Want to do your own analytics? Google's free Data Studio takes on Microsoft's Power BI

Google has rolled out a free version of its Data Studio 360, the data visualization toolset for building reports and charts from multiple data sources.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: Google

Google's Data Studio 360 product for pulling together charts and dashboards from a range of data feeds now has a free sibling.

The firm launched its Data Studio 360 beta in March as part of its new Analytics 360 suite. Data Studio 360 offers enterprise teams, such as marketing and research departments, the tools to visualize data from multiple sources and create reports and graphs that can be shared within a business.

Google has now announced that a free Data Studio product will be available for "individuals and smaller teams".

It is Google's answer to more established analytics platforms such as Tableau, QlikView, and of course Microsoft's Power BI, which got a relaunch in 2015 untethered from Office 365.

However, Google's Data Studio visualization toolset for the moment focuses primarily on connecting up data from Google sources, such as Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Google Sheets, and BigQuery. But it will soon roll out connectors for SQL databases.

For Google, one of its main selling points is collaboration and to this end it's using Google Docs technology to offer real-time group editing so data can be brought in from different teams.

"One of the fundamental ideas behind Data Studio is that data should be easily accessible to anyone in an organization. We believe that, as more people have access to data, better decisions will be made," Google said in a blogpost.

Data Studio users are limited to creating five reports per account where as Data Studio 360 has unlimited reports. However, both versions can connect to unlimited data sources and allow unlimited report viewing, editing, and collaboration.

Microsoft's free tier for Power BI is limited to 1GB per user, whereas the Power BI Pro costs $9.99 per user a month and has a 10GB per user cap.

For now, the free Data Studio is available only to users in the US but Google says it will be available to other regions later this year.

Read more about Google Data Studio and data analytics

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