Skip to

Running an online Agency

Discover the Best Google Data Studio [Looker Studio] Alternatives: Top Picks for 2024

By Team Swydo
16 February 2024

Google Data Studio, or should I say Looker Studio (they changed the name to keep us on our toes), may appear to be the knight in shining armor for all your client reporting and dashboarding needs. However, my dear marketers, brace yourselves for a few hurdles that might come your way.

Things like paying extra for more advanced features, not getting enough help when you need it, only being able to mix data from five places, waiting for dashboard updates, and not making really detailed data visuals can be a bit of a letdown.

We’re shining a light on these issues to help agencies figure out if Google Data Studio is the right fit for their client reporting tasks. Therefore, though Google Data Studio is still widely used as a reporting tool, there are several alternative options that are challenging its dominance in the digital market. We’ve done a thorough analysis of the top five reporting tools, including the all-time favorites, to help you find the perfect match.

Understanding the difference between Looker vs. Looker Studio

Looker is a useful tool for working with data. It helps you organize and understand your data better, making sure everything is accurate and consistent. With Looker, you can easily manage different datasets, find hard-to-find data, and make sense of complex measurements.

On the other hand, Looker Studio provides a platform for creating visually captivating and interactive dashboards. Its focus is bringing data to life through visual representation, seamlessly connecting with various data sources, and producing engaging reports without requiring advanced data modeling skills.

Do not be misled by the names: Looker establishes the groundwork for your data, while Looker Studio brings that data to life through visualization.

Why Look for Alternatives to Looker Studio

If you’re leaning towards Looker Studio for your analytics needs, you might not initially see the need for an alternative. However, even with Google’s backing, Looker Studio has its flaws, even though the basic version is free.

Users often express their concerns about various aspects of Looker Studio. These include:

  • The pricing structure of Looker Studio can be confusing, as it may seem free initially, but additional fees are incurred for each non-Google connector used on a monthly basis.
  • Users become increasingly frustrated with the ongoing search for bug fixes.
  • There are limited options available for customizing reports.
  • Users desire more efficient processes for client reporting.
  • Setting up dashboards and reports can be time-consuming.
  • Performance issues and glitches arise when integrating more than five data sources.
  • Report generation is slow when using non-Google tools.
  • There is a steep learning curve for effectively analyzing data.

Reason #1. Report Creation Takes Time

Templates are meant to save time, however, using prebuilt templates with Looker Studio can cause problems when trying to copy and customize reports. It makes it harder to gather data, which can lead to delays and pauses when updating or reloading data. This can be really frustrating because the time you spent creating your own data might end up being wasted because of delays in calculating bars and charts.

Reason #2. Lack of Real-Time Updates

Looker Studio faces challenges with real-time updates, as reported by several users. They have raised concerns about the length and accuracy of the data obtained. Despite the availability of plugins to tackle this issue, the interface remains somewhat difficult to navigate. Additionally, it lacks support for complex and lengthy real-time data connections.

Reason #3. Lack of APIs and Integrations

Looker Studio has limitations in terms of automated APIs and available information resources, which can be considered weaknesses. Automation is important for improving performance and productivity, particularly for marketing agencies that need to generate regular reports. The absence of reliable agency automation tools can disrupt reporting workflows. It is not the best option in the Google Analytics suite. Although Google integrates this platform with its ecosystem, acquiring the data from alternative sources can be expensive for some people. It doesn’t integrate well with popular tools such as HubSpot or Salesforce.

What are the Best Alternatives to Looker Studio?

In this article, we will explore some of the best alternatives to Looker Studio, providing you with valuable insights into their strengths and weaknesses. Whether you are a small business owner or a data analyst looking for a client reporting tool, this guide will help you discover the ideal alternative to suit your needs.

Looker Studio Alternative 1: Swydo

Swydo is a simple yet powerful tool designed specifically for client reporting, offering agencies, and marketers a seamless way to automate and scale their reporting process. With integrations with popular platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and over 30+ marketing sources, Swydo makes it easy to gather all the necessary data in one place. But it’s not just about the numbers – Swydo also prioritizes user-friendliness and customization, allowing agencies to create visually stunning reports and dashboards that can be created and shared in a few clicks. With Swydo, non-tech-savvy digital marketers can also streamline their reporting efforts and focus on what really matters – driving results for their clients.

Swydo vs Looker Studio

With Swydo’s integrations, crafting detailed and all-encompassing reports and visual dashboards for your team or clients is a breeze. It stands out as one of the few reporting tools that deliver marketing reports straight to your clients’ inboxes, fully branded with your logo and presented with attractive data visualizations through vivid graphs, charts, tables, and text widgets. With Swydo’s automated scheduling, the insights land directly in your client inbox as a PDF report or an online marketing dashboard.

