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

My step-by-step blueprint for using Looker Studio (formerly Google Data Studio)

Get the FREE ebook on Looker Studio (75 Pages)

Yes I want the FREE ebook

 

Last Updated: December 10, 2022

Note: Google Data Studio is now known as Looker Studio.

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

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

# Looker Studio is not meant for data manipulation.

Looker 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 Looker 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 Looker 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 Looker 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 Looker Studio, you unnecessarily make Looker Studio hard to use.

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

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

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

# When it comes to custom automation Google Sheets has more capabilities than Looker 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 Looker Studio, it has limited custom automation abilities.

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

For example, when you are dealing with boolean data in Looker Studio, you have no choice but to use the calculated field. As Looker 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 Looker Studio

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

Register for the FREE TRAINING...

"How to use Digital Analytics to generate floods of new Sales and Customers without spending years figuring everything out on your own."



Here’s what we’re going to cover in this training…

#1 Why digital analytics is the key to online business success.

​#2 The number 1 reason why most marketers are not able to scale their advertising and maximize sales.

#3 Why Google and Facebook ads don’t work for most businesses & how to make them work.

#4 ​Why you won’t get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing Google Analytics.

#5 The number 1 reason why conversion optimization is not working for your business.

#6 How to advertise on any marketing platform for FREE with an unlimited budget.

​#7 How to learn and master digital analytics and conversion optimization in record time.



   

My best selling books on Digital Analytics and Conversion Optimization

Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
This expert guide will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of maths and statistics in order to accurately interpret data and take actions, which can quickly improve the bottom-line of your online business.

Master the Essentials of Email Marketing Analytics
This book focuses solely on the ‘analytics’ that power your email marketing optimization program and will help you dramatically reduce your cost per acquisition and increase marketing ROI by tracking the performance of the various KPIs and metrics used for email marketing.

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and BeyondSECOND EDITION OUT NOW!
Attribution modelling is the process of determining the most effective marketing channels for investment. This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling. It will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to allocate marketing budget and understand buying behaviour.

Attribution Modelling in Google Ads and Facebook
This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling in Google Ads (Google AdWords) and Facebook. It will teach you, how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to understand the customer purchasing journey and determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

About the Author

Himanshu Sharma

  • Founder, OptimizeSmart.com
  • Over 15 years of experience in digital analytics and marketing
  • Author of four best-selling books on digital analytics and conversion optimization
  • Nominated for Digital Analytics Association Awards for Excellence
  • Runs one of the most popular blogs in the world on digital analytics
  • Consultant to countless small and big businesses over the decade

Get the FREE ebook on Looker Studio (formerly Google Data Studio) (75 pages)

X
error: Alert: Content is protected !!