As media buyers, we spend a lot of our time around spreadsheets, dashboards, and tables.
Whether we’re building these reports for ourselves, our bosses, or for our clients, they play an important role in making sure targets are being met, and keeping everyone in the loop.
One of the easiest ways to do so is through Google Data Studio.
However, if you’re familiar with the platform, you’re aware that to pull data from non-Google-owned properties, you need to resort to external tools.
Well, more often than not, these tools have a monthly cost.
Even though most of these tools – or connectors – come at an accessible price, you might not be able to afford the costs at this point.
So how can we take advantage of Google Data Studio without the additional costs?
Adveronix is a free Google Sheets add-on that enables you to easily import data from a wide range of different channels and automate reports with Google Data Studio.
This free connector works by pulling data into a Google Spreadsheet so you can then link it to your Data Studio dashboard.
You can even schedule the data to be imported automatically on a daily basis, or whenever you want.
Oh, and did we mention it’s FREE?
Before we get started with Google Data Studio, we will need to create our Data Source first.
If you’re not used to Google Data Studio connectors and data sources, we recommend you read our post on how to use Google Data Studio before proceeding any further.
To create our data source, we will have to install the Adveronix Google Sheets add-on.
You can do this by opening up a new Google Spreadsheet and hitting the ‘Add-ons’ button on the top menu, and click “Get add-ons”.
Then, search for “Adveronix” and install the add-on.
It’s that simple.
Create Your Custom Report
Once the add-on is installed, you will then need to customize your report and select the channels you wish to import into your spreadsheet.
Open the “Add-ons” menu on the top menu again and you should now see the Adveronix add-on.
You should now see the control panel open up in the right side of your screen, where you can choose the channels you want to import the data from.
Since our goal is to create a Facebook Ads report, we’ll choose “Facebook Ads” – well, duh.
Now you only have to select the ad account, the fields, and the breakdown (if any) you want to import.
You can even use some of Adveronix’s own report templates to make the process even easier.
When you’re done with your selection, you will then want to scroll down to the bottom of the control panel and hit the “options” button. This should show the option to save the report, as displayed in the image below.
Hit “Save Report” and name it however you see fit. Then, click “Get Data”.
Do not skip this step.
Schedule the Reports
There’s one last step we need to take before we can head to Google Data Studio and actually build the report – scheduling the report to run automatically.
In the previous step, you save the report before running it.
If you scroll to the top of the panel, you should see the “Reports” tab and, in it, the option to schedule the report.
Hit the “Schedule: OFF” button and select how frequently you want to run the report. We recommend running it daily, at least.
Now, with all that out of the way, it is now time we open up Google Data Studio.
Create a Data Studio Report & Choose Your Data Source
Now that we have already created the data source for our Google Data Studio report, we will only need to connect it to our dashboard.
Open up your dashboard and click the “File” button in the top menu, then “Report Settings”.
In the report settings panel to the right, click on “Data Source” and select the spreadsheet you just created with Adveronix.
Note: if you want to include multiple channels (like Twitter or Bing) in the same Data Studio dashboard, create a worksheet for each channel using Adveronix and import them by repeating the process above.
Once they are linked, just make sure each element in the report is properly linked to this data source and hit the “refresh data” button on the top “View” menu.
And you’re all done!
As with most “free” things, they usually come with a cost.
While there are certainly no financial costs to using this tool, there are some limitations to it that other connectors don’t have – such as SuperMetrics.
It Requires Maintenance
If you’re used to using Google Spreadsheets as data sources for Google Data Studio, you know how troublesome these can be – sometimes.
Maybe it’s a date that’s in the wrong format or a value that’s identified as text and not as a number.
There are countless “pet peeves” that come with these spreadsheets, and while Adveronix does a great job at importing the data, it can’t fix some of these issues.
The bottom line is – it might require some “fixes” from time to time.
It’s Not Real-Time
Unline SuperMetrics, Adveronix doesn’t pull data in real-time.
Even though you can schedule reports to run every hour, there are some situations where clients might demand real-time reporting – or your team might just be too picky about having the reports “only” update every hour.
Hey, we’re not judging!
Too Many Spreadsheets!
As you can guess, if you’re working with multiple clients and each requires multiple data sources created, it can get messy very quickly as you’ll need a whole boatload of spreadsheets.
However, nothing some Google Drive folders can’t fix.
If you’re a freelancer or a new business owner who’s looking to cut down on costs, then Adveronix is a great way to get started with Google Data Studio.
With integrations with most of the “major” platforms out there, it will enable you to build powerful dashboards with Data Studio with minimal setup times.
However, as we mentioned above, it does come with its downsides – as most free platforms do.
If you’re looking to a more robust solution – if you’re working in agency, for example, and handle a lot of clients – then Adveronix might not be the right fit for you.
In that case, we’ll recommend SuperMetrics (affiliate link) – even though it comes with a monthly cost.
In any case, if you’re just getting started with Google Data Studio, then you should absolutely go ahead and give Adveronix a try.
Did you have any trouble setting up Adveronix or your Google Data Studio report?
Let us know in the comments and let’s talk!