Monday, July 13, 2020

Simple Row-Level Display Control

We've seen a number of Data Studio report examples that display information that might be collected via a Google Form. But what if you don't want the Form information to display in your Data Studio report immediately? What if it needs to be "approved" first, or what if you want to be able to show/hide different entries from your data source at different times?

Some examples of reports that could benefit from this functionality might be:
Fortunately, there's an easy solution for this - built-in report filters! As I outlined in my Fun with Filters blog entry, built-in filters (not filter controls) are a way to restrict the data appearing within a report or report element on the "back end."

I'll use the Staff Directory report as an example. To control which entries from my Sheet data source are displayed in my report, I needed to do two things.

Step 1: I added a column called "Include?" to my Google Sheet data source, and I marked the rows I want to include with "y". In this case, I didn't include a "y" next to Al Banks, Director of Support, although his data is still included in my source Sheet.

Step 2: I added a filter to the report to specify that only rows where "Include?" is equal to "y" should be included in my report. I did this from File > Report Settings > Add a Filter, which will put the filter on the entire report (alternatively, the filter could instead be added to individual report elements like tables and filter controls.)

You'll notice that now the report does not include Al Banks, Director of Support, even though his information is included in the data source, since this filter has been applied. If I wanted to include him in the list, I would simply add a "y" in the "Include?" column in the data source, and Voila! He'll be back in the report.

This is a very simple, but very useful, way to control the data that is displayed in a report at the row level on the back end. BTW, I use this simple approach for the entries that are included in the K-12 Data Studio Report Collection, which allows me to approve form-submitted entries before they are included.

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