Using the Advanced Date Filters in Google Data Studio

Are you constantly setting new custom date ranges every time you update your data reports? If you are…did you know that Data Studio can configure those rolling dates for you automatically?

Using the Advanced Date Filters feature, you can input rolling dates into any of your dashboards on Google Data Studio. For example, you can create a data visualization based on the last two weeks, without having to update your date range each day.

In this tutorial, I will teach you how to configure a dashboard with a timeframe that is always relative to the current date using Data Studio’s Advanced Date functionality.

Learn the three most important elements to rolling timeframes:

Ready to get started? Then let’s dive in!

Add Standard Date Filters to Your Data Studio Report

Rolling Time Frame with Static and Dynamic Dates

The Advanced Date Functionality, can now be found  in all the date pickers that we have in Data Studio. This tool allows for uniting all marketer data in one place (spreadsheets, Google Analytics, Google BigQuery, Google Ads, and etc.), build detailed, easy to understand data reports, visualizes results with charts and graphs, and allows teams to work on dashboards and reports through permissions.

The Advanced Data Functionality being clicked on in Google Data Studio

Open the report that you want to give a rolling timeframe. If you don’t have a report with a data source attached, check out our Google Data Studio Tutorial to get started.

Google Data Studio showing a pre-made blank report named, “Advanced Date Selection”

Click on Edit.

The EDIT button being clicked on inside the blank report in Google Data Studio

Next, we want a chart that will be relevant to our rolling time frame. Let’s create a time series chart to see what options we have for selecting the date range.

Under Add as chart, select Time series chart.

The Time series chart being clicked on in the Advanced Date Selection blank report

On the Google Data Studio space, the time series chart will be displayed.

The newly-created Time series chart being displayed in the blank report window of Google Data Studio

We want to see the number of sessions over time for this website. To see more sessions, drag the lower right side of the time series chart to the right to extend it.

The Time series chart being dragged to the right in the Google Data Studio

By default, the date range that is applied to a chart in Data Studio is Auto. This default range lasts 28 days. 

The Auto default range being highlighted and the cursor pointing towards the date range of the Time series chart

However, we have a variety of customizable options. So we can choose for this to show other periods of time by clicking on the Custom default data range.

The Custom default range being highlighted in Google Data Studio

Let’s see what our options are. We’ll click on the date range selector below the Custom date range option.

The date range being clicked in Google Data Studio

Then, click on the date range dropdown menu at the top right section of the window.

The date range dropdown menu being clicked on for editing the date included in the Time series chart

There are several types of dates in the dropdown menu. Among them is Fixed which is a simple range set by a specific start date and end date.

The Fixed option being chosen from the date range dropdown menu

Instead of the last 28 days, we can choose this to always show for example, May 1st to May 14th. After selecting a specific date range, click Apply.

Random dates being selected on the Fixed date range window

Click on View to see a preview of the date range selected.

The View button being clicked on the Google Data Studio

Regardless of the date when the end-user accesses this chart and views this report, they’re always going to see the report of the first of May to the 14th of May.

The dates May 1 and May 14th being highlighted in the preview mode of the Time series chart

Rolling Time Frame with Dynamic Dates

The fixed date option is static, but we also have some dynamic options that are based on the date that the report is being accessed. Some of these standard settings allow you to display data from the last seven, fourteen, twenty-eight, and thirty days. There are also options for reporting on the last calendar week, calendar month, quarter, and year.

The options inside the date range dropdown menu being displayed

But what if we wanted to set the date range for this chart from two months ago until two weeks ago? Or the last week before yesterday instead of today? What about data from the last three weeks, but not including the days from the current week?

We can’t do any of those with standard date filters. Instead, we’ll need to customize our rolling timeframe using the advanced settings.

Advanced Date Selection

With advanced date selection, we can customize all kinds of date ranges and timeframes for our data reports.

When you open your date range control, click on the Advanced option from the dropdown.

The Advanced option being selected in the date range dropdown menu

First of all, we need to select the start date. For the date type, we can choose  a fixed date. 

The start date dropdown menu being clicked on

For example, we want to report all data from the first day of January 2019 all the way up until last week.  The start date will be Fixed. You can toggle or type in the year, then select the month January.

January 2019 being selected in the date range calendar

Then, click on the date for the month where you want your data report to start. So the first day included in our report would be January 1, 2019.

January 1, 2019 being picked as the preferred date and the Fixed date type being highlighted

Select the end date for Today. We don’t want our report to actually include all data up to today, but we’ll address that next.

The Today day type being selected in the day type dropdown menu

The option for Weeks (starts Monday) seems like a better choice, so we’ll replace the Day option with that.

The Weeks (starts Monday) option being selected from the duration dropdown menu

Then, click Apply.

The Apply button being clicked in the date range dropdown menu

Once you’re back on the Google Data Studio page, click on the View button.

The VIEW button being clicked on the  Google Data Studio page

Now, whenever a user views this report, they will see that the report starts on January 1st and shows data all the way up to the last week.

