How to Use Drill Down & Optional Metrics in Google Data Studio

Drill Down and Optional Metrics in Google Data Studio 23

Hi guys. Today, are going to learn about how to use drill down and optional metrics in Google Data Studio. We have already seen so many things in Data Studio charts, so we can easily learn these two concepts drill down, and optional metrics. You already know what are metrics in a chart, and here we have optional ones. Yes, these are just more metrics associated with our charts, and a user or creator can wish to see optional metrics of the chart whenever they need to. This also solves a big data problem; you don’t need to have so many charts for the data to have slight differences. You can have all the metrics here in the optional metrics section, and they will be separable from each other.

On the other hand, drill down is also a similar feature but it works on dimensions, if you have gone through the basics, you must know what is a dimension and what is a metric. A metric is a data point that we want to show in a chart. And a dimension is a set of values by which you can group your data, and then the data becomes metric in this context.

Drill down is a toggle option available with every chart. We can use it to keep more dimensions inside our dimension section, and a creator or editor can see or change it to visualize data based on different dimensions. It’s available on view mode as well.

Why use Drill Down & Optional Metrics in Google Data Studio?

So, we have seen what are drill down and optional metrics, they are very helpful when it comes to clean data. We don’t need to have similar data in separate charts. For example, you have a pie chart that breaks down the data based on gender, now I need to make another chart that breaks down new visitors and returning visitors to my website.

Note, that the gender and the user type are the dimensions here, and the metric for both of these charts will be what? Users, yeah, it’s users from which we want to break down two dimensions.

Now, if you think, both are pretty similar in the sense that both are breaking down into two main categories, so we can use them within one chart and allow the user to switch between dimensions and interact with both sets of data within one chart, Interesting? Therefore, we are going to learn drill-down and optional metrics in Google Data Studio.

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How to Use Drill Down & Optional Metrics in Google Data Studio

Here we are going to learn both of these concepts step-by-step with examples. You need to know that drill down is a toggle button used for dimension, and an optional parameter is also a toggle button that can be enabled and under that optional metrics can be specified.

There can be some changes based on the type of data you are using and the chart you are working with.

Let’s understand some use cases.

How to Use Drill Down in Google Data Studio

As I told above, drill-down is for dimension, normally you can have only one dimension for your data and it works as a collection of data values inside it. When we want to have multiple collections in a single chart, then we use the drill down option, and trust me it’s most commonly used, I mean everyone uses this feature of Data Studio.

Features like drill down and optional metrics make Data Studio a Dynamic data application and not just a simple report tool.

Let’s say I have “user type” as my metric, and now I can show multiple dimensions using the drill-down button and allow my users to navigate between them.

Drill down provides a more engaging user experience when compared to “Controls”, not every viewer pays attention to properly using controls, but giving multiple options in the drill down is nothing bigger than a click.

Let’s see an example to understand drill down.

Step 1

Create a chart
Drill Down and Optional Metrics in Google Data Studio 1

Step 2

Set dimension to gender

Drill Down and Optional Metrics in Google Data Studio 2

Step 3

Set metric to Users

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Step 4

The chart is ready you can see the data visualization for gender based on user type

Drill Down and Optional Metrics in Google Data Studio 4

Step 5

There is a drill-down toggle button just below the dimension, toggle it to enable.

Drill Down and Optional Metrics in Google Data Studio 5

Step 6

Now, you have got the option to add another dimension

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Step 7

Click on it, and select user type as the second dimension

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Step 8

Now you have two dimensions, and one metric in this chart.

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Step 9

Go to view mode, and on the top of the chart, you can see two buttons one is up-arrow, and one is down-arrow. These are navigators, they change your dimensions.

Drill Down and Optional Metrics in Google Data Studio 9

Drill Down and Optional Metrics in Google Data Studio 10

I have shown this in the edit mode only for a clear picture, these buttons are also available in edit mode. Note: These buttons are meant to provide viewers an easiness of navigating. These are allowed for all the viewers of your report.

So, this is how we use the drill down, the button name drill down, but when we use this feature, we call drill down to down-arrow. and drill-up to up-arrow.

