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I work with companies to better understand the people that visit their websites and find ways to improve their experience. These are some of the things i've learned along the way...

  • Scott Olivares

Create Friendly Experiment Names in Google Data Studio

Have you ever used Google Data Studio for reporting the results of an experiment? It's great for visualization and digging deep, but those experiment IDs are ugly!

Where are the descriptive variant names I created?!

Ugly Experiment IDs are not cool

The screenshot above is what your experiment reports look like with GDS and nobody, including me, knows what those Experiment IDs mean. I can't share this with people around my company and have them actually understand it.

Making it Better

One way to make this better is by creating a new field within Google Data Studio that renames the Experiment ID and Variant values to a friendlier name.

Here's how you could do it:

Step 1 - Find your experiment ID within Google Optimize

Within your experiment inside of Google Optimize, scroll down to the "Measurement and objectives" section. If you've linked your test to Google Analytics and have launched it, you should see an Experiment ID.

Copy that ID. We'll need it in step 4.

Step 2 - Go to your data source within Google Data Studio

Pull up GDS and find the data source you will use for your experiment report. In my case below, GDS is connected to a Google Analytics data source that contains my experiment data as well as a lot of the other activity on my website.

Step 3 - Create a new field

Once inside the data source, you will see all the data fields you have at your disposal. One of my favorite features of GDS is the ability to create a new data field, which is exactly what we're going to do.

Click "Add a Field".

Step 4 - Within your new field, create a mapping from your Experiment ID and Variant values to descriptive-sounding values

In this step you're taking your experiment and variant ID and translating it into a friendly name that you and your report readers will understand. The Experiment and Variant ID is just your experiment ID and your variant index number separated by a colon.

Example "8dadax-xdfa8s7egbaeras:0".

The Control is always index 0.

Below is a query you can copy and update to meet your needs. Just replace the text inside the brackets with your values.



Experiment ID with Variant = "[your experiment id]:[variant #]"

THEN '[friendly name]'

WHEN Experiment ID with Variant = "[your experiment id]:[variant #]"

THEN '[friendly name]'

ELSE 'Other'



Make sure you give your new field a name. In my example below I named it "Experiment Variant".

If you need to map more than 2 variants, just duplicate the last WHEN/THEN statement and update the fields accordingly.

Here's what it looks like in Google Data Studio:

Step 5 - Use your new field in your Data Studio report

Now that we've created a new field, it's ready for use in our GDS report. You will find it under the Dimensions section when you're in edit mode.

Step 6 - Create and share a report people will actually understand

As you can see below, I'm using the new field called "Experiment Variant" and the values are much easier to understand.

Now this is a report we can feel more comfortable sharing!

Step 7 - Remember to update your mapping when you launch a new experiment

When you launch new experiments in the future, you'll need to update the mapping in the field you created. Just add this to your workflow when you create a new experiment... now that you know how to do this, it should be a breeze.

Also, if you have a better way to do this, please share and let us know!

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