Google Data Studio is a data visualisation tool, allowing you to import data from countless sources and display them on a completely customizable, interactive dashboard.
The tool comes with a number of free ‘Connectors’, which allow you to import data from a number of sources. Most of these are Google owned apps and tools, but there’s a couple of additional ones such as MySQL and PostsgreSQL connectors.
The free connectors are:
- Google Analytics
- Google Ads
- Google Sheets
- Campaign Manager
- Cloud Spanner
- Cloud SQL for MySQL
- Display & Video 360
- Extract Data
- Google Ad Manager
- Google Cloud Storage
- Search Ads 360
- Search Console
- YouTube Analytics
If you want to import data from other sources for free, you need to save the data as a CSV, add this to your Google Drive, then use the free CSV Connector to pull the data into Data Studio. While this is perfectly fine for static data or data that’s only updated every couple of months, it’s not feasible if you’re working with dynamic and fast-changing data points.
Thankfully, with the help of 3rd party connectors, you can import data from hundreds of other popular websites and software, such as Facebook Ads, Instagram, AdRoll, Amazon, Salesforce and Hubspot.
The two main 3rd party connectors are Supermetrics and Power My Analytics. Each offer a similar service, but differ in cost and in the number and range of connectors available.
Supermetrics is a super simple option that does the heavy lifting to connect your data sources to Google Data Studio.
It comes with 51 connectors, meaning they have connectors for most of the tools you’re likely to want to connect to Data Studio.
As of June 2020, their Individual plan is $39 per month. This gets you 1 licence user and access to 1 data source. Within this 1 data source you can connect it to 3 accounts – so if your data source is Twitter, you could link it up with 3 Twitter accounts within your licence.
Chances are you’re going to want to connect to multiple data sources. If you want to keep track of your organisation’s social media on one concise dashboard, you’ll probably need 4 or 5 data sources.
Their next plan, Pro, gives you 3 users and a total of 33 data sources, which is more than adequate for pretty much every organisation. You can connect to up to 20 accounts per data source, so this becomes a viable option for small agencies with a reasonably compact client base.
If you’re a large agency wanting to pull in data for numerous client accounts, the Super Pro or Enterprise plans will be for you. The Super Pro plan comes with 5 users, 44 data sources and a mammoth 100 accounts per data source, while for the Enterprise plan you can customize the number of accounts based on your requirements.
You can try Supermetrics for Data Studio in full for 14 days by signing up for their free trial.
Power My Analytics
While similar to Supermetrics, their competitor Power My Analytics is uses a ‘Data Warehouse’ model.
Rather than simply providing a link between the data source (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, MailChimp or whoever) and Google Data Studio, Power My Analytics take your data from the data source and store it on their own server first.
Once the data is on their server, they then feed that data into Google Data Studio. They see this as a benefit, as it means that if one of the APIs goes down, e.g. if Facebook’s API goes down, your data is still available. They also claim it’s quicker as Data Studio doesn’t need to connect to the APIs.
However, for me it seems more convenient to connect directly to the API, as you know you’re receiving the most up to date information and don’t need to wait for Power My Analytics to download the data into their own warehouse first.
So I’d personally be opting for Supermetrics unless you’ve got a specific reason to go for the Data Warehouse model, or if you need a connector that they don’t offer.
Power My Analytics does offer a few connectors that Supermetrics doesn’t, as you can see in the connector comparison table below – namely Amazon, Campaign Monitor, eBay, Quickbooks and TripAdvisor – so if you’re looking for a very specific connector then you may be in luck.
They will also build a custom connector for users with specific requirements.
|Supermetrics||Power My Analytics|
|Bing Webmaster Tools||YES||NO|
|Easy Call Tracker||NO||YES|
|Facebook Audience Network||YES||NO|
|Facebook Page Insights||YES||YES|
|Google Ad Manager||YES||NO|
|Google Campaign Manager||YES||NO|
|Google Display & Video 360||YES||NO|
|Google My Business||YES||YES|
|Google Search Ads 360||YES||NO|
|Google Search Console||YES||NO|
|LinkedIn Company Analytics||NO||YES|
|Reddit Public Data||YES||NO|
Feature and price comparison
|Supermetrics||Power My Analytics|
|Phone Support||No||Yes, US-based|
|Billing Options||Credit card||Credit card or invoicing|
|Starting Features||1 user|
1 data source
3 accounts per source
3 data sources
3 accounts per source
|Starting Price||$39 per month||$29.95 per month|
If your connector is available in both Supermetrics and Power My Analytics, then for ease of use I’d definitely going for Supermetrics and signing up for their 7 day free trial to see if it’s the right choice for your business.
Alternatively if you need a connector that’s only available with Power My Analytics, or if you’re looking for someone to build a custom connector between another product and Data Studio, then they’re the guys for you.
What has your experience been with both connector services? Do you have a good reason for choosing one or the other? Let us know in the comments below.