We can add many more dimensions here using a drill-down toggle, but the only thing to keep in mind is the type of data. you can show here categorical data, and not descriptive data.

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How to Use Optional Metrics in Google Data Studio

As we discussed, optional metrics are used along with metrics, they are additional metrics that can be switched by viewers and editors to see different metrics on the chart.

To use optional metrics, we need to enable the toggle button for optional metrics, and then we can add as many metrics as we want to add, make sure you choose valid data types only

To perform this example, let’s start with the sample

Here I want to make a report in which I want to show the client website’s important metrics such as impressions, clicks, revenue, and conversions, separately.

Step 1

Create any chart, (such as time series)

Drill Down and Optional Metrics in Google Data Studio 11

Step 2

Select a dimension, (such as date)

Drill Down and Optional Metrics in Google Data Studio 12

Step 3

Add a metric (such as impression)

Drill Down and Optional Metrics in Google Data Studio 13

Step 4

Enable the toggle button for optional metrics

Drill Down and Optional Metrics in Google Data Studio 14

Step 5

Add more metrics inside the optional section

Drill Down and Optional Metrics in Google Data Studio 15

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Step 6

Now go to edit mode, here you have a setting icon on the top of your chart adjacent to down-arrow, this is a dropdown list for select/unselect metrics to display the data visualization.

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You can select a single option every time, and it will show you the individual data for that metric only.

You see how easily we have used four different metrics in a single chart and we made it easy for our viewer or anyone we share out the report with to interact with the chart and see useful insights within a single chart.

Note: Here I have used date as the only dimension, by default date gives me multiple dimensions, by which we can breakdown dates into different formats, so here you can also use a drill-down like a feature even without adding multiple dimensions.

Drill Down and Optional Metrics in Google Data Studio 23

Drill Down and Optional Metrics in Google Data Studio 24

This is how you can use the drill-down and optional metrics in Google Data Studio and make some really cool and highly engineered charts for real-time engagement and user interaction. I hope you find this guide helpful, and now you don’t have any problems with drill-down and optional metrics.

Important Notes

  • Toggle to “optional parameter”, you have another toggle button “Metric Sliders”, they are toggle to optional parameters, means that you can only one of them, metric sliders allow you to pick starting and ending values for a metric and it will show only the data on those values.
  • I don’t recommend using metric sliders compared to optional metrics. Optional metrics are more powerful and easier to use, plus interactive.
  • Some dimensions have built-in drills, that can be used just like other drills by default, such as date dimensions have “Date”, “Year Month”, and “Month”, these are the variations of the date that can visualize data based on any of these formats.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can drill down and optional metrics be used together in Google Data Studio?

Yes, of course, they can be used together, because they both are different entities. Drill down is related to dimension, and your optional metrics are related to metrics. So, yes, they can be used together on a chart, most probably they are used together to enhance the interactivity of the charts for viewers.

What are Metric Sliders in Google Data Studio?

Metric sliders are simply sliders having two endpoints one can be a starting value of a metric and the second be the ending value, we can slide the values left or tight to tweak with the visualization, and the charts will only take the provided value, and displays the chart data accordingly. But, a big limitation in Data Studio is that you can use only one of them, a metric slider, or optional metrics. They cannot be used together or within the same chart.

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Conclusion

Wrapping up Drill down and optional metrics in Google Data Studio, we have seen what is drill down, and what optional metrics we have been seeing in the chart sections. We discussed both of these concepts in detail, and we try to negotiate how to use both of them with charts and enhance the interactivity of the charts especially for users, and viewers.

That’s all from drill down and optional metrics in Google Data Studio. I will see you soon with another helpful tutorial. Hit the like button if you like our tutorials, and keep learning with Office Demy.

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M. Shaiq Ansari

Hi, I am Shaiq. A young and self-motivated content writer having years of experience expertise in MS Office suite, Google docs Editor Suite. I have a technical education background that empowers me to stand out in today's digital world. I am currently a freelance content creator and a part of a local digital marketing agency in Karachi Pakistan.

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