How to work with the Boolean data type in Google Data Studio

If a data field in your data set can have only one of the two possible values: true or false then you should use the Boolean data type while setting up your data source schema.

For example, consider the following data set:

Here the field ‘Is Revenue > Forecasted Revenue’ can have only two possible values: TRUE or FALSE.

For Google Sheets, the values TRUE and FALSE are of type boolean so when setting up the data source schema, we should set the data type of the field ‘Is Revenue > Forecasted Revenue’ to ‘Boolean’:

This seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? But here is the thing. This is not going to work. 

When you create a report from this data source which uses the  ‘Is Revenue > Forecasted Revenue’ field, you will get a system error:

That happened because Data Studio did not recognize the boolean values stored in Google Sheets as a boolean value. 

Instead, it treats these boolean fields as ‘text’ fields:

No matter how you store boolean values in Google Sheets (whether as true/false, TRUE/FALSE, 0/1, yes/no), Data Studio won’t recognize them as boolean values. If you want to use a boolean field in Data Studio then you would need to create and use a calculated metric. 

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

Follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to your data source editor and then click on the ‘ADD A FIELD’ button on the top right-hand side:

Step-2: Enter the name of the new calculated field. For example: ‘[NEW] Is Revenue > Forecasted Revenue’:

Step-3: Enter the following formula in the ‘Formula’ field:

Make sure you see the green-colored checkmark at the bottom of the formula box. This checkmark indicates that you have entered the formula correctly. 

If the formula that you have entered is not correct then you will see this symbol instead of the green checkmark.

I entered the following formula: case when Is Revenue > Forecasted Revenue = “TRUE” then true else false end

This means; if the value of the field ‘Is Revenue > Forecasted Revenue’ is ‘TRUE’ then return true.  Otherwise, return false.

The following formula won’t work:

In Data Studio, you can compare a dimension or metric only with a literal value. 

Here we are comparing the ‘Revenue’ dimension with another dimension called ‘Forecasted Revenue’ via the logical expression: Revenue > Forecasted Revenue 

Step-4: Click on the ‘Save’ button.

Step-5: Now click on ‘All Fields’ in order to navigate back to the data source editor:

You should now see  the new calculated field, listed in the data source schema:

When you create a report based on this data source which uses the new calculated field, it would look like the one below:

Following is a short video which shows how I created the calculated field and then used it in my report:

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