Google Data Studio Date Format for Google Sheets – Tutorial

Before you upload data from Google Sheets to Google Data Studio, you need to make sure two things:

  • You pulled data correctly into Google Sheets. 
  • The data you pulled into Google Sheets is in the correct format.

Because this is going to affect your data visualization and data analysis in Data Studio.  If you feed garbage to Data Studio then you are going to get garbage. Garbage in, garbage out.

Following is an example of an incorrectly formatted data table in Google Sheets:

google sheets data incorrectly formatted data table in Google Sheets

The data table is not formatted correctly because of the following reasons:

#1 The date in Google Sheets is not compatible with Google Data Studio date format 

For example, the field ‘Order Date’ is not of type ‘date’. And some of the dates are not even valid (for example 27/1/2019).

That is because the American date format begins with the month and ends with the year (MM/DD/YYYY)

In most of the rest of the world (including the UK), the day is written first and the year last (DD/MM/YYYY). 

So you need to make sure that all of your dates begin with the month and end with the year (MM/DD/YYYY)

google sheets data rewriting dates in american format

For Google Data Studio, you should consider formatting your dates in the (YYYY-MM-DD) format. So the year is written first and the day last. Though it is not compulsory, it is good practice.

How to format dates for Google Data Studio

Step-1: Select all of your dates data (in the American format):

google sheets data Select all of your dates data

Step-2: Navigate to Format Menu > Number > More Formats > More Date and Time Formats:

google sheets data More Date and Time Formats

Step-3: Select the year-month-day format and then click on the ‘Apply’ button:

google sheets data Select year month day format

As soon as you clicked on the ‘Apply’ button, all of your dates will automatically be converted into this new format which Google Data Studio understand:

google sheets data new format which Google Data Studio understand

The correct way to format your data fields is by selecting all the data in your field and making sure it is of the correct data type from the ‘Format’ menu.

#2 The data in Google Sheets is not using correct data types. 

For example:

2.1 Number data should be of type ‘number’:

google sheets data number data

2.2 Text data should be of type ‘Plain text’:

google sheets data plain

2.3 Currency data should be of the type ‘currency’. 

So for example, if your currency is US dollars then all currency data should be displayed in US dollars (and not as numbers):

google sheets data currency data

#3 There is an empty row at the very top and in the middle of the data table:

google sheets data empty row at the very top and in the middle of the data table

#4 The data table has got an empty column:

google sheets data empty column

#5 The data table contains totals:

google sheets data The data table contains totals

There should not be subtotals or grand-totals in your data table.

#6 The column headers are missing:

google sheets data The column headers are missing

Note: Each column must have header and these headers must be meaningful, unique and self-explanatory.

Following is an example of a correctly formatted data table in Google Sheets:

google sheets data example of a correctly formatted data table

Note (1): Make sure that your data table starts from cell A1, right in the top upper left.

Note (2): Don’t add extraneous data in the same worksheet like adding notes or adding other tables, charts, etc. 

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