One of the most frequently asked questions we get about Looker Studio reporting is "How do we get these comparisons under my scorecards?". In case you're unsure, in Looker Studio, the date range comparisons show up in the small arrow indicator along with the percentages. This quick and easy guide (with screenshots) will show you how to add date range comparison indicators in Looker Studio!
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How to add date range comparison indicators in Looker Studio
Step 1️: Select the Element you would like to apply comparison indicators on
Step 2️: Navigate to the "SET-UP" column and scroll down to "Comparison data range"
Step 3️: Select your Comparison date range and click on "APPLY"
Click on the dropdown next to "None".
Select the comparison date range (e.g. Previous period) and click "Apply".
In the case of a Scorecard element, the indicator will show as an arrow with the percentage.
In the case of a Table, the indicator will appear in the Delta column.
The Delta column (comparison indicator) will appear for all the metrics that you add to the table.
What does it mean to compare with 'Previous period'?
Comparing with the previous period means you're comparing the same length of time immediately before. For example, if you select the time range for the last 30 days, then it will compare the data to the previous 30 days.
For instance, when you change the date range control to "this month", then the system will compare the data with the previous month. If you select "this quarter", then the system will compare the data with the previous quarter. If you select "this month to date" (in our case, the last 7 days from 1-7 June), then the system will compare data from the previous 7 days (i.e. from 25 May - 31 May). The system will dynamically compare to the previous period in response to the time range that you selected.
Can I compare with a different date range?
Yes, you can compare with a different date range. There are a few options aside from the "previous period" that you can use.
With a fixed comparison, you can select the fixed dates that you would like the data to always be compared to. No matter what dates you change on the date range control, the elements will always compare the data to the dates you set on the comparison date range.
For example, we have set the comparison date range to 1 May 2023 - 31 May 2023. Even if you select the date range from 1 January 2023 - 30 April 2023, the data will always be compared to 1 May 2023 - 31 May 2023.
With a previous year's comparison, the system will always compare your current data with the year earlier. It is also a fixed comparison that will always compare with the same dates/period from last year.
So if you change the date range to 1 January 2023 - 31 January 2023, the system will compare the data to 1 January 2022 - 31 January 2022. If you change the date range to 1 January 2023 - 30 April 2023, then the system will compare the data to 1 January 2022 - 30 April 2022.
Adding a date range comparison is highly useful so you can immediately see whether the performance of your campaigns is going up or down. We always recommend comparing with the previous period as it makes the report more interactive, and no matter what date range you select, the elements will always provide an indication of whether your metrics are improving or not within the relevant time range.