Google Data Studio – Usage of emojis as quick win for picture dimension

Google Data Studio - Emojis for image dimension

🤔 Your situation

  • You wish to include pictures inside your Google Data Studio report to use it dynamically (conditioned by your data)?
  • You cannot quickly upload your pictures on a web server, and use URL images, like Google Data Studio authorizes for the moment
  • Anyway, you don’t want to create a dependency with an external hosting, and so maintain it, for no critical graphic needs
  • You get simple pictures requirements and no strict graphical guidelines to respect

💡 Fast and easy solution : EMOJI!


Emojis compatibilities and access

Emojis are system-managed special characters. it means that their drawing is made by your operating system. Customizations are possible on each software level (or website).

This set of special characters is available for all browsers in Windows 10 and MacOs 10.10 and higher (emojis compatibilities).

So, before applying the solution described below, be sure that all report designers and readers use a recent versions of operating systems.

Update – 12 oct. 2019: Regarding readers feedback, it seems that country flags are not available by default on Windows 10. Emojis are replaced by country ISO codes.

To access to emojis panel:

  • On Windows: Windows + semicolon (“;”) or Windows + period (“.”)
  • On MacOs: Ctrl + Command + Space

How to use dynamic emojis for image dimension purposes

“Case…When” function inside calculated fields is THE solution for dimension grouping, modifying, conditional formatting…You will find a lot of examples and documentation about it.
So, nothing new here, we will just use emojis like text outputs.
Then, select the created new dimension for our chart.

Let’s create a calculated field based on “Category device” dimension from a Google Analytics data source, and use desktop and mobile emojis.

Device category icon
	WHEN Device Category = "mobile" THEN "📱" 
	ELSE "🖥"

Now, we just need to use our new “Device category icon” as dimension for our report ; and adapt text label or axis label regarding our charts with a high size.

Google Data Studio - Emojis for image dimension

Other use cases

There are a lot of available emojis, so the same principles can be applied for various use cases.

Top countries

Google Data Studio -  Country flag emojis for country chart

Country flag
	WHEN Country ISO Code = "FR" THEN "🇫🇷"
	WHEN Country ISO Code = "US" THEN "🇺🇸"
	WHEN Country ISO Code = "GB" THEN "🇬🇧"
	WHEN Country ISO Code = "AU" THEN "🇦🇺"
	WHEN Country ISO Code = "IN" THEN "🇮🇳"
	WHEN Country ISO Code = "ES" THEN "🇪🇸"
	WHEN Country ISO Code = "DE" THEN "🇩🇪"
	ELSE Country ISO Code

Scatter chart (update of October 18, 2021)

Here an example of scatter chart. With treemap, It is a rare chart allowing to use dimension value as labels…so emojis!

Scoring and ratings

Google Data Studio -  Stars emojis for ratings chart

Star rating
	WHEN User scoring cd = "1" THEN "⭐️"
	WHEN User scoring cd = "2" THEN "⭐️⭐️"
	WHEN User scoring cd = "3" THEN "⭐️⭐️⭐️"
	WHEN User scoring cd = "4" THEN "⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️"
	ELSE "⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️"

Language filter

Let’s combine emojis with the use of treemap chart as horizontal navigation filter (my previous article). Regarding your need, you can apply it on report, group or page level. Here an example on page level to follow scroll depth filtering on content language.

Other examples

We can imagine applying this easy tip for other use cases:

  • Satisfaction : 🙂 🙁
  • True / False  : ✅ ❌
  • Page speed : 💩 🥵 🤠 🥳
    • Sorry for this example…it is impossible to write about emojis without a reference to 💩…the preferred emoji of my 5-year-old son
  • Weather : ☀️ ⛅️ 🌧

Attention : L’abus d’emojis provoque des troubles oculaires