Turning a Boring Spreadsheet into a Beautiful Data Studio Dashboard — a 4-Step Process

A Beginner-friendly tutorial for creating dashboards

Lazarina Stoy


Over the past year, I’ve become an advocate for reporting automation via Google Data Studio.

In a recent webinar I did with BoastRoas, a Turkish digital marketing agency, titled Data Studio for SEOs: Reporting Automation Tips, I shared a four-step process to turning a boring spreadsheet into a beautiful data studio report.

This process has helped me build dashboards that have reached tens of thousands of people and have helped digital marketers and SEOs alike. Dashboards, recognized by Google Analytics and shared in the newsletter in Google Data Studio. Dashboards, used daily by thousands of SEOs.


I have summarised the process into four steps.

4-step framework for Great Results

Let me show you how to turn spreadsheets into dashboards or otherwise how to turn these boring spreadsheets into these cool dashboards.

1. Access & Explore Data

The first one is to access and explore your data.

In a nutshell, first, you need to access your data, import it into the dashboard and explore it.

  • How many columns does it have?
  • What type of data is in each column?
  • What is the most important thing to take away from each column (KPIs)?

When you have a spreadsheet or any type of data, you would first need to know the structures.

So, for instance, if you have a data set with 20 different columns, you would need to know which columns contain numeric data and which columns contain textual data. Are there any that contain boolean data, e.g. yes or no, or like any sort of maybe labels for this?

Are there any dimensions you’d like to label differently, or bucket? These will become important when you are building your custom dimensions. These are essential labels that we will provide to the data.



Lazarina Stoy

talks about freelancing, productivity, marketing, and data science • Organic Marketing & Data Science Consultant, Speaker, Leader • also see lazarinastoy.com 🌊