The start date (January 1) and the end date (May 21) being highlighted on the Google Data Studio report

You can also set a dynamic start date for your reports. Let’s try this out. Again, click on the date range menu.

The date range section being clicked a second time in Google Data Studio

Let’s say we want to see the data from four weeks ago to last week. 

On the start date section, we’ll select Today, click on Minus, input 4 on the text window, and then select Weeks.

Then, on the end date section, we’ll select Today, click on Minus, input 1 on the text window, and then select Month.

The Start date being set as Today Minus 4 Months

Click Apply to save the changes.

The End date  durations being highlighted in the dropdown menu

After applying the changes, the chart will now reflect the data from the first of February until the end of May.

The start date (February 1) and the end date (May 21) being highlighted on the Google Data Studio report

Comparing Metrics for Advanced Date Ranges

We can use the advanced date range settings for more than just time series charts. Let’s try adding a scorecard to demonstrate changes in statistics (like an average) between custom time periods. 

Click on the Add a chart dropdown then select Scorecard.

The Add a chart and Scorecard buttons being clicked in Google Data Studio

Since a scorecard shows you a single number, it’s good for things like important total counts and averages. In this case, I’d like a scorecard that shows me the average of a metric called Order Value.

Under the Available Fields section, type the metric that you want to include in the search bar. Once the desired metric shows up, drag it to the left under the Metric section.

The word, average being input into the field search bar in Google Data Studio and the Average Order Value field being dragged to the Metric section

To start off, click on the radio button for Custom and the date range section.

The Custom radio button and the date range section being clicked on

Then, click on the date range dropdown menu.

The date range dropdown menu being clicked on

Let’s think about this hypothetical situation where the client wants to see the performance of their website in terms of Average Order Value over the last seven days compared to how it performed from January 1st to the last seven days.

For this, we want to first set the custom date range for the actual value of this scorecard to be from the last seven days until today.

To do this, select the Last 7 days option on the dropdown menu.

The Last 7 days option being clicked on in the date range dropdown menu

Click Apply.

The APPLY button being clicked on to save the changes made on the date range section

Then, we want to compare it to the Average Order Value from the first of January, up to eight days ago. Click on the Comparison date range dropdown.

The Comparison date range dropdown being clicked on

To create a custom comparison date range, let’s click on the date range dropdown menu again.

The date range dropdown menu being clicked on

Then, click on Fixed under the start date section.

The Fixed period option being selected

We also need to set the date which is the first of January 2019.

January 2019 being selected as the start date

Set the end date to Today minus seven days. Then, click Apply.

7 days being input into the text window, the Day option being selected, and the APPLY button being clicked on

Now, the workspace shows the Average Order Value for the last seven days. It also shows that the value is lower compared to the Average Order Value performance from the beginning of the year to last seven days.

There’s still one slight problem—it’s not really clear to the viewer what the comparison date range is. Let’s format our charts so that our information is clear. In the right sidebar, click the Style tab.

The Average Order Value being highlighted and the STYLE section being selected

Uncheck the box for Hide Comparison Label so that our scorecard actually shows us what the main value is being compared to. We can see here that the domain value has decreased by 1.3% compared to our custom comparison date range.

The Hide Comparison Label check box being ticked off

If you’d like, you can also check the box for Show Absolute Change. In this case, it shows us that the Average Order Value is about $3 less than it was from January 1st to May 21st. 

The Show Absolute Change check box being ticked

So as you can see, not only can we use the advanced date ranges for our main charts, but we can also use them for comparison date ranges. Neat!

Summary 

In conclusion, Google Data Studio’s Advanced Date Filters have a variety of features and functions that are perfect for displaying your data in an informative and easy to read format. This tool is a great help for marketers who want to specify the performance of their campaigns over a given time period. 

Its features include the rolling time frame with static and dynamic dates, advanced date selection, and metric comparison. The rolling time frame with static and dynamic dates presents a combined feature that allows users to use a fixed date when generating reports. The rolling time frame with dynamic dates is flexible in a way that users can specify specific date ranges per week, month, and days. The Advanced Data Selection, however, can help users generate a very specific report with a mix of both dynamic (fixed) and static features. Metrics per given dates may be compared using the scorecard feature which compares two reports’ statistical changes over a given amount of time.

Interested to explore all the other features of Google Data Studio? Learn more about it when you read through our Getting Started Guide or join our Google Data Studio for Beginners Free Course.

What are your favorite date range tricks? Do you have a favorite use case for rolling timeframes? Let us know in the comments!

About the author: Julian Juenemann

Julian started and grew venture-backed startups with his unique 'data first' approach to Online Marketing. He then founded MeasureSchool.com to help marketers, like him, the data-driven way of digital marketing.

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pankaj kumar
pankaj kumar
1 year ago

Can date range control filter the score card for current quarter? Example; 1st November to 15th November I have selected in date range control but I need my score card to show 1st October to 15th November data. Will this be possible dynamically