A Data Citizen’s Survival Guide

FIrst Copy of Hands on With Google Data Studio!

Update 2/1/2020 – People in the US and Canada are receiving their books!  The sales of the book have been excellent!  It has placed as the top new title is several categories on Amazon and has almost sold out several times.   Shipments of the book are on their way to the UK for European distribution.   They have a delivery date listed for April, but I believe they will get there sooner, and I hope to get updated ship dates for the EU soon.  I’m currently creating a scrapbook page of all the people who have recommended the book, reviews, and pictures people have shared.

Update 1/26/2020 –  I received my copies last Thursday and US customers should be seeing them soon- We had a LOT of pre-orders so there are only 6 left in stock already!

Never before have we as individuals had access to so much data!  It’s out there waiting to be used, waiting to be transformed from dull rows and columns of text and numbers into something far more important. It’s waiting for you to turn it into information and insights that can drive greater understanding, deeper exploration, and more confident action.

I use the term “data citizen” to mean someone who has access to data, has the capability to transform it into information and insights. They are responsible for interpreting their findings and presenting to others in a way that is effective and not misleading.  I wrote this book to help you take up the tools that are within your reach and claim your own data citizenship whether your interest is business, personal or as a member of a community.

Google Data Studio is one of the newest, most dynamic tools you can learn to exercise your capabilities as a data citizen, especially if this is an area new to you.   There are many tools in this space, some are better for elegant visualizations,  some better at data manipulation, some are better at blending data from several sources.  Data Studio, in my opinion, is like a swiss army knife when it comes to working with data. It provides easy access to many kinds of data sources, let’s users quickly explore the data, find patterns and create visualizations that are simple to share.  And of course, the price is right: It is available for free to anyone with a Gmail account!

What the book covers – fundamentals, business, personal and community data studio applications.

The book is arranged in three sections:
I Data Studio Basics – Understanding the tools, setup and learning the fundamentals with examples using Google Sheets and personal finance data.

Chapter 4 Example

Building an interactive analysis workbench

II  Business and Marketing Applications – This section explores three major digital marketing sources users are likely to encounter, Google Analytics, Google Search Console and Google My Business.


Creating a Google My Business GMB Mobile Data Studio Example

Creating the mobile dashboard example for Google My Business (GMB)

III Beyond the Office  –  Working with personal data sources, creating your own data and applications.  Using large public sources of data from private, government and other sources.  To wrap up we explore some advanced big data services and directions to pursue after mastering the basics.

Building Data Studio Apps for Personal Use with IFTTT

Using services like IFTTT to make your own personal data reports.

The chapters in the book progressively expose the user to more concepts and examples.  I walk you through the example reports and applications step by step so you can see how each one is created.

Online resources are provided for each chapter so you can also see the finished working products, play with them and copy them for your own use.  I try to be comprehensive here, not only providing you with instructions to build reports but also how to find and access different data sources, learn the fundamentals of designing for different audiences and use the tools to analyze data to find insights.

Embedding a report in a web page with local real estate data

Accessing local housing data and embedding reports.

Many examples use live data, not just the sample data provided by Google.  You’ll see examples from the analysis of this website to reports from real local businesses.  In addition, you will see how I use the tools to explore some common mysteries and find actual actionable insights and value for a real business.

Ordering Hands On With Google Data Studio

If you are interested in ordering the book, it is currently shipping in the US and should be in Europe in a few weeks.   Here are the book details and some reputable booksellers where you can pre-order.

Hands On With Google Data Studio: A Data Citizen’s Survival Guide  by Lee Hurst
ISBN: 978-1-119-61608-5  432 Pages


There are only 6 paperback copies available in the US store right now! (Jan 26, 2020)
Here is an affiliate link to the paperback version ( yes I endorse this product!)  Now  $33.26!
And this is an affiliate link to the Kindle version which I also recommend at Now  $32.26

The Kindle version is available Worldwide, and I think it looks great! Super quality index links you expect from a major publisher like Wiley and Kindle. Paperback versions are already on their way to the UK for European distribution.  Amazon.co.uk    Amazon.fr    Japan Amazon配送商品なら 

The book should be available on actual bookstore shelves as early as this week from outlets like Barnes and Nobel.

Barnes & Nobel   $23.49   for the Barnes and Nobel Nook Version

New!  It looks like the book is available in the Apple Store and from Google Books as an inexpensive electronic version! I haven’t checked the Apple version but the Google Books ebook version is only $21.59 !

For People Who Pre-Order

To my Data Studio friends around the world that have pre-ordered the book – What a thrill, Thank You!  I appreciate you ordered this book without seeing any of the contents based on our interactions or simply on my reputation.  Please contact me in the comments below or through Twitter or LinkedIn.  I will DM you a link to a password protected page that has more detailed contents information since the previews are not available yet.

A word of caution: I have seen some links to download the book online from various websites that are not booksellers – please do not go to these.  I ask this for your sake, not mine: These downloads appeared well before I even finished writing the book.  They are either scammers, hackers or time travelers and you don’t want to mess with any of these!

I will be actively looking for more speaking opportunities in 2020 related to the book topic and others. A new about page with a listing of my previous talks and some samples will be posted later this week!

Thank you for stopping by and please leave your questions in the comments below or contact me on Twitter or LinkedIn.