Google Community Connectors Link Data Studio to Web Resources

Developers can now use Google's Apps Script to build connectors to any data source accessible on the internet.

business intelligence

Google has added a new feature to its Data Studio visualization tool that now lets organizations more easily fetch data from a wide range of sources and use it to build customized dashboards and reports.

The feature, dubbed Community Connectors, is designed to give developers a way to connect Data Studio with any Internet-linked source including social media platforms, Customer Relationship Management, human resources, finance systems and other data stores such as Google BigQuery and CloudSQL.

The objective is to make it easier for organizations to create dashboards and reports using data from all the sources they need to access in order understand their business and make better decisions, according to Google. Organizations can create dashboard templates with their connectors that make it faster and easier to access data from multiple sources to build dashboards with it, said Minhaz Kazi, a Google developer advocate in a Jan. 2 blog.

Organizations can use Google's Apps Script JavaScript language to build Community Connectors for their own use or to share it with customers.  "For example, if you are providing a web-based service to your customers, you can create a Community Connector with a template dashboard to fetch data from your [Application Programming Interface]," Kazi said. "With a minimal development investment, you can rely on Data Studio as a free and powerful dashboarding and analysis solution for your customers."

Anyone can develop Community Connectors as well as publish and promote their connectors via Google's Community Connector gallery or even monetize them if they choose to Kazi said.

Google has positioned Data Studio as a free analytics tool that can be used both by business users and data analysts to build live interactive dashboards complete with visualizations using data from any source they choose. The company touts it as a visual editor with a rich visualization library, custom design controls along with reusable templates and controls for quickly creating professional looking reports.

Google offers several pre-built connectors that allow users to link their dashboards to Google Analytics data, to Google's Adwords platform, Google Cloud Storage and to other data sets.

Data Studio handles all the authentication, access rights and data structuring so once a data source is connected, users can begin using the tool right away, according to Google.

The tool gives organizations a way to transform raw data into a format that permits the easy creation of reports and dashboards, the company has noted.

Google has published a guide to help developers get started on building Community Connectors. It has also published a list of data sources for which developers might want to consider building Community Connectors. In addition Google has provided several open source examples of Community Connectors to give developers an idea of how they work.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Jaikumar Vijayan

Vijayan is an award-winning independent journalist and tech content creation specialist covering data security and privacy, business intelligence, big data and data analytics.