Custom Segments in Data Studio

The biggest missing element from Google’s Data Studio visual dashboard tool is custom segments from Google Analytics. While there are plenty of hacks to improve Data Studio, segmenting is something that needed to come from Google.

Earlier this week, they have fixed this issue. There is now easy Google Analytics segmentation available for all reports within the tool. Let’s explore this update and how you can utilize it to enhance your Data Studio reports.

Custom Segments in Data Studio

From what I have seen, the most requested feature previously absent from Data Studio is integrating custom segments from Google Analytics.

Most analysts rely heavily on creating segments of users to better understand data. Segments allow you to break down data into user buckets, and create audiences of like-minded individuals.

With Data Studio’s inclusion of segments for Google Analytics, this makes the tool more useful for powerful dashboards. Let’s explore how to utilize your segments in Data Studio.

Using Segments in a Report

First, you will have to make sure you create the segment you wish to use within your Google Analytics account. You can use default segments (i.e. mobile users), but creating your own will allow you to better illustrate the data that matters to you.

For this example within Digital Metrics Guru, I created a segment for users who came from mobile that completed reading a blog post. The segment is laid out below.

create a segment in google analytics

Now heading over to Data Studio, I will create a new line graph within my report. Once you drag and drop your graph where you want it to appear, look into the right side panel under the data tab.

This is where you select your dimensions and metrics, date, filters and now Google Analytics segments. The segments live in the lower section of the panel.

For this example we’ll head straight in to select our segment, since the line graph will default to show sessions by date. You can mess around with adding different dimensions and metrics as you see fit.

add segment in google data studio

Click into the Google Analytics Segments area and Data Studio will pull up a new fly-out menu. All of your available segments will be listed there. Select the custom segment you created and then wait for your report to update.

select segment in google data studio

It’s that simple. You can create as many segments as you would like in Google Analytics and then connect them to Data Studio to enhance your reports with ease.

Summary

While the new segment feature in Data Studio has finally been added, I would caution on a few things in creating your reports.

First and foremost, make sure you have everything set as you want it in Google Analytics. There is no way to check what the segment rules are within Data Studio, so before bringing over that data, make sure you are comfortable with the way things are set in analytics.

Second, there is nothing in the data studio charts and graphs that donate a segment is in use. When you use segments on an individual chart, make sure to denote that in text. Simply add a piece of text above or below each chart or graph to alert your viewers.

Beyond that have fun and enjoy this overdue feature! Let me know below how you are using segments to make your Data Studio reports more robust.

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