How can I distill and import data from MySQL and present it in Google Data Studio?
MySQL is a data source and behaves like any other data source you want to import into Google Data Studio.
The biggest difference between writing your own queries of a MySQL database and tapping into the API of a marketing platform is that with MySQL, you are connecting directly to the database and need to be able to query the data you need in advance of the discovery/reporting portion allowed by Google Data Studio.
In my Data Studio Mastery Course, I definitely recommend doing data discovery *before* you go into Google Data Studio because it will save you a ton of time. So you're best off running queries right in the MySQL database (I use PHPMyAdmin) or even with a PHP query if you can code vs. using Data Studio for data discovery.
You'll need to know SQL to connect to the data you want to utilize. This will allow you to unwind the complex table structures before going into Data Studio. Otherwise, you will spend hours of fruitless time trying to learn the table structure of your database without anything of value.
If you perfect your queries in PHPMyAdmin, you can just connect your database to GDS and then copy your query and paste right into GDS and pull the data. From there, any chart or visualization is as easy as it would be to connect to Google Analytics.
To learn more, can check out our Data Studio Mastery Course.