Google Data Studio and Sitefinity Insight

web data on purple background- sitefinity insight Written By Brad Hunt

In this video, Brad Hunt, our President and Sitefinity MVP, will show you how to use Google Data Studio to visualize data from Sitefinity Insight. 

 

What is Google Data Studio? 

Google Data Studio provides an interactive way to compile and review data. Reports in Google Data Studio are connected to one or more data sources. In our demo, we will show you how to connect and display data from Sitefinity Insight. 

Sitefinity Google Data Studio Connector Documentation

Progress created a data connector that is made specifically for Google Data Studio to interact with Sitefinity Insight. You can learn all about the connector in the Sitefinity documentation

Connecting Sitefinity Insight and Google Data Studio via the connector  

The first thing you will want to do in Google Data Studio is to add a data source. You will see several available connectors. Here you will search for "Progress" and the Progress Sitefinity Insight connector will auto-populate in the options under Partner Connectors

Once the connector is selected, you will then have to authorize the Google account you will be using. Once you are finished authorizing the connector, you will need to tell it which data center in Sitefinity Insight to connect to, which is done by using an API key. 

To get your API key, you will log in to Sitefinity Insight. Go to Administration --> Data Centers and select Access Keys. This is where you will create a new access key. Click on the button to create a new access key, name your access key, and then choose which data center you want your new key to access. 

Click generate and a long access key will be generated.   Copy the key and then go back over to Google Data Studio to paste in the key and hit submit. That authorized Google Data Studio to access Sitefinity Insight and more specifically the data center.  

In this step, you will see a checkbox for "Use report template for new reports". By checking this you will get a sample report generated by Progress.  By clicking on the connect button, you will successfully connect Google Data Studio to Sitefinity Insight. 

Once the connection has been made, you will see fields that have already come over via the connector. 

Creating a Report in Google Data Studio 

Now that the data source has been connected, let's create a report. Click on Create Report in the top right and a notification window will be displayed letting you know you are about to create a new report with the data source you connected in the previous step. Select Create Report to continue with this data source. 

If you selected the checkbox in the connection set-up to use the report template, the first thing you will see is the sample report created by Progress.  

We open a new report in Google Data Studio and then select edit to get the toolbar at the top. In the toolbar, you will see an option to add a data source.  Click on add data to get a selection of the data sources already connected. Click on the Progress Sitefinity data source that was connected in the previous steps. 

Once you connect a data source in Google Data Studio, it means that the data is now available to add to the report. To visualize this data you will need to add charts or tables. 

In our demo, we create a table. Since our data source is connected, once we drag and drop the table on our report, it will automatically fill in the table with data from Sitefinity Insight. 

Clicking on the table in your report will give you a list of menu options on the right side of the screen.  In the tab for your table data, the first thing listed in your data source. This should have your Progress Sitefinity Insight data source listed.  There is also the "dimension", which is typically a text value or a name, and also a "metric", which is the numeric value in your table. This is also where you can set different types of configuration options for your table like rows per page, default sorting, filters, date range, etc. 

What Data is Available in Google Data Studio from Sitefinity Insight? 

You can find the data that is available in Google Data Studio from Sitefinity Insight in the Progress Sitefinity documentation for the Google Data Studio Connector under the Fields description section.  The field data is the information that comes over from Sitefinity Insight.  

In our video, we demonstrate how to add dimensions based on the available data from Sitefinity Insight. Sitefinity calls each of these "artifacts". "Artifacts are the objects you manage and measure in Sitefinity Insight."

These artifact types include the following:  

  • Type
  • Child
  • Name
  • Date
  • Unit
  • Value

The table below provides details below on Sitefinity artifact types and the description for each. Table source: Progress Sitefinity Google Data Studio Documentation

table of sitefinity and google data studio artifact field types

 

When identifying a "Type" dimension in Google Data Studio, the columns will populate with the following: 

  • Conversion
  • Persona
  • Touchpoint
  • Lead Scoring

The next dimension we will identify in Google Data Studio is the data available  "Child". You will notice that the only values that populate are those for lead scoring. All other data points will be displayed as "null" in the "child" column.  The reason for this is that a lead score is associated with stages like MQL (marketing qualified lead), hot lead, or cold lead. 

The next thing we can bring over from Sitefinity Insight to our report is a "name". This would be the name of the data point from Sitefinity Insight like the name of the conversion, the name or the persona, etc.  In our example, the name that was brought over for one of our conversions was "contact form" and for a persona, it brought over the "Corporate Marketer - Sitefinity" persona type.  It's displaying these because in Sitefinity Insight, we set-up a conversion called "Contact Form", which if you guessed, is someone who fills out the contact form on our site.  

The next dimension we add based on the data we can bring over from Sitefinity Insight is "date".  By adding "date" as a dimension, it will separate out the items based on specific dates. If you are looking to aggregate data like we are, the date dimension shouldn't be used. 

Next, we add another dimension called "unit".  "Unit" is a Sitefinity Insight specific term as we explain in the video. For the conversion, which is identified as a contact form, there is a unit called, "unique conversions".  This allows us to get a measure of unique conversions by removing duplicate contact form submissions by the same person. 

Adding a Date Range Control to Google Data Studio Report 

At 13:08 in our video demo, we add a date range control to our report. To do this you go to the top navigation of your report and select the dropdown for Add a control and then select Date range control. We add the control to the top of our report. The default date range for our report example was 28 days but you can change this in the Date range control Properties to display data from this quarter, this year, or a number of other different date range options. In our example, we went with a date range of this month.   The date range control in your Data Studio report will give your users the option to interact with the report by changing the report dates on the fly to see data in only specific time periods. 

Adding a Filter to a Chart in Google Data Studio 

A filter is useful for filtering data in a table based on some criteria.  We apply a filter to our table in Google Data Studio for the data types column.  After selecting your table, find the filter section in the table settings to the right and click on add filter.  You'll see filters listed that you created in the past in your filter picker or you can create a new filter. 

In our video demo, we create a new filter.  A window opens to create your new filter. You first will give it a name. In our example, we name it "Type = Conversion" since this filter will be used to only display the data type for conversions. You will then set the data source and in our case, the data source we are working with is Progress Sitefinity Insight.  In the next step, we identify the parameters for our filter.  We set the first drop down to "Include" then "Type" then "Equal to" the value "Conversion" since we only want the filter to include the conversion data in our table.  

Once you create a filter on your report, you can use it for other charts that you add.  It's important to note that a filter is applied in the settings of the specific chart but won't be applied to every chart in your report. As an example, we added a scorecard chart, which is typically just an individual data point. But the number that the scorecard is showing is larger than the grand total in our table, even though the scorecard settings say it's calculating the sum of the values in our table.  This is because the filter is applied to our table but has not been applied to other charts in our report. 

We had to select the scorecard and add the filter we set-up in the previous step so that the total in our table and the scorecard number equaled each other. 

Overview of Progress Sitefinity Google Data Studio Sample Report 

In our video demo, we will walk you through the sample report in Google Data Studio provided by Progress to help you understand how it is set up. Understanding this set-up is important for understanding the data and where it comes from.  

With this information, you can start building out your own reports for your business in Google Data Studio with data from Sitefinity Insight. Once you master this, the real power comes when you start combing data from other sources like Google Analytics on the same Data Studio report.