Google announced three new Data Studio features on Jan. 30 aimed at creating faster insights and easier report development. Let's take a look at all three.

Interactive Charts

The first Data Studio feature is Interactive Charts, an option to turn a chart into a filter that can be applied to other charts.  

You can initiate filters by clicking or "brushing" on any data when viewing a dashboard.   

The feature improves on the previous approach, which involved repeated recreation of chart features. Google claims this feature enables “much faster exploration” and shortens “the time to insight.” Interactive Charts is currently limited to specific chart types — time series, tables, geo charts, bar charts, scatter charts and pie charts.

Related Article: Google Data Studio Updates Calculated Fields to Improve Data Exploration

Search Filters

The second new Data Studio feature is Search Filters. Search Filters conducts searches for any value in a dataset. To do a search, users click on a drop down menu with filtering choices similar to those within Google Analytics, such as regular expression choice and searches greater than or less than a typed value. 

Search Filters is probably the most useful for conducting a quick quality audit on a large number of records if the user is creating charts. Features like the regular expression can return repeated characters or values within a subset of records — typical when inspecting data blending accuracy. 

Learning Opportunities

Related Article: Google Data Studio Makes Dynamic Report Building Easy

Embed Content

The third feature, Embed Content, makes it possible to bring outside content into your report to give supporting context to chart data. Users can embed a webpage into a Data Studio report. Analytic practitioners who need to show metrics on the same page as a chart may find this feature helpful in providing a clearer picture of how the metrics relate. Another idea is to add YouTube videos explaining a given chart, Google Sheets containing the source data for a report, or forms to get feedback on the usefulness of a chart. Just imagine what digital media will enhance your audience's understanding of the chart.

The introduction of Embed Content is well-timed given the current state of dashboards. Other platforms and data programming languages have introduced the capacity to blend content from HTML, CSS and JavaScript — the three frameworks that make up websites and web apps. Markdown for R programming is an example of the latter, allowing users to export a R programming script into a publishable document that can be hosted and dynamically updated. 

The new changes should help Google Data Studio maintain its position as a go-to data visual ecosystem for analysts, in spite of the strides other analytics reporting platforms are making in developing solutions of their own. 

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