Google Data Studio report for forums


May 19, 2006
Hi All,

Hope you're all doing well. It's been a while since I last posted here and I've come a long way in my career since I was a wee kid posting on these forums back in 2006.

I've always been interested in forums, but just never good at setting them up and making them last! It's definitely a tough gig.

I don't manage forums anymore, but manage large websites and I do quite a bit of work on reporting on the performance of websites -- national brands. I'd like to help the 'forum owner community' out by creating a customizable Google Data Studio report for any and all forum owners.

What is Google Data Studio?

If you haven't heard of Google Data Studio, then this is perfect as I'd like to introduce you to a FREE tool that Google has released as part of its Google Marketing Platform.

With this tool, you can connect APIs from various sources including Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Ads, MySQL, and a bunch of other systems to create insight and useful dashboards to check the health of your forum. You may or may not think the word API is a scary term, but I would allay those thoughts by telling you that Google Data Studio natively integrates these APIs, meaning there is no need at all to know about coding and it's more like setting up and installing a forum -- though with minimal maintenance.

You can see an example of a dashboard that I've created here using the Google Search Console API:

(Disclosure: there is a link in my signature that shows you how to create this if you want keyword insight from what keywords are driving traffic from Google to your website)

The above isn't really a report suited to forums, as you'd want things like landing page URL, Visitors metrics split by dimensions to see the source of those visitors, the performance of individual community areas etc.

Why can't I just use Google Analytics?

Google Data Studio gives you the ability to SCALE, and you don't constantly have to log in to Google Analytics. On the scalability front, you're able to share the report within anyone in your circle, or with anyone you want - as if it is simply a web page on the web.

You're able to create customised views using Google Analytics (my main choice of analytics packages):


I'm not looking for payment or anything like that, but am purely motivated by creating dashboards that people can use via Google Data Studio.

I am willing to take on the first 5 forums to create a customised dashboard for you, and then releasing the template (not your data - unless with permission) to the general community so that all can enjoy.

Otherwise, I'm working on a template as we speak, and would like to get some ideas as to what metrics in Google Analytics that you find useful and what you'd like to see in a report like this. Let me know if you have any questions!
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