SMA Marketing Blog

The SMA Marketing Blog

Explore Your Data with Google Sheets

Oct 16, 2017
Share this Article:

Big Data is not just for big business. In today's digital economy, all companies are collecting tons of powerful metrics that can be helpful if put to good use. The problem is, most business leaders don't know where to start when it comes to data analysis. There are a number of "smart" tools on the web to help you uncover trends in your data. While some can cost you a lot of resources and manpower, there is one tool that is free and extremely intelligent. Google Sheets Explore tools can help you uncover trends in your data with just a click of the mouse.

The adage is true; you can only manage what you measure. The problem is, measuring can be hard and complicated. In the video below I share a quick, simple and smart way to analyze your data with the power of Google Sheet Explore.

 

 

 

Video Transcript: 

Hey, what's up, everybody. Today, we're going to be looking at the power of Google Sheets and how we can use the Explore tool to uncover trends within our data. Thank you so much for joining us. If this is your first time watching a video, we thank you for coming, and if you've been watching for a while, please hit the subscribe button. We'd love to have you as part of our community.

So Google Sheets is basically like Excel, but from Google, and it's got a lot of great tools within it, and it's a great tool to:

 

  • build spreadsheets online
  • to share spreadsheets with your team so you can create version control
  • to help you analyze and understand your data.

 

And Google Sheets has a very cool feature built in, which is called Explore. And we're going to be talking about that specific feature today on Hack My Growth and how we can use Explore to find trends that we may not have otherwise seen on our own within our data.

So Google Sheets is a pretty cool tool, and this is just a sample profit and loss sheet. And as you can see here, it's pretty standard. This is from a business template. It has your income, and your expenses, and your total expenses, and your net profit and loss. So let's say we wanted to find a little bit more out about this data, instead of just looking at it as a spreadsheet and trying to sift through the numbers. Maybe we wanted to look at it from a more visually appealing point of view or maybe to see trends over time.

Well, if you look at this bottom right-hand corner, there's a thing that says Explore. Now, if we go ahead and hit Explore, what it's going to do is start to analyze our different data points. And over here, it's actually ... right now, we have it set on expenses. Over here, we can visually see, or it's giving us some options to see some trends within our data. So we can go ahead and hit this view full-size on this graph that they're suggesting, and we can see what is costing us the most money very easily in this visualization. We can see that wages and on costs are costing us the most, followed by rent, then followed by advertising, and then a couple of the other points there below.

It's much easier to usually see these trends with a visualization than it is in just a simple spreadsheet. And instead of having to build that graph or knowing how to build that graph, Explore did it for us completely on its own. Again, we can edit. It gives us some suggestions based on the data it has, so it's not always going to be perfect. But it is going to give us some good ideas of what's going on.

This expense report is nice. It kind of goes to show us where we're spending our money, right? Where are our resources going as a business? We can take a look at the sales, right? Once again, once I click on that sales, it pulls in all of that data, and it's giving us some charts. And we want to work through these because they're not going to be perfect. But most of it's coming from sales. 30 percent's coming from services, and then we have 1.4 percent coming from other income.

So really quick snapshots of our data and charts that are very visually appealing and much easier for us to understand and sift through. And this is just a basic profit and loss statement, which we just pull it off of and are using a template for. But you can also use your marketing data to make better sense of your marketing numbers, and see what are you doing over time.

Again, I used the Google Sheets search console add-on, search analytics for Sheets. So you can add this add-on. All you have to do is go to add-ons and get add-ons, and there's a number of them that you can pull from. We've got Google Analytics, which we'll look at that in just a second. But if you know you typed in search console and this is the one that we have, search analytics for Sheets. And so what we've done is we're able to pull data from search console straight into Google Sheets, and we're not having to go back and forth or download an Excel file and open it up. We can just import it straight in here because it's pulling from one Google source to another.

Now, let's say we want to explore this data. We, once again, hit the Explore button, and the tool is starting to look at the data and make some suggestions about that data and some of the trends we may be interested in looking at. So we, once again, can look at this and see, what our click-through rate is versus the date. Do we have good click-through rates, or do we have bad click-through rates?

