So I need to start out with a confession. I’m a bit of a data nerd. Scratch that, I’m a huge data nerd. So with that being said, my introduction to Tableau Desktop a year and a half ago was a dream come true. Working for Fathom, a digital marketing agency, I have access to thousands of data points across dozens of clients within multiple platforms such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Google Analytics, Yahoo Gemini and Facebook. And with Tableau Desktop, I can now transform those thousands of data points into meaningful and robust reports, aggregations and visualizations.
While attending the 2015 Tableau Conference out in Las Vegas, I was astounded to meet over 10,000 other data nerds that used Tableau in their everyday work lives. Each day of the conference had a plethora of sessions, both theoretical and hands-on. However, I was surprised to notice just a smattering of sessions relating to the digital marketing space, with none relating directly to paid search data. As I use Tableau every single day to manipulate my paid search data, I wanted to share 3 ways that you can utilize it to become a PPC rockstar!
Working for a digital agency, reporting is a large part of my team’s job. Our clients expect weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual recaps of how their campaigns are performing and need the data sliced up in many different ways. With Tableau, updating reports regularly becomes a breeze. With no AdWords or Bing Ads direct connect available yet, I use a master excel document to compile all of my data for a particular client. For maximum insight visibility, it is best to download your data at the most granular level possible. I prefer to download everything at the keyword level, segmented by day. Even if your general reporting never needs this level of detail, you will now always have the option to drill down further on future analyses.Once your data is compiled, you can now build out a report with your data easily and clearly displayed. Tableau makes tasks that are cumbersome in Excel reporting easy. This includes, but is not limited to, looking back at historical data, grouping campaigns/keywords by theme (location, branded vs non branded terms, search vs display, etc), and creating week-over-week and month-over-month views. As you can see below, by simply picking which day of the week you want each report to start on, Tableau quickly lays out your KPIs on a week-by-week and month-by-month basis.
- Data Aggregation
While standardized reporting is a large part of paid search at an agency, ad hoc reporting to meet urgent client requests is equally important. But have no fear, seeing that little red urgent exclamation point on a client email will no longer fill you with dread. Using the excel database that you have built out for your standard reporting, you can answer an abundance of questions that your manager or client may have, often times with only a few clicks. The robust filtering, sorting and hierarchy features that Tableau provides make finding even the minutest statistic easy to find.
- Data Visualization
Easily the best, and probably the most well-known feature that Tableau has to offer is data visualization. Not only is this great for reporting purposes but also for uncovering insights that otherwise would have been buried in thousands of rows worth of data. Three of my favorite illustrations are below:First, we can see easily how conversions compare to one another year-over-year. No more headaches in excel when you can’t figure out which data should be where to create a simple line graph!Next, we see a simple visualization of ads in U.S states that have gotten at least 50 impressions during a given time frame, with the darker the green indicating the more impressions. The number within each green state indicates how many clicks on an ad that state received. With just three clicks of your mouse, this visualization is simple to create.Finally, we have an example of a time of day metrics dashboard used to create an informed day parting schedule.
I hope these examples of how Tableau can be used to manipulate paid search data have not only been helpful and informative but can get you just as excited as I am to jump into my data every day!