Nonprofits and Data

last person joined: 3 days ago 

This group is for those interested in learning and sharing about all things data-related for nonprofits. The Nonprofits and Data group is for people using data to serve a mission, either directly or by improving nonprofits and the nonprofit sector. That includes everything from collecting data and managing databases to analytics, data visualization and data mining. Here are some examples of topics we discuss: using data to improve organizational effectiveness, measuring impact, using data for storytelling, tools for data management and analysis, figuring out the “right” data to collect, and learning skills to help us use data better.

User Insights into G Data Studio vs. Tableau vs. BI

  • 1.  User Insights into G Data Studio vs. Tableau vs. BI

    Posted 30 days ago
    Greetings community,

    I've read a number of posts on BI tools which were super helpful. Now I am looking for a bit more of detail on Data Studio vs. Tableau and Power BI.

    Background:
    • My nonprofit has been using Data Studio for a year
    • We pull data from multiple sources like Analytics, Adwords, our data warehouse
    • Create monthly dashboards about website traffic /behavior and correlate to program data
    Data Studio (DS) has worked out nicely for basic charts we've done, i.e. monthly website traffic trends, pie charts of new vs. return visitors, map of where users are, etc. But I've been challenged to do more involved visualizations, i.e. marketing funnel to show where users are abandoning in our programs. Awhile back, a volunteer did this nice Tableau dashboard for us which is alot nicer than our DS stuff. https://benetech.org/benetech-survey-back-school-reading-barriers/

    Question - is DS limited in the visualizations and analytics it can do? Or am I limited in my understanding of how to use DS (I've taken Google's online training)?

    We're considering whether to switch and learn a new BI tool / as well as the costs of moving to a paid tool.

    Thanks!
    Mario




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    Mario Oliveros
    Director, Marketing
    Benetech
    Palo Alto, CA
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 2.  RE: User Insights into G Data Studio vs. Tableau vs. BI

    Posted 30 days ago
    This is a tough one. I generally counsel nonprofits to use Datastudio if you are a G-Suite shop, PowerBI if an O-365 shop, and Tableau if you have a big budget. Tableau is still the best overall but Power BI is catching up fast. Data Studio is behind a number of products but works well for website info, I prefer the other two or   Qlik . The Amazon Quicksight has an interesting pay model and seems powerful enough.

    If all you need is website and email info then stick with Data Studio or Power BI. There are easier to learn, manage, and decent pricing. BTW, just about every state has free basic  0ne-day Power BI training somewhere these days.

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    Ellery July
    Saint Paul, MN
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 3.  RE: User Insights into G Data Studio vs. Tableau vs. BI

    Posted 27 days ago
    Thanks Ellery, my sense is that we may be outgrowing DS. Given our other tools with Microsoft and Salesforce, it may make sense to try BI and Tableau. Much appreciated.

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    Mario Oliveros
    Program Manager
    Benetech
    Palo Alto, CA
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 4.  RE: User Insights into G Data Studio vs. Tableau vs. BI

    Posted 27 days ago
    Hi Mario,

    Glad you brought this up. I've also been exploring both Data Studio and Tableau for automated reporting. In general, right now I like Tableau more when it comes to analysis & visualizations from our organization's database. It's more sophisticated and I find it easier to use. But at the same time, Data Studio is free ;)

    Data Studio strengths:
    • Really great for reporting & visualizations coming from our Google Analytics or Adwords data
    • Free and easy to share with co-workers
    • Very easy to edit the aesthetics of visualizations, dashboards, & reports
    • Google seems to be quickly developing the product & adding new features frequently

    Data Studio weaknesses:
    • Limitations to joining tables (only supports left outer joins, and can only join 3+ tables if they have matching fields)
    • Harder to view raw data while working on reports in order to pinpoint issues or questions
    • I've had issues creating custom calculated fields (and seen others online having similar issues)
    If anyone has tips for using either platform, I'd love to hear them too!



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    Joe Bobman
    (pronouns: he/him/his)
    Technology & Engagement Manager
    Food Forward
    Los Angeles, CA
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 5.  RE: User Insights into G Data Studio vs. Tableau vs. BI

    Posted 25 days ago
    Edited by Mario Oliveros 25 days ago
    Thank you Joe, that has been our experience as well. DS has been a great tool for Google products (plus learning their overall process / program for dashboard creation. I found their online training super helpful on data cleaning and dashboard planning and design which will translate into any tool).

    However, as we're looking to bring in other data sources, like our DWH, it has been more challenging, and thus my question.

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    Mario Oliveros
    Director, Marketing
    Benetech
    Palo Alto, CA
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    Tech Accelerate