And the great thing is, it's interactive. So we can see on 7/17, we had a 50 percent click-through rate in our search columns for certain terms. Maybe we want to look at the count of the page and the specific page associated with it. I'm not going to say that this tool is perfect, but it is pretty neat to start to see some of that visualization of our data and to see some of these trends over time. What is our position over time?

There's a lot of interesting things that it's going to pull in and let us see. Right here is cool, the count of the device. Our agency focuses on B to B, and as you can tell, that B to B is still very desktop-heavy. I know a lot of people push so much for mobile, and you can focus so much on mobile, but for me ... I need to have a mobile presence. My site needs to be mobile friendly, absolutely, 100 percent. But as you can see, the majority of the users who are on my site are actually visiting and engaging with us on desktop. So I really need to put a big emphasis on desktop.

And a lot of people wouldn't think of that because they maybe just hear all the time, mobile, mobile, mobile, mobile, mobile, which is good. But in some instances, especially for B to B businesses, it's not the case. And this tool can really, really, clearly show you in a visualized form that desktop is the preferred method for the users on our site 

Again, this was pulled, and I didn't have to do anything other than hit the Explore button, and Google Sheets was doing this for me. Impressions versus data ... as you can see, there's a number of them. Now, all of them may not be relevant, but what this does is it allows you to see different trends. Maybe trends that you wouldn't have necessarily looked at or seen on your own. And as we go through these different charts, you can look at them and say, "Okay, well, yeah. That's interesting. That's something that's important to me." And maybe it can give you some insight into what to do or what not to do.

Another great add-on is the Google add-on, the Google Analytics add-on, and it's right here, and you can create reports and run reports. What it typically does ... and it shows up a box over here if we go to “add a report,” so we just go to create a new report. And it's working and thinking. And over here, we would just select our account and our property, and then we can also select the metrics and the dimensions. And we want to figure out what data points we want to pull from, and then what do we want to constrain them by?

So that's it. You just kind of fill that in and save it, and it'll just pop it in a row just like this. And you could have a bunch of different reports all here lined up. As you can see, we've got a report already set up, and we've already run that report. So once you have it set up, you need to go back to the add-ons, Google Analytics, and run the report.

So we ran the report right here, and this is exactly what it looks like once you've run the report. Now, again, this is really a report on source mediums for a date, per session, and they're looking at the bounce rate and the page views, as well. So in this instance, we can see what traffic is driving the most engagement or pages per session, and what traffic is not engaging with us. What source isn't engaging with us?

So this could be really helpful information just in the spreadsheet form, but maybe we're not great at spreadsheets. So what do we do again? Well, that's where the Explore button comes in. We can look at page views versus bounce rate. We can look at the count of source medium. Where's traffic coming from? Who's driving traffic? Facebook referral right now ... we've been pushing a lot of stuff right now for Hack My Growth through social channels, through email channels, as you can see, as we're starting to kind of build the organic push of this site's content.

Sessions per date trends, count by source medium ... there's a number of different graphs that it's already pulling up that we can start to say, "Okay. Page views versus sessions." Most of the typical time, 1 to 2 page views per session. It's kind of down in this range, right? And it's really interesting information. We had some outliers here. Okay. Well, this person spent 7 pages, and this person had 2.2 ... 25 sessions at 2.2 pages per view, but most of them are down here grouped in this area. So we can kind of look to see how do we influence people to spend more time on the site? How do we influence people to engage more? And it's a little bit easier to see than just looking at static rows.

So Google Sheets is a powerful tool, not just to create spreadsheets, but also to help you understand and take action with your data. So I encourage you to go try it out. Maybe just download some Excel files of your marketing data, maybe your P&L data, and just let Explore do what it does and maybe uncover some hidden trends for you with your business.

Well, that's all we have this week for Hack My Growth. Hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions, please comment below, and again, please subscribe and connect with us. We publish videos every single week trying to help people take their business to a whole new level and really build that long-term sustainability online. Until next time, happy marketing.

 

New Call-to-action

Share this Article:
Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

Blog Comments

Get Awesome Content Delivered Straight to Your Inbox!

Learn SEO
Help us Help Others

Popular Posts

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Related Post