12.1. Introduction to Parameters
In our last session, we explored filters and controls, which allowed us to narrow down the information presented in our reports based on certain dimension values or metric ranges. We learned that filters are designed for editors and controls for viewers. Both perform the same functionality, but now we'll dive into controls and their relationship with parameters.
Parameters: Empowering Your Viewers
Parameters are an exciting addition to Looker Studio. For the first time, we can offer users the ability to influence how data is transformed and calculated.
This means the viewer of the report can have their input on how they want those calculations to be performed.
In Looker Studio, we can connect to external data sources and collect values from users using parameters. Parameters allow us to also collect data and provide it to calculated fields and charts, making them more relevant and useful to the viewer.
For example, let's say we have a metric coming from a data source like Google Analytics, BigQuery, or Google Sheets. We can combine this metric with a value provided by the viewer, perform some calculation, and present the result in a chart. This chart now has aspects that are customized by the viewer, making it more relevant and useful to them.
Imagine a scenario where a user wants to forecast revenue for the next quarter. They could provide a parameter (let's call it X) to adjust the forecast based on their expectations, such as doubling the revenue or increasing it by 20%. This way, users can directly influence the calculations in their reports.
The Power of Parameters
Parameters provide a level of customization and interactivity that hasn't been available in Looker Studio before. By allowing users to influence the underlying calculations, we can create more meaningful and personalized reports that cater to our clients’ unique needs and preferences.
In the next lessons, we'll dive deeper into parameters, explore how to create them, and learn how to use them in our data visualizations.