Google Data Studio Number Formats / Data Types – Looker Studio

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Last Updated: November 26, 2022

Note: Google Data Studio is now known as Looker Studio.

When you create or edit a data source in Looker Studio, you get the option to select the data type of the data source field. 

One of the data types supported by Looker Studio is ‘numeric’: 

Numeric field

There are three numeric data types in Looker Studio:

#1 Number – select this data type if you want Looker studio to expect a number (includes floating-point number) when processing a field in the underlying data source.

#2 Percent – select this data type if you want Looker studio to expect percentage data when processing a field in the underlying data source.

#3 Duration – select this data type if you want Looker studio to expect time duration in seconds when processing a field in the underlying data source. 

For example, consider the following Google Sheets data source:

Google Sheets data source

The field ‘Number of orders’ is of type ‘number’.

The field ‘Percentage of Sales’ is of type ‘percent’. 

The field ‘Phone Call duration’ is of type ‘duration’.

When we connect this data source to our data source schema then while deciding the data source schema (structure) we should:

  • set the data type of the field ‘Number of orders’ to ‘Numbers’.
  • set the data type of the field ‘Percentage of Sales’ to ‘Percent’.
  • set the data type of the field ‘Phone Call duration’ to ‘Duration’.
set the data type of the field

Now if we create a report from this data source schema then it would look like the one below:

report view

This report matches with our data source:

This report matches with our data source

The only difference here is that the values of the ‘phone call duration’ field are displayed in a different format.

For example, Looker Studio displayed 230 seconds as 00:03:50

If you convert 230 seconds into minutes, it would be 230/60 = 3.83 minutes or 3 minutes 50 Seconds

Using incorrect numeric data types

Consider the following Google Sheets data source:

Google Sheets data source

The field ‘Number of orders’ is of type ‘Number’

The field ‘Percentage of Sales’ is of type ‘Percent’

The field ‘Phone Call duration’ is of type ‘Duration’.

When we connect this data source to our data source schema then while deciding the data source schema (structure) we should:

  • set the data type of the field ‘Number of orders’ to ‘Numbers’.
  • set the data type of the field ‘Percentage of Sales’ to ‘Percent’.
  • set the data type of the field ‘Phone Call Duration’ to ‘Duration’.
set the data type of the field

But what if, when deciding the data source schema (structure):

  • we set the data type of the field ‘Number of orders’ to ‘Duration’
  • we set the data type of the field ‘Percentage of Sales’ to ‘Number’
  • we set the data type of the field ‘Phone Call duration’ to ‘Percent’
incorrect numeric data types

Then this is what our Looker Studio report would look like:

report view 1

Looker Studio will automatically convert all the values of the:

  • Number of Orders’ field to ‘Duration’ data type
  • Percentage of Sales’ field to ‘Number’ data type
  • Phone Call Duration’ field to ‘Percent’ data type

So, when you select an incorrect numeric data type while defining the data source schema, you get incorrect/unexpected data in your reports.

Other articles on Looker Studio

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  2. Looker Studio Parameters explained with examples
  3. How to Change Language in Looker Studio
  4. Looker Studio Date Format and Time Explained
  5. Looker Studio Tutorial with FREE PDF ebook
  6. Looker Studio Functions, Formulas Tutorial
  7. How to work with the Boolean field in Looker Studio
  8. Looker Studio Page Navigation Tutorial
  9. Understanding Report Editor in Looker Studio
  10. Best practices for creating a report in Looker Studio
  11. How to share reports in Looker Studio
  12. Seven methods to create a new report in Looker Studio
  13. Looker Studio Report Tutorial
  14. How to invite people to view or edit a report in Looker Studio
  15. How to share the link of your report in Looker Studio
  16. Schedule email delivery of a report in Looker Studio
  17. How to download Looker Studio report as PDF
  18. How to embed a Looker Studio report on a website
  19. Guide to Data Types in Looker Studio
  20. Image function in Looker Studio
  21. Image Link data type in Looker Studio
  22. Image data type in Looker Studio
  23. Looker Studio Geo Map – Latitude Longitude
  24. Why You Should Avoid Using Functions and Calculated Fields in Looker Studio
  25. Looker Studio Calculated Fields Tutorial
  26. Working with the Text data type in Looker Studio
  27. The Data Set Configuration Error in Looker Studio
  28. Data Source Fields in Looker Studio – Tutorial
  29. Refresh data source schema fields in Looker Studio
  30. Looker Studio Data Sources – Tutorial
  31. Looker Studio Dimension vs Metric
  32. How to filter by email in Looker Studio
  33. Looker Studio – Sharing Data Sources (aka data source schema)
  34. Field editing in reports – Looker Studio
  35. Data Source Version History in Looker Studio
  36. Community Visualization Access in Looker Studio
  37. Understanding Data Source Credentials in Looker Studio
  38. Understanding Data Freshness in Looker Studio
  39. How to create and configure a data source in Looker Studio
  40. Looker Studio Aggregation Explained
  41. How to Edit a Calculated Field in Looker Studio
  42. Formula Rejection in Looker Studio
  43. Doing Basic Maths on Numeric Fields via Calculated Fields

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