Accidentally removed a chart or a page of report in Data Studio? Not to worry, use version history feature to restore it! But there are things that you certainly needs to know about this cool feature. Find out now in this post.
Introduction: Version History
As we all know, Data Studio is a cloud-based visualisation tool, which means every changes in report or data source would be saved to the log. This is known as Version History in Data Studio Documentation.
Version history allows you to view, restore and delete previous versions, just like how Google Docs or Google Sheets works!
By viewing the version history, you can answer these 3 questions:
- WHO made the changes?
- WHAT changes has been made?
- WHEN did the changes being made?
How-To Access Version History Records
To access the change log, simply switch to Edit mode. Go to File > Version History > See Version History.
Unfortunately, you would realised that there are tons of records, which makes identifying the version you want to roll-back super tedious and time-consuming.
Best Practice: Named Versions
The best practice when it comes to Version History is always name your version with meaningful names or description. This should be integrated to report building workflow to ensure that the released version are being captured in the tracking system.
To add a name for the current version, simply go to File > Version History > Name Current Version and type in the name.
Named Versions feature is a new release by Google Data Studio in May 20, 2021 Product Updates. But I find that people rarely share or care about this.
Why Named Version is useful?
Imagine you want to find back the previous version, and when you check the log, it shows you every individual records for every 1 hour for the last 30 days. This makes it extremely difficult to detect which version is the right one to be restored.
With named version, you can use the toggle to show only named and published versions. This way you can filter out all the excess log that you don’t need.
Version history in Data Studio has definitely improved with Named Versions feature. However, there are certainly some aspects that Google Data Studio needs to improve on.
Data Source and Report History Log are separated.
Historical records of data sources and data studio report are kept separately. Be sure to maintain named logs version on both sides.
That means, when you roll-back to the previous version of the data studio report, if the current version of data source is not compatible, you may break the report.
To resolve this, simply roll back to the previous version of data source that is compatible with data studio report.
Occasionally merged history records
Google Data Studio mentioned that “The revisions for your reports or data sources may occasionally be merged to save storage space.”.
This statement, again, shows the importance of maintaining named versions record for both data sources and reports.
Make it a practice to maintain a named version history for your Data Studio Reports and Data Source, so you don’t have to suffer during the “rainy days”.
I get comments like this from my report user:
“Hey I see you moving the charts in the reports!”
Well, it can be fun to have 100 of people viewing the reports sees you editing the report in real time, but sometimes it’s not!
I’m working on an article to share how you can prevent this from happening! Stay tune!