By Dan Jennings

Sometimes you want to make changes to multiple widgets at once without having to change the overall report settings. Perhaps you have a page in the report that is split into two parts and you want to make changes to those parts independent of each other. Introducing Groups.

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What are Groups and Why Should I Use Them?

Groups are subsets of your report that sit within a page. Grouping lets you group (surprisingly) different widgets together, forcing them to act as one entity whereby moving one moves all. Any number of widgets can be grouped, allowing you to apply filters and rearrange multiple charts and graphs. Additionally, a widget that is grouped doesn’t have to have the same filters as the other widgets within said group, it’s totally flexible.

How to Make Your Own Groups

To group widgets together, select the widgets you want to group (shift clicks work well for this) and go to the "Arrange" menu on the top. The Group and Ungroup options are at the bottom of the list, or you can use the shortcuts Ctrl+G and Ctrl+Shift+G respectively.

Once you’ve grouped a set of widgets you’re able to change the data source, apply filters and date ranges at the group level, meaning that you don’t have to change each widget individually. 

How to Use This New Found Power

A cool feature of grouping is that by having a filter widget in the group, that filter (whether it be a date range or control filter) only affects what's in the same group. This means that if you have a report split into two halves you can enable the users of your report to compare those two data sets independently of each other. Let’s demonstrate this with the example below:

Let’s suppose that we want to be able to compare the performance of iOS and Android but also specific iOS and Android devices. This is a great chance for groups to shine. By building a report and grouping the title, control filter and graphs together, we can apply an iOS filter and have the left hand side of the report complete (see below). We can easily copy and paste the iOS half, change the filter to show android instead, and now we have our comparison between the two operating systems.

Before

With devices in either half of the report selected, both widgets have defaulted to look at all device types (that fall under iOS and Android respectively)

After

After applying the control filter, the widgets in each group and only the widgets in the group present data to reflect the change, independently of each other. This feature is also really useful when it comes to pulling in different data sources, allowing the viewers of your report to have a more flexible and interactive experience with your data visualization. 

Data Studio 360 is now in open beta so anyone can access the free tool; there's no excuse for not trying it out. If you are looking for support, or just some advice on Data Studio 360, please get in touch with our experts. 

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