Google Data Studio
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Google Data Studio vs Thoughtspot: A Comparative Analysis

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    Comparing Google Data Studio and Thoughtspot reveals distinct approaches to business intelligence, each with unique features catering to different analytics needs. Google Data Studio is known for its integration with other Google services and user-friendly interface, while Thoughtspot is renowned for its search-driven analytics and AI-powered insights.

    However, organizations seeking an alternative that combines robust functionality with ease-of-use may consider Sourcetable. This platform offers a modernized, spreadsheet-like interface that syncs with your data, presenting a compelling option for business intelligence tasks like reporting and data analytics.

    Google Data Studio

    What is Google Data Studio?

    Google Data Studio is a business intelligence and analytics tool designed for converting raw data into informative dashboards. Primarily used in digital marketing, it serves to analyze and present strategic results effectively. As a component of the Google Marketing Platform toolkit, it seamlessly integrates with other platforms to enhance data visualization and reporting.

    • Key Features

    • Creates interactive dashboards for data analysis
    • Transforms raw data into strategic information
    • Offers integration with various data sources
    • Accessible as a free tool
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    What is ThoughtSpot?

    ThoughtSpot is an analytics platform that leverages artificial intelligence to provide self-service data analysis. Primarily designed for business and data teams, it enables users to embed insights directly for customers. As a search and AI-driven insights platform, ThoughtSpot allows users to ask natural language business questions and provides AI-powered pattern analysis.

    • Core Features

    • Search and AI-driven insights
    • Natural language query capability
    • Flexible, scriptable, and governed data model
    • Granular controls with end-to-end auditability
    • AI-powered pattern analysis
    • Capabilities

      ThoughtSpot offers a suite of functions to enhance data-driven decision-making:

    • Analysis and exploration of data
    • Sharing of insights across teams
    • Ad hoc complex analysis with AI-assisted code writing
    • Embedding of AI-powered analytics into products
    • Replacement of manual report building
    Google Data Studio

    Google Data Studio Key Features

    Overview of Features

    Google Data Studio is equipped with 23 diverse features, grouped into 5 categories, catering to various analytics and reporting needs.

    Reporting and Dashboards

  • Ad hoc reporting
  • Customizable dashboards
  • Customizable reports
  • Dashboard creation
  • Collaboration and Sharing

  • Collaboration tools
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Activity Dashboard
  • Customization

  • Customizable branding
  • Data Management

  • API feature
  • Ad hoc Query
  • Audit Management
  • Monitoring and Alerts

  • Alerts/Notifications
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    Key Features of ThoughtSpot

    Latest Release: 9.10.5

    The latest release, ThoughtSpot Analytics Cloud Release 9.10.5, brings new functionalities to enhance data analytics.

    Liveboard AI

    Liveboard AI offers users the ability to gain quick insights and summaries, focusing on significant metric changes.

    Mode Connector

    Integration with the Mode connector enables AI-powered analytics on datasets within the ThoughtSpot Mode.

    Custom Sets

    Custom Sets facilitate the grouping of data into reusable segments, streamlining analysis across various applications.

    Google Data Studio

    Advantages of Google Data Studio for Business Intelligence

    Cloud-Based and Managed Platform

    Google Data Studio's cloud-based nature ensures real-time data access and collaboration. Being a fully managed solution, it reduces the need for IT maintenance, allowing businesses to focus on analytics.

    Integration with Google Applications

    Tight integration with Google applications streamlines data importation, enhancing productivity for users reliant on the Google ecosystem.

    User Interface and Accessibility

    The intuitive UI simplifies the creation of reports, facilitating adoption even for users with minimal technical expertise. Granular access controls ensure secure and specific data sharing.


    The absence of cost to use Google Data Studio makes it an accessible tool for any size of business, removing barriers to entry for advanced data analytics.

    Live Data and Data Blending

    Support for live data connections provides up-to-date analytics. Data blending capabilities allow for comprehensive insights from multiple sources without complex processes.


    Google Data Studio serves well for businesses that rely on Google services and those requiring straightforward dashboard functionalities without the need for intricate customizations.

    Google Data Studio

    Disadvantages of Using Google Data Studio for Business Intelligence

    Time-Consuming Report Creation

    Building reports in Google Data Studio is a time-intensive process, which can slow down the delivery of actionable insights.

    Lack of Real-Time Dashboard Updates

    Dashboards in Google Data Studio do not refresh in real-time, potentially leading to decision-making based on outdated information.

    Limited Visualization Options

    The platform offers a restricted range of charts and interactive elements, hindering the creation of diverse and complex visualizations.

    Restricted Data Source Connectivity

    Google Data Studio supports a limited number of data connections, which can be a bottleneck for businesses relying on multiple data sources.

