Google Data Studio – Transparent image as negative mask layer of chart

Google Data Studio (GDS) is intended to create dynamic dashboards for the straightforward operational follow-up of digital performance.
On the other hand, power users community is full of imagination to use it for other purposes, enhancing GDS possibilities, notably through community visualization components.

With appropriate workarounds and a lille bit of graphic design skills, you can also deploy graphical reports, without having technical knowledges, contrary to the development of visualization components.

As example, in order to follow the achievement of your business targets, you can use transparent PNG image as a negative mask layer to elevate the design of your Google Data Studio dashboard to infographic visualization level.

The result

In the chart below, the objective is to reveal fully a trophy icon when the daily target of 40 quotation requests has been reached. Easy: Just a well-configured bar chart and a transparent PNG image.

Step #1

Create a bar chart and freeze axis max with your target:

  • Select your chart
  • Go to Style tab inspector
  • Change axis max with your target
  • Use past data to get the version of the bar chart with reached target

Step #2

Add, over your bar chart, a custom transparent PNG image, especially made for your widget (size, icons, page background color…):

  • Make a screenshot of your bar chart
  • Copy it inside your favorite graphic design software
  • Create your negative layer with the same width and height than bar chart, using the wished iconography as negative layer
  • Export it as transparent PNG image
  • Add it over your bar chat in Data Studio

Step #3

Test the progressive render using past data, then apply the real date range and deploy your report on data walls and other shared business dashboards 🙂

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PS: The short version of this post has been published on my Twitter account the 7th of march 2019: @wissi_analytics