Curious to experience the difference? Click here to kick off your 100% risk-free Swydo trial today, and no, we won’t ask for your credit card.

Looker Studio Alternative 2: Power BI

Power BI vs Looker Studio

Power BI is Microsoft’s heavy-hitter in the BI tools market. It offers a free version and scalable options with powerful visualizations and interactive dashboards. Power BI automatically updates from cloud-based data sources and provides 24/7 customer support, unlike Looker Studio. It also offers advanced data modeling and forecasting capabilities.

On the downside, Power BI is not the most user-friendly platform, requiring data analysts to learn DAX (Data Analyzing Expression) and Power Query M languages for full utilization. Compatibility with other Microsoft platforms like Microsoft Edge and Office 365 is prioritized over compatibility with other environments.

Looker Studio Alternative 3: Tableau

Tableau vs Looker Studio

Tableau is considered one of the fanciest alternatives to Google Data Studio (GDS). It provides real-time data visualization, supports various data connections, and offers a wide range of customizable charts and dashboards viewable on multiple devices.

Tableau’s strengths lie in its sophisticated charting and exploration capabilities, real-time data updates, and extensive customer support. However, it focuses primarily on visualization and requires proper data cleaning in the underlying database before use. It also lacks some data modeling features and collaboration options. Add that to the fact it’s specialized and needs skilled professionals, and you get something that’s not beginner-friendly, like the PowerBI software. Sadly for experts, there’s no data modeling or data dictionary included. Similarly, it lacks version management when building a dashboard.

Looker Studio Alternative 4: Klipfolio

Klipfolio vs Looker Studio

Klipfolio connects multiple databases, cloud applications, and APIs to develop insightful marketing reports. It offers report automation features, customer support, white-label customization options, and an attractive pricing structure.

However, Klipfolio has fewer integrations than Google Data Studio and offers fewer dashboard templates. If you rely heavily on Google’s environment, Looker Studio may be a more cost-effective option. Klipfolio’s modest 300 integration fails to compete with GDS’s 600. Moreover, if you use Google for the whole environment, GDS can be completely free for you if you don’t have many connectors. Final note: When looking at dashboard templates, make note that Klipfolio does just 12 for the GDS 50.

Looker Studio Alternative 5: Databox

Databox vs Looker Studio

Databox is a data visualization tool for digital marketers that is easy to use and can be accessed on the go. It has templates and updates data in real-time; you can even use it on your mobile phone. It is also capable of analyzing complex data sets and blending data. However, Looker Studio is a Google product that integrates well with other Google services and has advanced analysis features. It is also free, which makes it a good choice for people who need detailed analytics but don’t want to spend too much money.

Best Looker Studio Alternative for Small Businesses

If you’re a small business or a freelancer needing a user-friendly, marketing-focused, and supportive reporting tool, Swydo is a great alternative to Looker Studio. It’s easy to use and has everything you need. So why not give it a try?

1. Ease of Use

Swydo prides itself on its user-friendly interface, making it accessible to both technical and non-technical users alike. You don’t need advanced knowledge or expertise to navigate and utilize the platform effectively.

2. Customizable Reporting

With Swydo, you can easily create highly customizable reports tailored to your specific needs and preferences. The platform offers a wide variety of report templates and widgets that can be personalized with your branding elements.

3. Integration Capabilities

Swydo seamlessly integrates with numerous data sources, including popular advertising platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Bing Ads, and more. This ensures that you can consolidate all your data in one place for comprehensive reporting.

4. Advanced Analytics

In addition to standard reporting features, Swydo provides advanced analytics capabilities such as extensive filters and pre-set widgets, plus the ability to set your own goals. These insights enable you to gain a deeper understanding of your campaign’s performance and make data-driven decisions.

5. Customer Support and Training

The dedicated support team at Swydo is readily available to assist you throughout your journey with the platform – from initial setup to ongoing usage questions or troubleshooting needs. The team is always available to help.

6. Client Monitoring

Marketers can set up custom alerts for specific metrics on their client dashboards, receiving notifications when certain thresholds are met, aiding in proactive decision-making.

7. Competitive Pricing

While Looker Studio basic version is free, however, Looker Studio Pro may require significant financial investment for larger companies due to its complexity, Swydo offers competitive pricing that scales with your needs, suitable for businesses of all sizes. You can choose a fit that aligns with your budget and requirements.

In summary, Swydo offers a user-friendly interface, customizable reporting options, seamless integration capabilities, advanced analytics features, automation tools, top-notch customer support, and competitive pricing. These factors make Swydo an exceptional alternative to Looker Studio for organizations seeking an efficient and effective marketing reporting and dashboarding solution.