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Data Studio 101: Auction Insights Competitor Analysis

Google have enabled AdWords auction insights metrics in Data Studio, adding to the platform’s ever growing list of features.

Launched in summer 2016, Data Studio’s feature set has grown at a steady pace. They introduced a DCM connector in February ’17, GA segments in March and file uploads in April. This week, competitor analysis from auction insights has become available in Data Studio, meaning that we can automate the extraction of competitor data for the first time. Read on to learn how to create a data table, scatter graph, and manipulate the data with filters and formatting. Here’s a breakdown of the new metrics, now available for everyone:

Dimensions: Auction Insights – Domain 

Metrics: Avg. Position, Overlap Rate, Impr. Share, Outranking Share

Getting Started

Google have made the presentation of auction insights data as intuitive as everything else in Data Studio, and you can get started with just a few steps.

  1. You may need to refresh your data source to get access to these metrics. If you don’t see them listed when you go to create your table, click the pen icon by the data source then click ‘Edit Connection’ and ‘Reconnect’. You’ll see a summary of changes including the new fields. 
  2. Create a table in a Data Studio report, and choose ‘Auction Insight – Domain’ as your primary dimension. 
  3. Add the metrics ‘Impr. Share’ (Note – ‘Search Impr. Share’ is a different metric, and won’t work in this table), ‘Avg. Position’ (Note again – ‘Avg. position’ with a lower case ‘p’ is the usual metric used in reporting your own position, but won’t work in competitor analysis), ‘Overlap Rate’ and ‘Outranking Share’. 

Data Studio Auction Insights Table

Getting Fancy

It’s as easy as that. But, as you can see from the table above, there are a few quick changes we can make to improve this table:

Format ‘Impr. Share’ as a percentage, rather than a number.

  1. Click on your table to reveal the data pane. Click ‘Impr. Share’, then ‘Create New Metric’ to bring up your editable data source.
  2. You’re given a list of dimensions and metrics that make up your data source. Search for ‘Impr. Share’ in the search window.
  3. Locate the ‘Impr. Share’ metric, and switch its format from ‘Number’ to ‘Numeric > Percent’.
  4. Repeat for Overlap Rate, and Outranking Share.

Remove some of our less competitive competitors to leave the top 5-10 who we appear against most often.

  1. Click your table to bring up the data pane. Scroll to ‘Table Filter’, and click ‘Add A Filter’, then ‘Create A Filter’. 
  2. Give the filter an appropriate name – you’ll use it again.
  3. Set the filter to ‘Include’ > ‘Impr. Share’ > ‘Greater Than’ > ‘0.1’, or whatever is appropriate for you.
  4. Hit save, and apply to your data table.

Getting Scatty

Data tables are great, everyone knows that, but competitor data is a great opportunity to use one of Data Studio’s less prolific chart formats – the scatter graph.

  1. Choose ‘Scatter Chart’ from the toolbar, and place it on the report page.
  2. Add ‘Auction Insight – Domain’ as your primary dimension, ‘Impr. Share’ on your X-Axis and ‘Avg. Position’ on the Y Axis. Add ‘Overlap Rate’, as your bubble size metric.
  3. You’ll probably see loads of tiny bubbles towards the 0-mark on your graph. Those are your uncompetitive competitors, so apply the filter you created earlier.
  4. Switch over to the ‘Style’ section of the right-hand pane. 
  5. Click ‘Show data labels’, and set the Bubble Colour to ‘Auction Insight – Domain’, to give your bubbles a unique colour per competitor.

Data Studio Auction Insights Scatter Graph

Next Steps

There are some additional features we’d like to see to help our competitor analysis in Data Studio.

Time series charts

Currently we can segment competitor data by date in data tables, but can’t apply that data to a trend line chart.

Missing ‘You’

The data usually labelled as ‘You’ in the AdWords interface has been replaced with ‘Null’, which is a little jarring visually, but we hope this is a quick fix that the Google team can implement.

If you're interested in using Data Studio but aren't sure where to start, contact our team.