Hierarchy new Google Data Studio feature to enable drill-down

May 03, 2019 - Written by

Recently Google Data Studio has been provided with a new useful feature allowing to:

  • explore additional details within a chart inside your dashboard
  • reduce the number of similar chart required to deliver insights.

The new feature’s name is Hierarchy, in short Drill Down. Drilling down allows to create more interactive charts while viewers can dig into data to find different levels of details. As an example, consider you need to display sessions by Country and by City. At present you should create two separate, but similar charts, where the metric is the same while the dimension changes.

Enabling Data Studio Hierarchy you can create a single chart and let the users the opportunity to drill-down data (Country > Region > City) or even drill-up (City > Region > Country).

How Google Data Studio Hierarchy works?

To enable  Hierarchy inside Google Data Studio:

  1. Edit your report or select a chart
  2. In the DATA panel on your right select a defalut dimension
  3. Click the slide-right “Hierarchy ” to turn on the feature
  4. Select the dimensions to define the levels of drill-downs for the chart.

And, of course, you have to list dimensions going from the most general to the most specific and that produce results that make sense in terms of sorting. You could decide to define a geographic hierarchy selecting “City” and then “Continent” but the results would be somehow weird or undesirable at all.

Hierarchies are also useful to display events (Event Category > Event Action > Event Label) or ecommerce products (Department > Category > SKU), etc.

How to drill-down into data?

You can display the drill-downs in two different modes:

  • Drill Down into all values inside the report
  • Drill down into selected value inside the report

To enable the feature right-click on the chart or on a selected value, then click “Drill Down”, as you see in the screenshot below. 

To drill up and come back to the previous level, right-click the chart and then click “Drill Up”.

To restore the default chart right-click on “Reset Action” and you will reset all filters and sortings.

Limits of Google Data Studio Hierarchy

The following don’t support drill-down:

  • Tables and pivot tables
  • Charts without dimensions (scorecard, bullet)
  • Community visualisations
  • Geo data

Keyfindings about drill-down

Enabling chart drill-down feature to explore data hierarchies into Google Data studio dashboards is key to more interactive data visualisation. Moreover it helps to reduce the “clone” charts and it’s a further step towards “data mining” for Data Studio. The only fault? It’s a quite bit hidden and not easy to find.

What about you? Will you include Hierarchy in your reports?


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