How to Add Cross & Chart Filter in Google Data Studio

How to Use Filters in Google Data Studio 7

Hi. In today’s article, we will learn how to use Filter in Google Data Studio. We have already learned Controls in the previous tutorial, now filters are similar to controls, but there is a primary difference, controls are used to give control to the people we want to share the report with, and controls are primarily accessed by the users they can make changes and see the report with several filters which we provided them. These are controls that are accessed by everyone who can view the file.

But filters are for the creator only, if you are creating a report and you need to have some filters to filter out your data or breakdown the categories. And you don’t want these filters to be editable or can be manipulated by the users, so you will use Filters instead of Controls. This is the primary difference between Controls and Filters, we can add a filter on any chart like a table, pie, etc.

Filters are of two types one is the cross filters, and the second is internal filters. We will see both and will talk about their usages and their functionalities.

Why Use Filters in Google Data Studio?

As we learned about Controls and saw how important they are to manipulate the data and give useful insights to users who are viewing and interacting with the report, controls are for everyone anyone can see the data on their preferences by using controls.

But a creator also needs some kind of filters, the functionalities of Filter and controls are relatively very similar to each other, but the difference is the access, all kinds of filters are only for the creator and they do not go by to user end even when we share the report with them, as we saw controls are visual elements that are appearing in front of the creator and users of the file. But filters are not visually appeared on the report, they are in the Chart section and not viewed in the view mode.

We need to learn to perform internal filtering of data and not allow any user to tweak anything with internal filters. Therefore, it’s an important concept in Data Studio, and that’s why we need to learn how to use Filters in Google Data Studio.

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How to Use Filters in Google Data Studio

So, we have two types of Filters, that come with every chart we use inside Data Studio, they can be found in the Chart sidebar, we will see how to enable them, how to use them, and how to write queries for filters when needed.

Add Filter in Google Data Studio – Cross Filtering

In this section, we will learn how to use Filters in Google Data Studio and will learn what is cross-filtering and how it works. Cross filtering is basically a toggle button for the filter. It comes with every chart and can be enabled for a single chart, and when we click on the area of the distribution in that chart the changes will be applied to all other charts on the canvas. This is why we call this filter cross-filtering because it affects the other charts crossed to the chart we click on.

Let’s understand with a scenario, you have a bar chart on your canvas, and a time series chart, these charts are showing some data over time. Now, below I have a pie chart that is showing the gender distribution of the users coming to my website. By default, cross-filtering is disabled, we can enable it by selecting a chart (by which we want to apply the filter on all other charts) and then go to the chart editor box, scroll down and toggle the “cross-filtering” toggle button.

If I click on the female, all the data let’s say revenue per user, will be showing only for males and females as what I have selected from the pie chart.

Still, got confusion? Let’s understand with a practical example.

Prerequisite: I have some charts here, having some data and a pie chart with some distribution of data.

Tip: All charts have a cross-filtering feature.

Step 1

Select a chart (for which you want to enable cross filtering)

How to Use Filters in Google Data Studio 1

Step 2

Go to the Chart Editor sidebar, scroll down and find the option “Cross-filtering” under the “Chart interaction” section, toggle the button to enable it.

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Step 3

Now that cross-filtering is enabled, click on any category of the chart and you will see all the charts’ data changing.

How to Use Filters in Google Data Studio 3

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This is how cross filtering works; this can be done using any charts (not only pie charts)

Tip: It is also called bounding filter because here we are applying a filter on one chart and changing all the charts based on it internally.
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Add a Filter in Google Data Studio – Internal Chart Filters

In this section, we will learn how to use filters in Google Data Studio, we will see the Filter section that comes with every chart. Every chart has some different options inside the “Add a filter” section, so let’s understand this example by a pie chart (because it’s simple), which you can use with anyone.

Firstly, we need to create a chart and add some dimensions and metrics to it. Now, it’s time for Filters.

Step 1

Select any of the charts and go to the Chart sidebar

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Step 2

Scroll down to the Filter section

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Step 3

Click on Add a Filter

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Step 4

If there are some filters already created, you will see the below window, click on “Create a Filter”

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Step 5

Else you will directly land on the below page

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Step 6

Now here you need to fill the form carefully to create a filter, first Give a name to your filter

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Step 7

Select INCLUDE or EXCLUDE

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Step 8

Select a field by which you want to Filter your data

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Step 9

Select a condition

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Step 10

Set the value for the condition

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Now, this is the single clause filter, you can click on the Save button to save this filter to use with your charts.

You can see the OR and AND buttons on the right and bottom of the Filter, these can be used for multiple conditions. We will surely learn this later in this series.

Step 11

Click on the Save button

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Step 12

The filter is automatically applied to your chart

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Tip: The Filter once created, can be reused with other charts as many times as you want.

Sometimes, filters can be annoying and you want to remove them, but there is no option here in the creation section. So, we have a different method to delete them.

Step 1

Go to resources Tab

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Step 2

Click on manage filters

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Step 3

Here, you have all your filters, you can edit, duplicate or remove them

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So, this is all about the filters and internal filters in Google Data Studio, these are basics, you can have more advanced filters with multiple conditions and clauses, we will some advanced filters in the coming articles in this series.

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Important Notes

  • Cross-filtering can be enabled for every chart
  • You can create a Filter & Control for the same task, Filter is only used by you, and Control can also be used by users, we create both filters and controls for a single purpose to first validate the data by Filter, and then give access to users for user controls.
  • A filter once created, can be used many times, and that too with different charts
  • Remember that your viewers can not use or changes these Filters, but they can interact with the chart if there is any cross-filtering enabled.
  • We can have one or more clauses for a Filter.
  • You can delete a filter by going to Resources > Manage filters
  • Filters can be edited by clicking on the pencil icon adjacent to the filter name in the Filter section of the Chart sidebar.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can a viewer see the interactions of cross-filtering?

Yes. Cross filtering is created by the owner of the file, and viewers can only see them visually, there is nothing that indicates the cross-filtering functionality on a chart, but if they click on the chart accidentally, then yes they can know that there is some kind of internal filtering associated with this chart. They can use it, but can not enable/disable or change them.

Can we customize filters like controls?

Logically not, filters are not visual elements. They can be written inside a hidden section and can be used logically. There is no button, list, or icon to display for the filters. So, they cannot be customized or visualized, because there is nothing to display.

Can we have an Internal filter and cross-filtering both on the same chart at the same time?

Yes, you can have both, remember that the internal filter is only for the specific chart to precise the data based on the condition specified inside the filter, and the cross-filtering is for other charts on the canvas, so there is no direct connection of these two types of filters they can be used together on the same chart at the same time.

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Conclusion

So today we learned how to use Filters in Google Data Studio. We have learned and seen both types of filtering in Data Studio. We saw how practically how to create them, how to enable them, how to apply them, and how to delete them. This tutorial was meant to teach about basic filters, there is more to come regarding filters in this series of articles.

That’s all from how to use Filters in Google Data Studio. 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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