms.
In this post, we're going to show you how each of these platforms works to enhance your Google Data Studio account.
Plus, for those teams who need a more scalable and holistic reporting and analytics tool, we're going to cover the benefits of using TapClicks as your all-in-one marketing operations platform.
Note: If you've outgrown Google Data Studio and are ready to find a more scalable platform for reporting and analytics (ie. manage every client or business unit from one unified dashboard), try TapClicks free for 14 days to see our flexible reporting and analytics platform in action.
How Megalytic Connectors Improve Your Google Data Studio Dashboards
Megalytic offers various marketing-specific connectors, including:
- Facebook Ads
- LinkedIn Ads
- Facebook Pages
- Bing Ads
- And more.
Megalytic is different in that it supports significantly more metrics than alternative connectors. For example, if you need Facebook Ads data, Megalytic's connector can import ~700 different metrics and dimensions from Facebook. That's about 200 more metrics than other leading community connectors.
Without a connector like Megalytic, your marketing team has to export Facebook data into a Google Sheet or Excel file and then use that spreadsheet to upload the data into Google Data Studio.
This is time-consuming and error-prone because your team is manually handling the data, including organizing metrics into rows and columns and writing out any advanced formula they need.
Plus, this action has to be constantly repeated to refresh the data within your dashboard.
Once the data is finally uploaded into Google Data Studio, your marketers need to organize the data within widgets and create a compelling and easy to understand report for various stakeholders.
With Megalytic Google Data Studio connectors, the reporting process is simplified.
We have templates created for the most common reporting needs from SEO to PPC to website performance and more.
Let's say you're pulling data with our Facebook Ads data connector. First, you'll be given access to our PPC templates. You can easily add widgets to these templates for metrics such as CPC, engagement rate, click-through rate, and more.
Templates make it easier to onboard a new client or start a new campaign. A lot of the leg work is already done you just need to drag and drop the widgets you need to see on your report.
We offer report customization features, such as white-label, custom branding so you can cater your report towards your client or brand.
Data gets refreshed directly within Google Data Studio. This saves your team time because they don't have to manually export data every week to get new metrics within your dashboards.
Plus, you can leverage automation and set up a recurring reporting schedule. So, for example, every Friday at the end of the day, you can have reports automatically sent to the appropriate parties.
By reducing the amount of manual work your marketing team has to do, Megalytic saves you time and money and allows your teams to work on what's important.
Our customers report that using Megalytic connectors saves them more than 90 minutes per report each month. If you're responsible for 100 reports, that's 150 hours per month nearly 40 hours worth of work a week. Eliminating that recurring reporting work can save your marketing team around $4,000-$6,000 per month.
If you need more marketing-specific connectors from Google Data Studio, head over to Megalytic's site to view their available options and pricing.
How Our TapFusion Google Data Studio Connector Gives You a More Complete Picture of Your Marketing Results
If you need more diverse connectors and more functionality from your current tool then the next viable alternative for enhancing Google Data Studio is using an ETL tool.
ETL tools are more sophisticated connectors that take your data out of platforms and import it into wherever you need it, including Google Data Studio. ETL tools let you collect more nuanced business data across hundreds of platforms, while still using your familiar Google Data Studio interface to create reports.
We made our ETL tool the TapFusion Connector to work specifically with Google Data Studio. Here are some ways it's different:
- It pulls data into your dashboard quicker than average ETL tools. Others are slowed down by the time-consuming process of breaking data down by dimension, which takes longer to export.
- It pulls data into your dashboard as a coherent data set. Others often take the broken down data sets and dump it into your Google Data Studio dashboard, requiring your marketing team to spend time organizing data into columns and rows.
- Plus, you get more sophisticated internal reporting features. Marketing teams can use this tool to roll up data across various clients or regions. This is a useful feature for creating in-house reports that allow you to gauge the performance and profitability of your campaigns.
If your reporting needs are growing and it's a challenge for your marketing team to manage both an ETL tool and marketing analytics software, then keep reading to learn about our all-in-one reporting & analytics platform.
Note: We have a post on PPC Reporting software where we review leading solutions that offer data visualization, business intelligence, and other key features.
If TapFusion seems like the right fit for you, try our free 14-day trial.
How TapClicks Marketing Operations Platform Helps Teams Level Up and Scale
So far we've talked about two solutions that can improve your Google Data Studio workflow Megalytic Connectors and the TapFusion Connector but marketing teams may want to leave Google Data Studio completely because of its limitations for managing dashboards at scale.
Google Data Studio makes it difficult to scale because it requires your data to be siloed into separate dashboards, making data analytics and reporting challenging.
For example, let's say you're running four different campaigns for a region. That will require four different dashboards, one for each advertising platform. Your account manager has to create four different individual dashboards from scratch. So, whenever there is a change in campaign strategy the dashboards need to be updated. A similar problem occurs with marketing agencies that have several dashboards per client.
With several dashboards to manage, account managers have to spend most of their time on building reports instead of growth-oriented projects, like campaign strategy and development.
