Making Data Visual: Looker Studio

Data visualization is such an important part of data-driven decision-making. Compelling visualizations can help everyone better understand the data, identify patterns and trends, and communicate findings to stakeholders. However, creating effective data visualizations can be a daunting task, especially for those who are not experienced in data analysis and visualization (not everyone is as nerdy as me – I am aware, ha). But there are tools that make it easier.

Looker Studio (previously Google Data Studio) is a powerful data visualization tool that can help schools create compelling and interactive visualizations. It allows you to connect to a wide range of data sources, including Google Sheets, and create customizable dashboards and reports that can be shared with others. And the best thing about it!? Looker Studio is free!

How to Get Started 

To get started with Looker, you will need to go to and log in using your Google email address. Once you are logged in, you can start creating a new report by selecting “Blank Report” from the “Start a New Report” menu.

Next, you will need to add a data source to your report. This can be done by clicking on the “Add Data” button in the top left corner of the screen and selecting the data source you want to use. For example, if you want to visualize data from a Google Sheet, you can select “Google Sheets” and choose the sheet you want to use. You’ll want to use a spreadsheet that has only one row of headers.

Once you have added a data source, you can start creating visualizations by selecting the type of chart or graph you want to use from the “Add a chart” dropdown. Looker offers a wide range of visualization options, including bar charts, line charts, scatter plots, and maps, among others, but you’ll have to be smart about how you present your data.

Tips for Creating Compelling Data Visualizations

Creating decent visualizations requires more than just selecting the right charts and graphs. Here are some tips:

Keep it simple: Avoid cluttering your visualizations with too much information. Focus on the most important data points and use clear and concise labels and titles.

Use color strategically: Color can be a powerful tool for highlighting patterns and trends in data. However, too much color can be distracting and make visualizations harder to read. Use color sparingly and strategically.

Tell a story: Use your visualizations to tell a story about your data. Identify the key takeaways and use text and annotations to guide the reader through your findings.

Make it interactive: Interactive visualizations allow users to explore data in more detail and can make visualizations more engaging. Consider adding filters or drill-down options, all possible through Looker.

Hiring Someone to Help

Creating compelling data visualizations can be a time-consuming and challenging task, especially for educators who are not experienced in data analysis and visualization. Hiring someone to help with data visualization can be a smart investment for your school or district. Data visualization experts can provide guidance on selecting the right visualization tools and techniques, as well as help create custom visualizations that meet your staff and community’s needs. Reach out if you’d like help!

If you’d like to chat more about what this looks like in your school or district, book a free hour here. :)

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Would love your thoughts, please comment.x