Introduction to ATAN Function in Google Data Studio

Introduction to ATAN Function in Google Data Studio

Looker Studio (formerly Google Data Studio) gives users access to an array of functions that facilitate data manipulation and visualization. Among these functions is the mathematics-oriented ATAN function.

The ATAN function returns the inverse tangent of a specified number in radians. It's an essential tool for data analysts who need to perform complex trigonometric calculations in their reports.

Function Syntax and Parameters

The ATAN function follows a simple syntax:


In this syntax, X is an expression containing at least one field. As such, X may be a number, a field in the data source, or a mathematical formula that results in a number.

How the ATAN Function Works

The ATAN function's operation revolves around trigonometry. It calculates and returns the inverse of the tangent of the provided input number as radians. Simply put, you give the function a number, it performs the inverse tangent operation and gives you a result in radians.

Structuring the ATAN function is simple: you input the function followed by the selected number or field enclosed in parentheses, like so: ATAN(1). This formula would return the inverse tangent of 1 in radians, which is 0.785.

Examples of ATAN Function

Consider you have a sales performance metric that somehow depends on a trigonometric calculation. Here's an example of how you might apply the ATAN function:

Scenario: We have a field named "Sales Ratio", which is the ratio of the number of new customers to the number of returning customers for each month.

Let's compute the inverse tangent of this ratio:

ATAN(Sales Ratio)

Here, the function will calculate the inverse tangent of the "Sales Ratio" for each month, returning the result in radians.

Another example could be:

ATAN(New Customers / Total Sales)

In this example, the function performs an inverse tangent operation on the result of the division between New Customers and Total Sales, giving an output in radians.

Limitations of the ATAN Function

One thing to bear in mind about the ATAN function is its trigonometrical nature. It operates within the confines of trigonometry, and while it can accept any real-number input, its output is always restricted to the range -π/2 < y < π/2.

Tips for Using the ATAN Function

  1. Remember that the ATAN function deals in radians, not degrees. To convert your result from radians to degrees, use the degree-rad conversion: 180/π.
  2. While creating complex formulas, always remember to ensure that your parentheses are balanced.
  3. Test your function output for random inputs to ensure correctness.
  4. Even though ATAN can handle any numerical input, consider the meaningfulness of the output based on your input. Some ratios or proportions may not make sense to calculate an inverse tangent of.

Leveraging the ATAN function effectively can lead to a more comprehensive understanding of your data, especially when dealing with mathematical calculations and projection systems that require trigonometric operations.

Google Data Studio’s diverse range of functions serve to enhance and simplify the data analysis process, providing users with invaluable insights and actionable data.

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