As a scuba diver, I log all my dives in a dive log. For most divers, this is just a simple notebook, but some years ago, I started to also enter my dive in a simple Google Sheet.
After playing a bit with charts and the “Explore” feature of Google sheet to answer questions like “max depth” or “number of dives per regions”, I decided to create a dashboard to better showcase some dive stats and visualizations. While you can put some charts and numbers on a new sheet in Google sheet, I think it is not really designed for this. I preferred to keep Sheet as a database and to pull this data from somewhere else.
Using Google Data Studio, I could add my dive log sheet as a data source and then put interesting visualizations and stats on a new canvas. Here is what I think make Data Studio a great tool:
- It’s free. I would not have paid to build a hobby dashboard.
- Custom themes and colors
- Filters: I added interaction by allowing visitors to filter by date, location, dive center…
- The tool makes it very easy to position things on a 2D canvas.
The tool has its limit and will not replace a real dive log. Building a better dive log and dashboard would definitely require some code (a long time ago I started but never finished).