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How to Create Small Multiples in Google Data Studio

By Jessica
September 10, 2020

Creating a small multiple graph in Google Data Studio can help you visualize how different segments of users are behaving. On many occasions, we have wanted to create a bar graph in Data Studio in which we apply a different Google Analytics segment to each bar. Unfortunately, this just isn't possible in Data Studio, so we create small multiple graphs to display the same information, and in this tutorial we will let you in on all of our secrets.

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Today, I wanted to do a quick tutorial on how to create a small multiples visualization in Google Data Studio. For this example, we want to understand how different events are impacting purchasing behavior on our site. We want one segment with sessions with a video view and a purchase, one session that demonstrates content downloads and a purchase, and we want one segment that includes sessions with a purchase, but no other events. We want a bar similar to this for each one of these different segments of users. Now to create this first bar, all we did was come up here to add a chart and we chose bar chart. Now, after we did that, we came over here on the right hand side and chose host name. Now our host name for all of our different sessions is going to be so it just gave us this one bar. That’s what you want.

Our metric is going to be sessions. Then down here where it has your Google Analytics segment, this is where you want to come in and choose the custom segment for sessions with a video view and a purchase. Once you click that, it’s going to ask you if you want to add it to the report. Go ahead and do that. Now we want to come up here and address a couple of different style issues with this bar chart that we’ve imported. We want to make sure show data labels is checked. Show axis should not be checked. We want to force our axis max so, for this example, let’s go ahead and do 2100. This allows for a little bit of extra wiggle room if, next month, we are seeing sessions that add up to 1900 or 2000. We never want this number to exceed our axis max so that’s why we want to add that buffer there.

We can choose our label font size and increase that if we need to make it a little bit more readable. We want to ensure that we do not have a legend. After you’ve done all of that. You should have a single bar that you see here. Now to add the additional bars, all we’re going to do is hit command C and command V on a Mac, that’s copy and paste. Then we’re going to come down here and line it up exactly with the other one. These red lines in Google Data Studio will definitely help you do that to where you can see that it’s centered. Now the only thing that you’ll have to do here, because all of our styles stays the same, is come in here and choose the custom segment you’ve created in Google Analytics for sessions containing a content download and a purchase.

For this example, our site is not an eCommerce site, so we don’t have these segments actually built in Google Analytics. I’m just going to come in here and choose a system segment just for the sake of this tutorial. Now to add another bar like this, you would come in, copy, paste it, and change that segment once again. That’s really all there is to creating a small multiples graph in Google Data Studio.

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About the Author
Jessica joined the Anvil team after earning her degree in Marketing. She really enjoys getting to work on something different every day in her role, whether that’s helping with a Facebook project or solving an issue in Google Analytics. Her problem-solving prowess extends beyond work, too—she loves games and is her family’s pinochle champ.
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