Applying filters to individual table columns in Google Data Studio

Filters in Google Data Studio work in much the same way as in Google Analytics, by retrieving records that match (or if you prefer, don't match) certain conditions. As Data Studio Help says:

Filter properties (or just filters, for short) refine or reduce the data shown to report viewers. This lets you focus on the data that best communicates the story you want to tell, making your reports more relevant to your audience.

You can apply a filter to a chart, control, page, or the entire report using the DATA properties tab.

But if you apply a filter to a table, it will filter all the data in that table. What if you only want the filter to apply to one particular column?

For example, I recently wanted to display a table with a column showing the Total Events metric for one particular Event Action. However I didn't want the other columns in the table to be filtered in this way.

The solution, somewhat unintuitively in my opinion, is to use Google Data Studio's data blending functionality. Effectively, you will end up with one table using two different data sources (or rather, the same data source twice - once with the filter applied, and once without).

Here's my quick how-to. I'm focusing on the problem at hand rather than the mechanics of creating a table or a filter as I assume you already know how to do that.

  1. Create your report and add your Google Analytics data source
  2. Create a table with all the Metrics (columns) you don't want to filter. In this case, I have the Dimension of Page Title and the Metric of Users. I'm keeping it simple for the sake of demonstration!Unfiltered table in Google Data Studio
  3. Now create a second, similar table with all the Metrics you do want to filter. The Dimension will be the same - as this is what will be used to join the two tables together - but the Metrics will be different. Here you can see my second table has the Dimension of Page Title (as per the first table) and the Metric of Total Events.Two tables in Data Studio
  4. On this second table, apply your filter. To do this, select your table, and then in the DATA tab, click ADD A FILTER. Either pick a filter you have created already, or go ahead and CREATE A FILTER. Here's my filter:Edit filter in Data StudioAnd here are my two tables with the filter applied to the second one only. You will see my Total Events figure is now significantly lower than previously because I am now only seeing Events that match my filter. My Users figure is unaffected because I have not filtered the first table.Filtered data in Data Studio
  5. Now select both tables. You can do this by holding down Shift and click on each in turn. Both tables should have a blue outline like this:Selected tables in Data Studio
  6. Right click on one of the tables and select Blend data from the pop-up menu:Blend data in Data StudioGoogle Data Studio will think about it for a minute...
  7. And then a new, third table will appear on your report. This table will include your Dimension, plus your Metrics from table 1 (unfiltered) and your Metrics from table 2 (filtered).Table with blended data

If you click on this new table, you will see it has the 'Data source' of Blended Data. Edit that data source, and you will see your two component data sources - the unfiltered and the filtered data. You can then make further changes, such as adding Metrics to either of these, if you wish.

It's also worth noting that you can blend a maximum of five data sources in one chart, so this does put a limit on the number of individually filtered columns you can have in the one table. But quite a generous one!

Want to know more about data blending?

Here's a short video from Google about this Data Studio feature:

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