We’ve all been there.
Today I’ll discuss the errors experienced and how to troubleshoot; be it user error or if Data Studio’s just having a bad day.
Here’s what you usually need:
- Access to the platforms that is connected to Data Studio
- Edit access to the dashboard and data sources
- A cool head
- Plenty of patience
- Lots of breaks (don’t be too hard on yourself here)
Why isn’t my data set pulling in data?
This happened to me when I was trying out connecting Data Studio to our GA4 property. I did the usual connect steps, then pulled in a chart. Bang.
At this point, the feature was still brand new so I didn’t think too much of it. I came back after a few days and found it still wasn’t working, so here’s what I did to troubleshoot.
Are my fields and filters working correctly?
- Check that the chart’s dimensions and metrics were not displaying errors (they will be in red, if so)
- Checked if I had duplicated a chart which had filters applied using another data source (updating or removing the filter works)
- Give Refresh data a try at the top right corner
Is my data source having issues?
It didn’t seem to be a chart-level issue, so I went into the data source:
Click on Edit data source, then hit Refresh Fields at the bottom:
Return to your dashboard to see if that’s worked, if not click on Edit Connection. It’s worth a quick check if the right GA4 property or view is still connected. A view might have been deleted, or moved. Hit Reconnect at the top right to reconnect the data source.
If this still does not work, connect the data source to another dashboard. This checks if the issue lies with the dashboard, or the data source.
- If the data source works on another dashboard, the dashboard is likely having issues.
- If the data source doesn't work on another dashboard, the data source is likely having issues
- Alternatively, try duplicating the dashboard or data source
I did the steps above; first duplicating the dashboard, then used the data source on another dashboard. Both did not work.
At times you may have to create a new dashboard and a new data source. In my case, creating a new dashboard and data source did the trick. Don’t despair at the thought of recreating your dashboard! Copy + paste will be your friend here with a few quick tweaks.
Why isn't my chart working?
This usually pops up when
- a dimension/metric combination cannot be used on a chart, or
- a chart is missing a dimension or metric, or
- a calculated field format is incorrect, or
- filters need updating.
What caused this system error?
This is a tough one. I find this appears on days that Data Studio struggles a lot: slow, laggy, buggy.
I refresh, do config on chart and data source level, and hope for the best. Most of the time it rectifies itself the next day. If it doesn’t, Google usually releases an update.
My table was working yesterday! What happened??
- Check your data on respective platforms: for example Google Analytics, Google Sheets, BigQuery.
- Using a Supermetrics connector? Ensure you have the right permissions and/or your license has not expired. Make sure there’s data coming in on the marketing platform, for dates on the date picker.
- If Google Analytics, is there data being recorded? Check that all is fine on chart-level. Dimensions, metrics, and filters are good to go.
- If Google Sheets, did someone change the column names? Did the sheet not update with new data? If changes were made, Refresh Fields or Reconnect will update the Data Studio connection.
- If BigQuery, were there code changes done the day before? Worth a check to make sure there are no errors with your code. Same steps here, Refresh Fields or Reconnect to refresh the connection.
- Also check that there is data available to display, for dates chosen in the date picker.
- All is fine on the platform but still showing no data? Remove the fields from the chart, and add them back in. Also try deleting the chart and recreating it.
- Do connect the data source to another dashboard to ensure it’s working as expected.
What’s going on with my charts?
This happened with a client who was recreating a dashboard using the same dataset. They noticed the circled spike is higher in the new dashboard than the old dashboard. It was puzzling as the data is the same.
What you can do:
- Remove the dimension/metric and add it back again.
- Delete the chart and recreate it
- Often the bug will resolve itself, as it was in this case. As long as you’re sure the data is solid, a bug may be present in Data Studio.
In short, this is my troubleshooting list:
- Check data on respective platforms
- Check data connection in Data Studio
- Check that fields and filters are working correctly
- Recreate charts
- Recreate data sources
- Worse case scenario, recreate the dashboard
- Test data sources on other dashboards
- Test charts on other dashboards
- Have a colleague or friend check if they’re experiencing the same errors or issues as you are
If time permits, come back tomorrow and try again :) One only has so much patience and sanity.