The Data Layer is a third-party library that enables you to embed interactive data visualizations into your WordPress site. It was built by Konstantin Oboukhin, the same person who created the free WordPress Dashboard called Analytics Dashboard.

The Data Layer is the successor to the earlier Google Tag Manager embedded in WordPress.

Like Google Tag Manager, the Data Layer is extremely easy to install and use. And just like the built-in WordPress Analytics module, it can also be integrated with your existing Google Analytics account (if you use Google’s web analytics platform).

As a WordPress user, you’ll immediately recognize the Data Layer when you visit a page with an embedded interactive chart or graph. You’ll see a green box with the Google Chart Tools logo in the corner.

When you click on a chart or graph within the Data Layer, you’ll be taken to a new page that contains more information about that particular data point. For instance, you can see the average time it takes for a consumer to decide to purchase an iPad or an Android phone.

Which Charts and Graphs to Use

Like any other third-party tool, the Data Layer has its limitations when it comes to the charts and graphs you can use. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Average Time To Purchase (eCommerce): This graph shows the average time it takes for a consumer to make a purchase (or decide not to make a purchase) after viewing an eCommerce product on a website. You can use the Google Chart Tools to make your own charts like this one from the Google Sheet.
  • Comfort (eCommerce): This chart shows the percent of individuals who rated the product or service as comfortable (rather than easy, medium, or hard). The product or service could be an eCommerce store, an account manager, or an airline.
  • Loyalty (eCommerce): This chart shows the percent of individuals who purchased an item in the past, versus those who have never purchased that item.
  • Pricing (eCommerce): This graph shows the average price someone is willing to pay for a product.
  • Sale Probability (eCommerce): This graph shows how likely it is that a product will be on sale at any given moment. The more sales that take place, the higher the odds that the product will be discounted at the time you visit the website.
  • Search Volume (search engine optimization): This graph shows the number of monthly searches performed for a particular keyword or phrase.

Customization Options

While the above charts and graphs are extremely popular, there are many more that you can use to display data on your site. The Data Layer has several options that can make your charts and graphs even more appealing to your audience. These include:

  • Themes: You can use the Google Chart Tools to make your charts and graphs look like something else.
  • Interactive: You can make your charts and graphs interactive. When users interact with the data in your chart, you’ll know it thanks to the little bubbles that appear around the data points.
  • Animation: You can add an animated gif or video to your charts and graphs to make them more interactive.
  • Tooltips: You can add tooltips to your charts and graphs to provide more information about the data point. Again, you can use the Google Chart Tools for this purpose.
  • Hover Effects: You can add hover effects to your charts and graphs so that your readers can examine the data points more closely.
  • Colors: You can choose a specific color for each product or service in your charts and graphs. This way, the data points will pop out more clearly against a white background.
  • Orientation: You can choose the orientation of your charts and graphs – whether they should be landscape or portrait.
  • Grid: You can add a grid to your charts and graphs to line up your data points in a neat and tidy fashion. This option is great if you have a lot of data points and they’re all of a similar nature.

What are People Saying About the Data Layer?

The Data Layer has an excellent 5-star rating on CodeCanyon, a popular WordPress plugin and marketplace where you can find and download various plugins and themes. Additionally, a number of highly-regarded WordPress influencers have integrated the Data Layer into their sites. Here are just a few examples:

  • Chris Guieberti – Founder of WPBeginner.com
  • Julie Anne – Founder of ThemeFusion.com
  • MarketingCharts.com
  • Bret Taylor – Founder of BloggersPulp.com
  • Daniel Schulinger – Co-founder and COO of Dentsu Aegis Network U.S.

How to Order Data to the DataLayer

To use the Data Layer, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps. These include:

  • Login to your WordPress account
  • Navigate to the Settings page (this is located at the top right of your WordPress dashboard)
  • Click on the Google Tag Manager tab
  • Click on the Add button to continue to the next step
  • Enter a name for your new tag (this will be the name that appears next to the tag on your website)
  • In the URL section, enter the link to the Google Chart Tools JavaScript file. This file is located in the Google Chart Tools-master/dist directory. You can use the absolute link or a relative link.
  • Click on Save

That’s it! Now you can begin adding interactive data visualizations to your WordPress site. Once you’ve integrated the Data Layer into your site, you can always find the code in the footer of your pages.