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Advanced dashboard design: Get more out of Google Data Studio

A selection of some of the best templates available (3 of them free to duplicate). By Ricardo Ancona.

We’ve spent hundreds of hours working in Google Data Studio and we’re always on the look for ways to make it easier to get insights out of our dashboards.

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  • The side navigation bar keeps the report consistent.
  • Many small design considerations details:
  • Grayed-out navigation text except the one selected, with a vertical line of a different color — the same color of the icon
  • Animated scrolling-mouse element shows which tables contain more information
  • Using a dotted line to connect related elements: used only once, connecting revenue and the top campaigns.
  • Clicking the Geo/Demographic section shows a hidden sub-menu, which shows the available regions. (And smart use of maps in the “Location Explorer” element).
  • Feature Requests button sends directly to a Google Form.
  • Made by Bind Media, you can check their site here.
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  • Smart approach to have the navigation bar, the filters and the general information in the same panel.
  • Balanced use of the different type of charts available.
  • The titles of the elements, using a blue background and white text helps to identify sections with more ease.
  • Good use of font size and weight. Enough variety without being all over the place.
  • Made by the Data Bloo team, you can check their site here.
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  • Navigation menu with icons.
  • Consistent use of pastel colors.
  • Trend lines below the scorecard KPIs to give context to the values.
  • Page 6 provides a comparison of the previous pages. Again, thinking of users that would need to be switching between pages otherwise.
  • Page 7 has support information with screenshots, links and helpful details.
  • Made by Hannah Butler (Rampton), you can find her on Twitter here.
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  • Consistent “soft” border around all elements to tie the page together.
  • Every page has a button to go back to the overview (or home) page.
  • Style of maps adjusted beyond the standard 3 options provided. There’s enough flexibility to adapt every color and style element of the maps.
  • Page 5 shows the usefulness of combining scorecards with the change regarding the previous period and trendlines.
  • Made by Michael Howe-Ely, you can find more of his templates here.
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  • Good use of added illustrations and images to balance the report.
  • Transparency of the images can be adjusted.
  • Focused use of one brand-aligned color.
  • The background is different than the usual neutral-colored ones without being too distracting.
  • The navigation buttons match the shape of the filters.
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  • Not sure if it would be pleasant to look at this every day, but is a good showcase of what can be done with a strict color palette, transparencies and chart styles.

Written by

Agency of Business Intelligence specialists, based in Coburg, DE. Building modern, customized and cloud-based data warehouse solutions.

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