If you need more control of your data and you always wanted to download it to Excel, you can now do that with Microsoft’s supercharged Excel program: Power BI Desktop.
I will guide you through the initial steps to get Google Analytics data into Power BI and on future posts we will create useful reports with the data and Power BI.
A few words about Power BI
Before we start, and in an attempt to avoid confusion later on, there are more than one Power BI out there and you need to know which one to choose:
- Power BI web: This is the web version of Power Bi (www.powerbi.com)
- Power BI Desktop: This is the software we will use here (a standalone free version of Power BI)
- Power BI Office 365: This version is an add-on for your office 365 license
- Excel: yes, excel has all the Power BI functionality but they call it: Power View, Powerpivot, Power Query.
You probably wonder why I would use Power BI Desktop and not Excel, and the answer is simple: You need a 64-bits computer if you dont want Excel to crash all the time and Excel does not have the Google Analytics connector we will use in this tutorial. I am guessing that the reason they don’t have it is to get people to use Power BI Desktop and Web. Fair enough.
Watch it on YouTube
If you prefer, you can watch our demo in YouTube, otherwise you can follow a step by step guide below. Let’s start.
Download Power BI Desktop
To download the power BI software, simply navigate to the Power BI site and click on download.
A word of caution! If you don’t want Power BI in your own language, click on “Advance download options” to select the language first.
Follow the installation instructions and when ready open Power BI and click on “Get Data”:
Now, lets look for the Power BI connector: Search for Google Analytics:
Accept the terms and conditions and click ” Continue”:
Now you will be asked to Sign in to your Google analytics account:
Sign in your Google Account:
and allow the Power BI tool to access your Google Analytics data:
If everything goes well Power BI will connect to your Google Analytics account:
Immediately after you connect, you will be presented with all your accounts(1), properties(2) and views(3) and you will see all available categories (4) and dimensions(5) and metrics:
Creating our first report
Now that we are in, lets create a simple report to demonstrate how to use the tool.
Let’s select the following dimensions/ metrics from the following categories:
- From Time: Year
- From User:Users and
- from Session: Sessions
Microsoft has design this connector very well, you will get a Data Preview as you select your metrics and dimensions.
Once you are happy with your selections, click on “Load”.
And all your data will be loaded to your Report canvas.
Lets create a graph of data. Click on the boxes and the data will be presented as a table in your canvas:
To create a line graph, simply click on the line graph visualization icon:
And you have created your first chart outside Google Analytics.
Now the all the data is available to you to create the best fitting reports for your business or website.
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Google Analytics Glossary
If you are unsure or unfamiliar of how the data is categorized in Google Analytics, use our Google Analytics Glossary (requires Free membership) to search for your dimensions and metrics easily!