    Performance Issues with Multiple Data Sources

    Performance degradation occurs in Google Data Studio when numerous data sources are integrated, affecting the reliability of reports.

    Incapability to Handle Complex Visualizations

    The tool falls short in supporting intricate visualizations, limiting its use for advanced analytical needs.

    Dependence on External Data Sources

    Google Data Studio's reporting capabilities are confined to the data that can be imported from other tools, limiting its standalone utility.

    Google Data Studio

    Frequently Asked Questions About Google Data Studio

    What is Google Data Studio and how does it compare to traditional data visualization tools?

    Google Data Studio is a free Business Intelligence software that is more similar to tools like Tableau, Looker, and Power BI. Unlike traditional data visualization tools that only visualize data, Business Intelligence tools like Google Data Studio transform data and provide more comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities.

    Is Google Data Studio suitable for digital marketing reporting?

    Yes, Google Data Studio is particularly good for digital marketing reporting, offering users the ability to create customized reports and dashboards that can help with data-driven decision-making.

    How user-friendly is Google Data Studio for non-technical users?

    Google Data Studio is known for being easy to learn and user-friendly for non-technical users. It features a drag-and-drop interface that simplifies the process of creating reports and visualizations.

    Is there a cost associated with using Google Data Studio?

    No, Google Data Studio is completely free to use.

    Can Google Data Studio be used for a variety of different use cases?

    Yes, Google Data Studio is versatile and suitable for a variety of use cases, including but not limited to business analytics, marketing, sales, and more.

    Use Cases for Google Data Studio

    • Google Data Studio

      Building dashboards to visualize key performance indicators

    • Google Data Studio

      Blending Looker-governed data with data from over 500 sources to generate insights

    • Google Data Studio

      Analyzing ungoverned data for business insights

    • Google Data Studio

      Creating ad-hoc reports for decision-making

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    Advantages of Using ThoughtSpot for Business Intelligence

    Expert Project Delivery

    ThoughtSpot's Professional Services team ensures comprehensive project management, delivering AI-Powered Analytics solutions effectively.

    Modern Analytics Cloud Utilization

    Clients benefit from the Modern Analytics Cloud, aiding in the achievement of strategic business objectives.

    Extensive Consulting Experience

    The team's consulting expertise in analytics projects translates to robust and tailored solution delivery.

    Modern Data Stack Expertise

    Deep knowledge of the modern data stack, including cloud platforms and ETL processes, enhances data analytics capabilities.

    Dedicated Engagement Managers

    Engagement managers and solutions architects bring dedication and experience to customer projects, ensuring success.

    Proven Customer Success

    With a track record of helping hundreds of customers, ThoughtSpot has demonstrated effectiveness in business intelligence.

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    Disadvantages of Using ThoughtSpot for Business Intelligence

    User Comfort and Accessibility

    ThoughtSpot has a steep learning curve, which can be challenging for non-analytics business users. This can lead to a prolonged adjustment period, and in some cases, users may never fully adapt to the platform. Despite its claims, ThoughtSpot may not meet expectations as a user-friendly data search tool.

    Organization and Usability

    The lack of a directory structure for organizing reports can lead to a disorganized experience in ThoughtSpot. Its tendency to be buggy can also hinder smooth operations. Furthermore, without limits on report creation, users may inadvertently clutter the system with an excessive number of reports.

    Data Model Complexity

    ThoughtSpot's data model is more complex compared to other business intelligence tools, which can contribute to the difficulty in mastering its use.

    Limited Customization and Visuals

    ThoughtSpot's limitations extend to visual aspects, offering fewer options for visualization, color schemes, and chart sizing. This restricts users from tailoring reports to specific aesthetic preferences or requirements. Additionally, the drill-down function lacks effectiveness, and the platform offers limited cosmetic formatting options, which can impact the clarity and impact of data presentations.

    Training Requirements

    Comprehensive training is necessary to utilize all features of ThoughtSpot, indicating a further investment of time and resources for users.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Thoughtspot

    How can I find out which version of ThoughtSpot I am using?

    You can find the version of ThoughtSpot by clicking on the information center icon and looking in the About section.

    Why am I not seeing certain columns or values in the dropdown?

    You may not see certain columns or values in the dropdown if the index has not been built with the latest data or if the column is being dropped.

    How do I verify if a column is available in ThoughtSpot?

    To verify that a column is available, you should use the Data page.

    What should the INDEX PRIORITY value be set to for optimal performance?

    The INDEX PRIORITY value should be set to 1.

    Use Cases for Thoughtspot

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      BI strategy

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      Data visualization

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      Self-service analytics

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      AI-driven insights

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      Data modeling


    Why Sourcetable is the Preferred Business Intelligence Tool

    • Simplified Reporting and Analytics

      Sourcetable offers a streamlined approach to reporting and data analytics, surpassing Google Data Studio and Thoughtspot by integrating data across various services into an intuitive spreadsheet-like interface. This simplification helps businesses focus on analysis rather than complex tool navigation.