Plus, by having your reporting segmented by platform, it's difficult to get an accurate view of how your cross-channel marketing strategies are working.
We tackle this problem in three different ways.
- We use instant-on connectors and smart connectors to make sure your team gets all data sources needed for reporting on campaigns. This way all of your data is pulled into the same place from Microsoft Ads to Adobe, to HubSpot and Google Analytics.
- You can easily manage all campaigns from one dashboard. In your all-in-one, real-time dashboard, you can view the metrics you want as side-by-side comparisons. This gives you a high-level overview of various campaigns, regions, and so on, without having to toggle between different dashboards.
- You can set up recurring and last-minute reports quickly and easily for different stakeholders. You can easily create dashboards for clients, which you can then access and adjust as needed. You don't need to export data each time (it happens automatically), nor do you need to start from scratch. Plus, whenever you get a one-off request for a unique report, you can create it in a matter of minutes avoiding the common bottleneck between media and analytics teams.
Getting the Data You Need into Your Dashboard
We have over 250 instant-on connectors that can usually be set up in a day significantly more than alternatives like Klipfolio, for example. You just log in to your platform via TapClicks and we start pulling in data. Plus, we also pull in historical data, so you have (depending on the platform) up to 12 months of data to review immediately.
If you need a connector for a data source that we don't provide, you can still get the data into your marketing dashboard via our smart connectors. Smart connectors pull third party data into TapClicks via xlsx, tsv, csv, and odf file formats. So, for example, you can use smart connectors to get data from MySQL databases.
Note: TapClicks is a marketing-focused platform. But you can think of our smart connectors as tools to accomplish certain things within TapClicks that you might do with a business intelligence software like Looker, Tableau, or Power BI.
By using both instant-on connectors and smart connectors, you get the data sources you need into your marketing dashboard.
Managing All Data Sets Out of One Dashboard
Account managers can use their TapClicks dashboard to get both a high-level and granular understanding of current and past campaigns. Account managers can update the dashboard view to include whatever KPIs are needed for a specific report.
Our TapClicks marketing dashboard pulls all data sets directly into your account, giving you complete control of your data.
With TapClicks, you don't have to consult separate dashboards for Facebook Ads and Google Ads you can see all important metrics side by side.
This helps marketing teams look for trends that are impacted by various digital marketing efforts. For example, you can see the impact, over the last 12 months, of what increasing your ad spend on social media channels has done for your organic search engine results.
We also pull your ads directly into your dashboard, so you can view the ad creative along with its performance.
This is a helpful feature for marketing teams that are monitoring A/B testing. You can run multiple ads and view the ad, along with the ad's metrics, all in one place.
With TapClicks, we're limiting how much toggling you have to do to understand what is working with your marketing strategies. But we also save your team time and money when it comes to reporting.
Reducing Reporting Time from Hours per Week Down to Minutes
Some of our customers come to us because their account managers were spending nearly 30 hours per week creating reports.
Account managers were responsible for getting the right data into their dashboards, where they then had to organize them using widgets. From there, they had to analyze and interpret the data. But to do it correctly they had to jump in and out of several different dashboards.
They then had to make a report based on what they were seeing in these disparate dashboards.
After that, the account manager was still tasked with exporting the data into a PDF or PPT file and sending it to the appropriate parties. (Keep in mind different stakeholders require different levels of reporting, so the account manager was making slightly different versions of each report.)
If a higher-up had a question about one of the reports and requested a secondary report focusing on two specific platforms over the last eight months, then the account manager had to start over.
This is an inefficient and un-scalable way to run a marketing department.
The more time your account manager spends on managing reports, the less time they have for improving ongoing marketing strategies, or finding new ways to drive profitability.
With TapClicks, reporting takes minutes, not hours.
- Your data is pulled in real-time, so you don't have to worry about refreshing data connections.
- Because all of your data is pulled into one dashboard, you can just select which metrics you want to be included in the report.
- Once your report is ready, you can set up that report to be sent out on a recurring schedule.
- If a stakeholder wants a specific, one-off report, then you just go back to your dashboard, click the metrics needed, and then send off the report.
If you're just looking for more connectors, then Google Data Studio can still be a viable marketing reporting solution.
You can find marketing-specific data connectors with community connectors such as Megalytic. If you're interested in Megalytic connectors, you can start using the connectors you need with a free trial. You can also sign up for Megaytic connectors via your existing Google Data Studio account.
If you need more data sources, such as data from CRM platforms or more niche advertising platforms, then our TapFusion Google Data Studio Connector which comes with over 240 different API connections can get you the data you need into Google Data Studio.
But sometimes marketing teams want to leave Google Data Studio because their account managers are spending so much time managing different dashboards that they're creating a bottleneck.
To eliminate that problem, an all-in-one marketing operations platform like TapClicks is the way to go.
Note: Ready to streamline your marketing operations? Sign up and try TapClicks free for 14 days to see our flexible reporting and analytics platform in action.