How to use a Google Data Studio dashboard template

Is your Google Analytics data source already in Google Data Studio?

If you answer ‘No,’ or don’t understand the question, you need to follow these steps right from the beginning. I will walk you through the process of adding your data before we get that template working for you. Believe me this is the best way to do it.

If you answer ‘Yes, my data source is in Google Data Studio,’ jump on over to the next heading where we deal with setting up the template. You don’t need these first few steps.

Bring your Google Analytics data soucre into Google Data Studio

1. Head on over to

2. Sign in with your Google account that you gave us during checkout.

3. Click the ‘Create’ button in the top left corner. It looks like a colourful plus sign. It is highlighted in the image below.

Figure 1. Click ‘Create’ to get going adding a data source.

4. Now click ‘Data source’ as shonw in the highlight below.

Figure 2. Click ‘Data source’ for the next steps to bring in your Google Analytics data.

5. Whoa! Now you have a big menu on your screen. These are all the options you have for bringing in data to Data Studio. For this template, we’re just bringing in Google Analytics so click on that one. Highlighted in the picture below.

Figure 3. Click here to bring Google Analytics data into Google Data Studio.

6. Now you have a little menu on the left-hand-side that lists all of the Google Analytics accounts to which you have access. If you don’t see the account you want in this list, it means your permissions have not been setup correctly in Google Analyics. Go and sort that out and then come back to this step. If you are happy with what you see, select the account you want. Menu shown below.

Figure 4. This is a list of Google Analytics accounts you have access to. Select the one you want.

7. Now you see a list next to the original list of account. The new list is properties. Select the one you want. And then finally you see a list of views. Select the view that makes the most sense for the dashboard.

Figure 5. Once you have selected the account, you will see the properties for that account and then the views for that account.

We use a filtered view called ‘All traffic except us’ which does not count the activity coming from our IP addresses. This helps us really see whats going on especially if we have something new and we have been testing it like crazy. We want high numbers to mean interest not confusing about whether it was our testing or not. If this sounds interesting to you or you want to find out more about what accounts, properties and views in Google Analytics, you should consider our GA 101 short-course. It’s great for these missing pieces of information!

8. Now you will see a nice big blue button in the top right-hand corner of your screen that says ‘CONNECT.’ Click it and we’re done!

Figure 6. The last step; click ‘CONNECT.’

You will now be looking at your Google Analytics data set as a long, very, very long, list of variables. Feel free to explore. Or just head on over the the next steps to get your new template working!

How to use a template dashboard in Google Data Studio

1. Click on the link on the previous page to head on over to the template dashboard.

2. Now you are looking at the template in View Only mode. This means you can’t edit the dashboard or change the data source to your own. We solve this in the next step.

3. In the top ribbon on the right-hand-side, there is a button that’s commonly called a ‘cookie trail.’ it looks like three dots in a line. It is higlighted in the image below. Click this.

Figure 1. The cookie trail button in Google Data Studio.

4. Now click ‘Make a copy’ in the pop-up menu. This is highlighted in the image below.

Figure 2. Select ‘Make a copy’ to get your own dashboard.

5. You will get a pop-up asking you to replace the data soucre in the original template dashboard with a data source of your own. This is your time to shine! Select your data source as shown below (maybe you added it in the steps at the very beginning or you had it added to Data Studio already).

Figure 3. Use this menu to select the correct data source for the template dashboard.

If you don’t select the data soucre at this point and Data Studio will let you mive ahead keeping the demo data in the report (it is Googles Demo Merch Store data by the way), you will have to change the data soucre on each and every chart in the template from the demo data to your own data. So, really, the best thing you can do is to switch data sources at this point.

6. It takes a minute or two and then you have a new dashboard called ‘Copy of …’. This is your very own dashboard and you have all the access rights.