    • Unified Data Synchronization

      Unlike Google Data Studio, which requires built-in or partner connectors to access data, Sourcetable syncs data seamlessly from multiple sources. This centralized data management eliminates the need for multiple tools, making it a more efficient solution for business intelligence.

    • Accessible Interface

      Sourcetable's spreadsheet-like interface is familiar to most users, reducing the learning curve associated with more complex BI tools like Google Data Studio and Thoughtspot. This accessibility ensures that team members can start working with data immediately, with minimal training.

    • Collaboration and Sharing

      While Google Data Studio offers sharing and real-time collaboration, Sourcetable enhances these features by providing a straightforward, unified view of data. This approach to collaboration is efficient and user-friendly, making it easier for teams to make data-driven decisions.

    • Extension and Customization

      Sourcetable's flexible platform allows for a high degree of customization and extends functionality, offering advantages over the Looker Studio developer platform used by Google Data Studio. Businesses can tailor their BI tool to their specific needs without being limited by predefined connectors or visualizations.

    Google Data Studio
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    Google Data Studio vs ThoughtSpot Similarities

    Both Google Data Studio and ThoughtSpot are tools designed for data visualization and business intelligence. They enable users to create interactive and customizable reports and dashboards. These platforms are utilized for analyzing and sharing data insights within organizations or with clients.

    Interactive Reporting and Dashboards

  • Both allow users to create interactive reports and dashboards.
  • Data Connectivity

  • Each platform can connect to various data sources.
  • Sharing and Collaboration

  • Both tools offer functionalities to share reports with teams or external parties.
  • Web-Based Tools

  • Google Data Studio and ThoughtSpot are web-based, enabling access from anywhere.
  • Google Data Studio
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    Google Data Studio vs ThoughtSpot

    Google Data Studio is a web-based reporting tool known for its data visualization and reporting capabilities. It is part of Looker Studio's suite and offers various connectors to access a wide range of data sources.


    Comparison of Google Data Studio, Thoughtspot, and Sourcetable

    Google Data Studio

    Google Data Studio is a free web-based reporting tool allowing users to create interactive reports and dashboards. It offers built-in and partner connectors, enabling access to a wide variety of data sources. Reports can be shared with individuals, teams, or the world, and can be embedded on any web page. Data Studio also supports real-time collaboration and can be extended through the Looker Studio developer platform.


    Thoughtspot is known for its search-driven analytics, allowing users to perform data analysis using natural language queries. It emphasizes ease of use with AI-driven insights and is not free. Sharing capabilities and interactive dashboards are also key features.


    Sourcetable is a spreadsheet interface that integrates with various data sources for real-time data analysis. It's designed for ease of use with drag-and-drop functionalities. Sourcetable allows for collaboration and sharing of data insights.


  • Google Data Studio is a comprehensive and free reporting tool, while Thoughtspot is a premium service emphasizing search-driven analytics, and Sourcetable offers a spreadsheet-centric approach.
  • Data Studio and Thoughtspot both provide interactive reporting and dashboard capabilities, but Data Studio reports can be embedded into web pages, a feature not specified for Thoughtspot.
  • While Google Data Studio and Sourcetable allow for a wide variety of data connections, Data Studio has a specific extension capability through the Looker Studio developer platform, which is not mentioned for Sourcetable.
  • Real-time collaboration is highlighted in both Google Data Studio and Thoughtspot but is not clearly stated for Sourcetable.
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    Frequently Asked Questions About Sourcetable

    What is Sourcetable and who typically uses it?

    Sourcetable is a spreadsheet application that replaces workflows typically done in Excel, Google Sheets, and Business Intelligence tools. It is used by growth teams and business operations people who need to centralize, analyze, and model data that updates over time.

    How does Sourcetable work with data from other applications?

    Sourcetable allows users to access and query data from most 3rd party applications and syncs data from over 100 applications and most databases. Data integrations update every 15 minutes on the regular plan and every 5 minutes on the pro plan.

    Do I need coding skills to use Sourcetable?

    No, Sourcetable does not require any coding. Users can build live models and query data without needing to write code.

    How much does Sourcetable cost and is there a trial period?

    Sourcetable costs $50 / month for the starter plan and $250 / month for the pro plan. All plans come with a 14-day free trial period.

    How quickly can I start creating reports with Sourcetable?

    Users can start creating reports with Sourcetable within minutes of setting it up.

    Google Data Studio

    Looker Studio (Formerly Google Data Studio) Cost

    • Current Pricing for Looker Studio

      As of 2024, Looker Studio, previously known as Google Data Studio, is available for free. Users can access core functionalities without incurring any direct costs.

