Writing this post having spent the best part of a day messing around with recurring issues when adding Data Sources to a DataStudio template - in the hope that it helps someone else out there!
When making a copy of a DataStudio dashboard, and having replaced the necessary Data Connectors, I hit several issues when creating workable graphs and tables.
Chart configuration incomplete
I feel like the above has been ingrained onto my retina - Chart configuration incomplete. Followed by "Invalid/Missing dimensions, metrics, or filters".
The thing is with this duplicate of another report - the setup was exactly the same; the Dimensions and Metrics selected were identical to the older report, which still worked fine. So despite the onscreen message implying something was incomplete, there seemed to be no reason for the report not to be displaying correctly.
When this happens the advice is typically to:
- Double check all metrics selected (obviously)
- Try to remove that particular connection and then re-add it. Annoying but sometimes it does work.
In my case none of the above worked, despite how many times I did it, and how loudly I swore at my monitor. So, I tried something different.
Luckily I had admin access on the Google Analytics account (which was used for the above chart), so I then granted admin access to another Google account I had access to, and then I duplicated the DataStudio report once more, and started from scratch adding those new data connectors.
When making a copy of the report I made sure to tick the additional option to ensure data connectors were editable by all users.
Data Source name bug - label doesn't update
This is one where I'm certain there's a bug of some kind at play. When replacing an existing Data source, in this case Google Search Console, and then editing the name of that source to make it easier to manage later on, the Data source name doesn't update.
In my case, despite the data connection updating (eg it showed data that corresponded to my client on the front end report view), the name of the connection still showed the default old client name, or "Search Console https://clientname.co.uk".
It's hard to show clear evidence without outing a few of my clients - but hopefully sharing the screenshot below shows the issue at play. The "Added data source" lists a different client's GSC property vs the actual data shown in the Query table (you just have to trust me on that!...)
Whilst I could replicate the above issue with Search Console, I also found the same issue to be happening with Google Analytics' custom names.
Naming these data sources in this way should make future reporting easier, especially when you need to make adjustments or create new reports. That's probably even truer for anyone that's working within an agency, with lots of clients to deal with.
Google Analytics is usually the worst culprit here as it often shows that ultra helpful "All website data" default Analytics view name.
That alone should be good reason to rename the default GA view - or to just customise the name within Data Studio, which itself isn't very obvious - it's probably not great UX in general, from Google.
Customise Data source names in Data Studio
If you weren't sure how to customise the data source names in Data Studio, all you need to do is:
1 - Go to Resources > Manage added data sources
2 - Click on the action "EDIT" listed alongside the relevant Connector Type.
3 - Click on the existing name, upon which you can edit the name (this is the hard part - not clear at all that this field is editable!)
4 - Write your new name here, eg [clientname - google analytics].
5 - Click back and then close that screen to return to the report view.
Now when you're back in the reporting interface, you should be able to edit any Data source and then to see your new custom labels added, making any changes far easier.
Hopefully some of you SEOs, PPCs or digital marketers out there find this useful.
I'm also interested to hear if anyone else is having a similar issue as me, or if I have indeed gone mad. Just send me a message if you have been having the same issues.