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Using Google Data Studio for Forecasting Google Analytics Traffic

By Brett
September 09, 2020

In today's video, we are looking at forecasting in Data Studio. Although we go over some basic options for forecasting in our video, we also want to get feedback from you. Check out the video and let us know if you would like us to build a new custom visualization in Data Studio to predict time-series data.

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Today we’re gonna go over some quick time series predictions, in just using Data Studio. So here we have some traffic that we’re getting to our website from these YouTube videos this channel that we created over the last, this year about halfway through the year, and so we wanted to create a prediction about how many views we’re gonna think we’re gonna get each week to our website from YouTube. We created a very basic model here and this just uses everything just in Data Studio, so if you actually click over here and edit this what we do is we just have the actual line here of data over the weeks of actual visitors that came to our website from this YouTube channel and then we added in the style a trend line, now we just use a linear model here but if your data say looks exponential you can do it like this, or if it’s polynomial look like this, but once again the polynomial kind of like expects these sort of trends and then dies out there so really you’re gonna look at the linear or exponential depending on how your data looks, that being said it’s not super powerful, and it’s not super complex accounting for a lot of different variables, so you can do it there another thing that you can do as well is you can actually remove the original line so here we have the same series but it’s actually just the prediction, so what we did is we just hid the main line but still included that trendline as well and another thing we kind of did here as well and it’s essentially the same model which is a linear model is we actually built a prediction in Google Sheets and here we have our actual index of data and this all comes from the same place and how many visitors we’re getting and then we can go in here and just use this forecast function and it once again it’s linear based so it’s creating a model that’s very similar to what you were seeing back here and here, it’s almost the exact same prediction, now that being said we all know that predictions can have a lot of different variables in it and for instance if you were to break down your data over time it might look something like this where you have your observed data you have your trend you have seasonality and you have randomness, and none of these things are really accounted for individually in this current model of the linear attribution of being able to predict, so we did want to pose a question, so if you wanted to put a comment in here or subscribe to our newsletter and talk to us, but if you guys wanted us we’ve built some community visualizations in Data Studio before using like chi-square prediction and also being able to compare yourself versus like your goals and those are available in the gallery, but if you’re looking for one that does a little more robust trending of time-series data let us know in the comments and we’ll be happy to build that out, we just want to see if there’s audience for it, if or maybe you just like what we already have, so go ahead and comment and subscribe if you want to learn more or see when, if we end up building this, and we have enough audience you can see when it comes out and we’ll do a little video about that custom visualization and how you can actually use it in your Data Studio reports. Thank you very much.

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About the Author
Brett uses analytics to help clients put all the pieces together—from identifying KPIs to finding the right data to measure those KPIs and then collecting that data. He’s been in digital marketing for 8+ years and brings analytics leadership to the Anvil team. If he’s not drilling into data, he’s probably hanging with his kids or maybe playing some D&D.
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