Why You Should Avoid Using Functions and Calculated Fields in Data Studio

Last Updated: February 26, 2022

The use of functions in calculated fields can greatly increase the load time of your reports in Data Studio. Even the use of calculated fields themselves can greatly increase the load time of your Data Studio reports.

If you want to do any type of data manipulation (whether it is aggregation, mathematical calculations, manipulating string data, etc) then do it in Google Sheets and not in Google Data Studio.

Data Studio is not a spreadsheet. It is designed to visualize data not to manipulate it

# Google Data Studio is not meant for data manipulation.

Google Data Studio is not a spreadsheet. Sure, it provides formulas and functions for manipulating data but their use can significantly slow down your reports especially when you have got a large data set.

For example, if you have a larger (20000+ rows per day) data set that contains the revenue and discount. Now if you use Google Sheets to calculate the net profit you can use simple Excel formula and it will be done very quickly. In the case of Google Data Studio net profit can also be drawn using calculated fields but it will take some time when you view the report and the data range is more than a month.

# Manipulating data in Google Sheets is far easier than manipulating the same data in the Data Studio.

Google Sheets is specifically designed for data manipulation. It is a spreadsheet and you can use Excel formulas to perform calculations, data blending. You can also use multiple Google Sheets tabs to join data and then use it for analysis purposes.

In the case of Google Data Studio, you can use multiple sheets but data blending especially where you want to join data sources is a very difficult and complex process.

# When you choose to do data manipulation in Data Studio, you unnecessarily make Data Studio hard to use.

The more calculated fields and functions you will use in Data Studio, the harder it would become to debug reporting issues.

# When it comes to data manipulation there is almost nothing that Google Data Studio can do but which Google Sheets can’t.

In fact, Google Sheets can manipulate data much better than Data Studio. So use Google Sheets for data manipulation wherever possible.

# When it comes to custom automation Google Sheets has more capabilities than Google Data Studio.

It may possible that you wanted to use some functions based on the data type. In Excel, it is possible and easy to use custom automation (macros) for analysis purposes. This custom automation can be done using Google App scripting that can facilitate functions based on your business requirement.

In the case of Google Data Studio, it has limited custom automation abilities.

Use a calculated field of Data Studio only when you can’t manipulate the data otherwise

For example, when you are dealing with boolean data in Data Studio, you have no choice but to use the calculated field. As Data Studio does not recognize boolean values used in Google Sheets as of type ‘Boolean’.

Wherever possible, minimize the use of calculated fields in your data source schema and reports.

Other articles on Google Data Studio

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

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