    • Limitations of Free Version

      The free version of Looker Studio includes certain limitations. Specific details of these limitations are not provided here.

    • Looker Studio Pro Pricing

      The cost of Looker Studio Pro is not publicly disclosed. Users seeking advanced features must inquire for pricing information.

    • Additional Third-Party Costs

      While Looker Studio itself is free, there are potential third-party costs associated with its use. These may include expenses related to data sources, connectors, or additional services required for comprehensive data analysis.

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    ThoughtSpot Pricing Plans

    • Small Teams Plan

      Monthly cost: $95User limit: 5Data limit: 5 million rowsFeatures: Natural language search, in-app and community support

    • Monthly cost: $95
    • User limit: 5
    • Data limit: 5 million rows
    • Features: Natural language search, in-app and community support
    • Small Companies Plan

      Annual cost: $1250 per monthUser limit: 20Data limit: 25 million rowsFeatures: Natural language search, automated insights, in-app/community support, row-level security

    • Annual cost: $1250 per month
    • User limit: 20
    • Data limit: 25 million rows
    • Features: Natural language search, automated insights, in-app/community support, row-level security
    • Most Popular Pro Plan

      Billing: AnnuallyUsers: UnlimitedData limit: 500 million rowsFeatures: Natural language search, automated insights, in-app/24x7 support

    • Billing: Annually
    • Users: Unlimited
    • Data limit: 500 million rows
    • Features: Natural language search, automated insights, in-app/24x7 support
    • Developer Plan

      Cost: FreeUser limit: 5Data limit: 3 million rowsFeatures: Natural language search, in-app/Discord support, API/dev tools, limited worksheets/answers/liveboards

    • Cost: Free
    • User limit: 5
    • Data limit: 3 million rows
    • Features: Natural language search, in-app/Discord support, API/dev tools, limited worksheets/answers/liveboards
    • Pro Plan

      Users: UnlimitedData limit: 5 billion rowsFeatures: Natural language search, automated insights, in-app/24x7 support, API/dev tools

    • Users: Unlimited
    • Data limit: 5 billion rows
    • Features: Natural language search, automated insights, in-app/24x7 support, API/dev tools
    • Enterprise Plan

      Users: UnlimitedData: UnlimitedFeatures: Automated insights, in-app/24x7 support, API/dev tools

    • Users: Unlimited
    • Data: Unlimited
    • Features: Automated insights, in-app/24x7 support, API/dev tools
    • Studio Plan

      Cost: FreeUser: Individual analysts

    • Cost: Free
    • User: Individual analysts
    Google Data Studio

    User Reviews of Google Data Studio

    Google Data Studio is recognized as a free Business Intelligence (BI) tool that facilitates data connectivity, visualization, and reporting. Users appreciate its ability to connect to over 300 partner connectors and upload CSV files directly. However, it's noted that Data Studio does not store data from sources like Google Sheets and Google Analytics without using the Extract Data connector, which is limited to 100MB per data source.

    • Data Handling and Blending

      While Data Studio offers data blending functionality, reviews point out its limitations, including the restriction to only LEFT OUTER JOIN and the inability to perform calculations across blended data sources. Despite these limitations, users find the creation of calculated fields straightforward for simple formulas, thanks to its SQL-based syntax.

    • Visualization and Reporting

      Users comment on the variety of visualization options available in Data Studio, including 33 variations on 13 different types. Popular visualizations like tables, scorecards, bullets, and treemaps are frequently mentioned, along with the ability to incorporate community visualizations from third parties. The simplicity of the interface for building these visualizations is often highlighted, as well as the convenience of sharing reports via email, link, or embedding in webpages.

    • Interface and Usability

      The platform's simple interface and data explorer tool for data discovery are well-regarded by users who are focused on connecting data and building reports efficiently. The emphasis on report-building and the straightforward sharing options contribute to its positive reception among professionals looking to disseminate insights.

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    User Reviews of Thoughtspot

    Thoughtspot reviews indicate appreciation for its AI capabilities. Users highlight the software's intelligence and advanced data analysis features.


    In comparing Google Data Studio and Thoughtspot, it's clear that each platform offers distinct advantages for business intelligence. Google Data Studio is known for its integration with other Google services and user-friendly interface, while Thoughtspot is recognized for its search-driven analytics and AI-powered insights.

    However, for those seeking a more streamlined solution, Sourcetable provides an alternative by offering real-time data synchronization across various services through a spreadsheet interface. This simplification can be particularly beneficial for users who prioritize ease of use and familiarity in their BI tools.

    Simplify Your BI Tooling

    Sourcetable is the AI spreadsheet that lets you analyze your data in one place. Get unlimited access free for 14 days.