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Last updated for your viewing pleasure on March 24, 2022

Looker Studio’s Metrics, Dimensions, & Parameters Explained: WOW

Written by: JJ Reynolds
Lover of both data & having a good time. I spend my days creating bombdiggity reports🤘🏽 that knock the socks off our clients and help them take action faster than ever before through dynamic Looker Studio Dashboards!

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What on God’s Green Earth Is A Looker Studio Parameter? Don’t worry, this post has everything you need to know about Looker Studio Fields to get the most out of your next report. 😲

So, Looker Studio… WTF is happening?

Looker Studio is a visual compiler: Aka, makes ugly data pretty for presentations & actionable reporting.

You can have multiple sources of data like Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, & Pinterest Organic (we will get into how to use those in this blog post).

Regardless of your Data Source, You will have only three types of fields within GDS; Metrics, Dimensions, & Parameters

Watch The Video Instructios 👇

The 3 Types of “Data” In Looker Studio:

Regardless of your data source: Facebook, Google, Amazon, Big Query, or the latest NFT platform you will only have three types of data; metrics, dimensions, & parameters.

The Quick & Dirty of Metrics, Dimensions & Parameters:

Dimensions are Green – They group metrics together

Metrics are Blue – They can do math

Parameters are Purple – They allow user input & influence other data

Now we will hop into each of those with Gusto 💪🏽.

Metrics are Math ✖️➗➕➖

The easiest way to think of Looker Studio Metrics is that Metrics you can do math with. You can add, subtract, multiply and divide with metrics right within the Looker Studio platform. Hint: A lot of Metric formulas carry over from Google Sheets

Metric Examples:

Facebook Ads – Impressions

Google Analytics – Users

Google Ads – Clicks

Instagram – Followers

Youtube – Views

All of these are Metrics as you can add them together & are numeric.

Metrics – Auto Calculations

At the time of writing this (Hello from the past👋🏽) there are Comparison Calculations & Running Calculations which you can apply to your metrics.

These are super helpful if for example:

  1. You wanted to know the “Percent of Total” users broken down by a different dimension.
    • Comparison Calculation – % of Total
  2. You want to know the highest the value ever got?
    • Running Calculation – Running Max (see below)

Metrics – Looker Studio Functions

The functions within Looker Studio are about the same as within Google Sheets.

Sum being the most widely used within the metrics

This is every GDS Function 👉

**You might be looking at your data right now and seeing these functions as a wild leap from where you currently are.

I want to take a moment and say “That’s OK!” you will slowly add common functions to your tool kit, as you need them.**


📍 Dimensions turn into metrics once you apply a formula to them.

If you count the number of metrics using a count_distinct formula. YOU NOW HAVE A NEW METRIC!

Dimensions Are “Groups of Data”

You will spend most of your time working with dimensions as they are how you assign a “group” to the values you want to see.

Dimension Examples

99% of the time a dimension is text field which groups metrics together.

Google Analytics – Country

  • United States
  • Belgum
  • Afghanistan

Facebook Ad – Ad Set Name

  • Hot Audiences
  • Page Look A Likes

Youtube Video – Video Title

  • 24 Ways to improve your fitness in 2022
  • Building an automated bull

In the above examples you will see that the dimension is indeed text which math cannot be applied to but groups other metrics together.

Looker Studio Dimension Use case

Let’s say you wanted to know the number of users by country? Like the following image

You will have two fields:

Country = Dimension

Population = Metric

You can see that the Dimension of Country is grouping all of the metrics into its Group.

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Applying Formulas to Dimensions

The most powerful part of Looker Studio is the ease of applying formulas to create new fields.

Let’s say you want to have a table which was answering the question of “How many users do we have per Country and how many Regions within those countries are contributing users?”

Problem: Regions is not a metric ☹️.

We will need to count the number of regions per country.

How can we do that!

Take a look at the Looker Studio Functions List

We want to utilize the function of “Count_Distinct()” Count_distinct(regions)

This just created a new Metric within the data source! that will count the number of unique regions

That might have been quite a lot, but I hope it made some semblance of sense!

Parameters – Start Touching The Data

Dimension Group (Names), Metrics Report (numbers), Then Parameters Touch (User Input)

Parameters is definitely a more advanced Looker Studio feature.

A parameter allows you to:

  1. Create a place for a user to input information
    1. You can set a default value for them on report load
  2. Use that user defined field in functions & formulas.

Parameter Examples

The following are real examples I’ve used parameters for.

Clean A Text String

View the text stripper – You can input anything you would like on the left-hand side, then it runs a formula using that input field.

Manipulate a funnel

View the Journey Calculator – you define the inputs for the funnel & the output is a beautiful funnel to define what you are trying to accomplish.

Calculating Stick & Churn

We all have a hypothetical of what will happen next month for our subscribers & MRR, but using a parameter you can influence how that changes your actual MRR projections. See exactly what the following days, weeks or months look like if you have 40%, 60% or 90% Stick.

How to Create a Parameter

To create a parameters you will find that in the bottom right of your data source. SUPER IMPORTANT: Parameters are attached to a datasource, NOT the report

Once you select you want to create a parameter, you now have decisions to make.

Defining Your Parameter

You can create a text, numeric, or Boolean (true/false)

These are pretty self-explanatory.

The rule of thumb is numbers will be used for math in your formulas, booleans will be for true vs false statements and text for getting creative.

Your imagination can really go wild with these! Let it! Go For It!

Use Parameters to Filter & Manipulate Data.

The number 1 way I have used parameters is to allow a user to predict the future based on a multiple.

Let’s say you have a report which gives you the Stick & Churn for the next 6 months. By default your Stick rate is 100% but you know, based on the past 6 months that Stick is normally 65%. So you can add a parameter slider that multiplies your ‘Potential Stick Revenue’ x ‘Parameter’.

Let’s say that you have $10,000 of revenue set to be renewed next month, but you know that on average you lose 30% of subscribers each month

use this formula

=sum(Revenue * Parameter Multiplier)

And use the parameter as a filter!

I hope you have a better grasp on what Metrics, Dimensions & Parameters do within Looker Studio!