Google Makes New Data Visualization Product Free for 'Smaller Teams'

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Thanks go to Jonathan Ray, director of analytics for Access Intelligence and a speaker at next week's SIPA 2016 Conference, for tweeting that Google has just made its new data visualization and reporting platform—Data Studio 360—available for smaller businesses.

"One of the fundamental ideas behind Data Studio is that data should be easily accessible to anyone in an organization. We believe that as more people have access to data, better decisions will be made," wrote Google in a blog entry.

"With multiple data connectors, you can now easily create dashboards from many different types of data and share with everyone in your organization—and you can mix and match data sources within a single report. For example, you can combine Google Analytics data and Google AdWords data into a single report."

Data Studio users are limited to creating five reports per account whereas Data Studio 360 has unlimited reports. However, both versions can connect to unlimited data sources and allow unlimited report viewing, editing and collaboration. Ray wrote that he "will be interested to see how this evolves."

For now, the free Data Studio is available only to users in the United States but Google says it will be available to other regions later this year.

Ray will be co-presenting with Todd Dills, senior editor of Overdrive for Randall-Reilly at the session, Analytics and Data for Content Teams: How to Use Data and Audience Behavior to Make Your Editorial More Relevant.

Dills uses data to better inform his articles. He said he has always been interested in numbers and the chance to combine that affinity with his journalism has been exciting

"Basically, I'm using data to help tell a good story—whatever it may be...," he said. "I started looking around at the different sources of data that concerns issues readers have. It's the readers who drive this."

At the recent Neal Awards given out by Connectiv, another SIIA division, Dills won awards for Best Data Journalist and Best Range of Work by a Single Author. At an editorial committee meeting that morning, he spoke about the difference data was making in his journalism—and more important in the work life of his readership (truckers).

"We started doing a series of state law enforcement profiles; at the end of the day information like this gives the readers a better sense, a better reality," Dills said. "They all have preconceived notions of law enforcement departments" that may not be true. California's turned out to be very different from what readers there thought.

The key is serving readers—and hoping that leads to new revenue sources. "The big takeaway is that there's data gathered on everything our readers do," Dills said, adding that the way you use it shows your "valuable priorities as a journalist. I have been able to essentially prove our readers right on some things and wrong on others."

Randall-Reilly went from offering modestly valued truck driver contact information to hugely valuable market intelligence and targeting capabilities

As Russell Perkins of Info Commerce Group asked—he will also be speaking next week at SIPA 2016—"Is there public domain or even licensed data that you could overlay on your own audience database to create new high-value marketing opportunities? All this added intelligence about your audience is also something you can leverage internally as well, getting smarter about who you are talking to and what content they engage with."

That brings us full circle, with Google emphasizing that their product makes data accessible to anyone in your company, and because of that, better decisions will be made.

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…