How to format Google Sheets data for Google Data Studio

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:

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

#1 It has got an empty row at the very top and in the middle of the data table:

#2 It has got an empty column:

#3 The data table contains totals:

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

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#4 The column headers are missing:

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

#5 The data in the data table is not using correct data types. 

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)

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):

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

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

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:


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.

Number data should be of type ‘number’:

Text data should be of type ‘Plain text’:

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):

Following is an 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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