Google Data Studio Number Formats / Data Types

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

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

Google Data Studio Number Formats

There are three numeric data types in Google Data Studio:

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

#3 Duration – select this data type if you want data 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:

create a report from this data source schema

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, Data 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

Get the ebook on Google Data Studio (50+ Pages)Get the ebook on Google Data Studio (50+ Pages)

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 Data Studio report would look like:

data studio report

Data 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.

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