Visualise your data with Google Data Studio dashboards and Fugo Digital Signage CMS

Google Data Studio is part of the Google Marketing Platform suite and comes with some incredibly handy features — including the ability to create beautiful, in-depth dashboards using your data. It’s also free, and very beginner-friendly, which makes it a fantastic place to start your journey into business intelligence, data analysis, and dashboards.

On top of being able to collate your data in the form of clear and helpful dashboards and reports, Google Data Studio integrates seamlessly with other Google solutions like Google Ads, Analytics, Sheets, and Search Console. You can also connect directly to MySQL or PostgreSQL databases to cut out the middle man and ensure you’re using the most up-to-date information, which is great (especially if you’re tired of manually exporting databases and compiling data into spreadsheets!)

Fugo TV Dashboards & your Google Data Studio dashboards

Your data is key to your business. It’s sensitive, important, and needs to be kept secure. Integrating with a third-party solution usually opens up another door for hackers or people looking to snoop on your analytics - but Fugo takes unique steps to keep your information from falling into the wrong hands when using our TV Dashboards service.

This means you can get your data up on your workplace TV screens or digital signage around your offices, allowing key team members to monitor and make decisions based on the information you’re gathering and showing to them.

Fugo is different to other third-party dashboard solutions, because of how seriously we take your data security. Rather than creating a publicly accessible URL (allowing anybody to visit and look at your dashboard) or storing your Google Data Studio access credentials on an external playback device (which can be lost or stolen), Fugo records your login process, encrypts it, and works alongside an external private Cloud server to access and fetch screenshots of your dashboards.

Best Practices for integrating your Google Data Studio dashboards with Fugo

Getting your Google Data Studio dashboards and reports displaying on your digital signage with Fugo is as easy as logging in and taking a screenshot - but before we get ahead of ourselves, here are some best practices to follow for any third-party integration with Fugo:

1. Create a service account:

We've worked hard to develop the TV dashboards feature so that your sensitive data is completely secure. But as an extra precaution we highly recommend using a 'least privileged' service account when setting up your dashboards - this is usually an account that has read-only permissions for the dashboards you want to display on your screen(s.) You can read more about how to set up a service account with Google here.

2. Start with your dashboard URL

It's often the case that you can navigate directly to your target dashboard's URL when creating a new dashboard in Fugo. This will require you to log in, and then you’ll be redirected back to your destination. This is the quickest and most reliable journey you can make in Fugo Dashboards as it cuts out unnecessary steps in your journey.

3. Search for your dashboard

Most dashboard services have search capabilities. Instead of clicking through multiple menus, you can get to your target content quicker and more reliably by searching for it. We recommend searching the full name of the content you want to display, as partial search terms may return more items you'll have to sift through.

Connect your screens to a Fugo account

2.1 Log into your Fugo Account. If you don’t have an account yet, you can start your 14-day free trial here.

Note: TV Dashboards are a part of Fugo's Business Plan. During your free trial, you can create one dashboard. To create any more, you will need to upgrade your plan.

2.2 Make sure your screen(s) are connected to Fugo CMS. If you haven’t connected your screen(s) yet, you can find the instructions for that here.

Create a new dashboard

2.3 Click Dashboards in the top navigation bar to go to your Dashboard library. If you have not created any dashboards yet, this page will be empty.

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2.4 Click Create Dashboard to get started. This will take you to the New Dashboard recorder page where you will follow the instructions to capture and preview your dashboard before publishing it to screen.

2.5 Now you will need to paste the URL used to sign in to Google Data Studio - in this case, that should be https://datastudio.google.com/u/0 — and click Go.

💡 If you want to go straight to a particular dashboard, simply copy the URL of that dashboard view, and paste that in here instead!

2.6 If this is your first time creating a TV dashboard, a popup guiding you on how to configure your Chrome browser to allow the Fugo recorder to run in incognito mode will appear. You can find our instructions for allowing incognito mode here. If this is not your first time, you can skip this step.

2.7 An incognito window will open up using the URL you’ve entered. Go ahead and enter the email and password for the Google Data Studio account that has access to your dashboard.

2.8 Once you’re signed in to your Google Data Studio account, you should see your home screen with all available dashboards. Simply select the dashboard that you want to present, or search for it using the search bar at the top. On the right-hand side of the screen, in the browser window that has Fugo CMS in it, you’ll see a recording pane starting to note down the steps you’ve taken. This is so that Fugo can access your dashboard via a private and encrypted Cloud server, which it will do later to fetch the most up-to-date version of your dashboard.

2.9 When you’ve found the dashboard you want to display on your screens, you can select Capture Dashboard from the bottom pane to capture the entire screen.

💡 You can use the Element Screenshot button to capture a specific portion of the screen - this is useful for tidying up your dashboards, and allowing users to focus on just the data rather than anything around it (like the search bar, side panes, etc.)

2.10 Fugo will now try to replicate the steps it recorded during your login process. It can take a couple of minutes for your dashboard to show up in the preview area, so don’t sweat it if you see a loading screen - your dashboard will be ready soon!

2.11 When your Google Data Studio dashboard shows up in the preview area, take a look and confirm that everything appears as you’d like it to. If you’re happy and want to go ahead and get this dashboard on your office screens immediately, click the Publish button in the bottom right to open up the Publish popup, and send it to your Screens, Channels, or Playlists.

You can also click Save to store this dashboard and come back to it later.

Tips and Tricks for your Google Data Studio dashboard

There are a few things that make the difference between an amateurish dashboard, and an exceptional one. Business intelligence dashboards are complex by their nature, and you’ll need to consider the setting that your dashboard will be displayed in; it’s very different displaying a dashboard on a TV screen shared in front of a whole office to displaying an interactive dashboard on your computer screen right in front of you. As the designer of a dashboard, you’ll have to put in some work to help your team make the most of your data.

Let’s take a look at a few tips to help your team and create an efficient, simple and powerful :

  1. Figure out your KPIs. Obviously, the less clutter you can afford to have on-screen, the better. Sit down with your team and figure out ahead of time what the crucial metrics that they need to see on this dashboard are. This information will be key to planning out the layout of your dashboard, which is an important first step.

  2. Breathing room. Once you’ve got your KPIs sorted, make sure you give each one the room it needs. Cramming graphs and tables together might mean you can fit more information on the screen, but it might also mean that your viewers can’t make the most of that information. You’ll want to avoid information overload, and you can help your team by spacing out the information — even small gaps can make a big difference here!

  3. Consider your colors. Less is more here. It might be tempting to go wild and use all kinds of bright colors (which might fit your brand!) to help illustrate your data and liven it up a little, but it might just make your team’s eyes work harder. To avoid headaches (literally and metaphorically), try to keep things neutral, and only use three or four colors if possible. It’s also a good idea to keep color connotations in mind; people often associate red with negative and green with positive - at a distance, you can communicate positive or negative metrics by using these colors.

  4. Create a visual hierarchy. Because your team will be viewing this from a distance, creating an immediately obvious hierarchy in your dashboard will help your team to figure out what’s most important quickly and easily. You can do this in a variety of ways - the most important being size and fonts. If you use a bold, bigger, or different font for the most important data points, and a smaller, italicized font for explanations or less important points, your team will know at a glance where to look and what they need to be reading.

Google doesn’t offer any tips or things to consider in terms of dashboard design, but they do offer a few templates you can use or draw inspiration from for your Data Studio dashboards.

If you’ve got any questions about connecting your Google Data Studio dashboards with Fugo or any feedback on this guide or the TV Dashboards feature, get in touch with our support team by sending an email to support@fugo.ai - they’re always happy to help!

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