Make a Compact Data Studio Report using Optional Metrics and Drill Downs

By 20th Sep 2019Blog, Google Data Studio
Make a Compact Data Studio Report using Optional Metrics and Drill Downs

Recently Google Data Studio introduced Optional Metrics. These allow you to pick and choose what metrics to display on each chart.

Optional Metrics means you can easily switch between different metrics in a chart. For example you could compare Users with Sessions. You can also switch between Users and Bounce Rate.

In practical terms this means that while previously if you had wanted to show Bounce Rate, Avg Time on Page and Sessions over the past month you might have needed to have three separate tables. Now, you can have just one table – with several optional metrics.

Drill down dimensions lets us add multiple types of dimensions to a single chart or table.

Combining multiple Metrics with Drill Down dimensions gives us the option to fit a lot of data into only a few charts.

So in this Data Studio report below, you’ll see each chart has multiple dimensions and multiple metrics in them.

Optional Metrics in a Scorecard

Let’s start off by creating a scorecard with multiple metrics.

 Users, Page Views, Bounce Rate and Avg. Time on Page as our optional metrics.

We can add Sessions as our default metric, and Users, Page Views, Bounce Rate and Avg. Time on Page as our optional metrics.

Showing an interactive scorecard in data studio

A Compact Time Series Chart

So let’s try and squeeze in some date data and metrics into a time series chart.

This is a breakdown of the data in the chart shown below.

And this allows us to see page views, users, bounce rate, and average time on page by month, week and date.

A time series chart with optional metrics in google data studio. Made using Google Analytics website data.

A Table with drill downs and optional metrics

Let’s squeeze four different dimensions and five different metrics into one table.

A chart with drill down dimensions and optional metrics in google data studio. These charts can make a compact data studio report.

This gives us a lot of different ways to look at a variety of data!

A table with in google data studio. Made using Google Analytics website data.

A Page / Page Title table with lots of data

In our final chart we are going to look at five different metrics by Page and Page Title. We had those as Dimensions and make sure ‘Drill down’ is selected.

This is a breakdown of the data contained in the page table.

The table allows us to see several different metrics. In the example below, you can change the dimension from Page Title to Page and then choose to look at sessions, page views, and avg. time on page from the optional metrics.

A time series chart in google data studio. Made using Google Analytics website data.

Together, Dimension drill downs and optional metrics open up a lot of possibilities for Data Studio reports.

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Chelsea says:

    Hi Michael,

    Nice tutorial!
    Just curious if you have run into the issue that the optional metrics are only follow the left y-axis scale in the time series charts. So if I have pageviews on the left and bounce rate in the optional metrics, the bounce rate will be too small to show.
    Please let me know if you have any thoughts on this. Thanks!

    • Michael says:

      Hi Chelsea. Good point. Just played around with sessions / bounce rate as an optional metric and there’s no way to set it as a right axis default. Unfortunately I’m not sure there’s a solution for that – that I can figure out at least. Let me know if you manage to find a way to solve it.

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