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Latest Updates on Google Data Analytics (June 2023)

The highlights of the updates on BigQuery, Looker Studio, Google Analytics (GA) & Google Tag Manager (GTM). By Alexander Junke

In this blog post, I want to summarize the new releases from the Google tools, that we use daily in datadice. Therefore I want to give an overview of the new features of BigQuery, Looker Studio, Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. Furthermore, I will focus on the releases that I consider to be the most important ones and I will also name some other changes that were made.

If you want to take a closer look, here you can find the Release Notes from BigQuery, Looker Studio, Google Analytics & Google Tag Manager.


Fail-safe period

BigQuery has a time-travel feature, to get back already deleted or updated data. Now there is an additional data-saving feature in action, which is called fail-safe. After the 7 days of getting data back via “time-travel”, the data is now reachable 7 days more, in the so-called fail-safe period.But you can not query data in the fail-safe yourself. You have to contact the Google Cloud Customer Care to get back this data.

Metadata caching for BigLake

BigLake is the Datalake solution from Google and forms the bridge between BigQuery and Google Cloud Storage. Now it is possible to cache some metadata to increase the query performance. This metadata includes:

  • File names
  • Partitioning information
  • Row counts and more

The metadata information gets deleted after 7 days after the last refresh.

To get more information about your current metadata caching situation, you can use the INFORMATION_SCHEMA_JOBS BigQuery view. Further documentation you can find here.


Compiled graph filtering

A small but nice improvement. In a workspace, you can show a compiled graph to see which queries have which dependencies. You get a full overview of the data flow in the workspace. Now you can filter the view, to select certain elements. It is a free search and you can also filter by tag or type.

Looker Studio

Bar and Combo charts features

Google added some visual improvements to Bar charts and Combo charts. You can configure them in the Style tab:

  • Bar label type: If you want to show the total value of the bar, the value of each breakdown or the stacked value of each breakdown 
  • Bar label position: Choose if you want to show the label higher or lower (just small differences)
  • Border color: The color of the border of each stack
  • Bar width: The width of each bar

GA4 connector dimensions/metrics

Before the change, the available fields of the direct GA4 connector were limited and predefined. Now the fields come directly from the GA4 API and all API fields are available. After you refresh the fields in the GA4 datasource, you will get all the new fields.

New navigation links in buttons

Looker Studio has buttons now for some weeks and it is possible to add dynamic links to navigation buttons now.

You have to add a URL field (with a dimension in the link) to the button that the dynamic linking is working. That is e.g. a nice way to navigate through your dashboard.

How to add a button with a dynamic link to the dashboard:

Then the navigation is working by selecting the wanted product in the table:

Google Analytics

Shutdown Universal Analytics

Finally, the time for the stop of the free Universal Analytics properties arrived end of June. Google Analytics 4 is now, even more, the focus of Google's website and app analysis infrastructure. 

When a GA4 property is already running, you just need to check now, that it is not dependent in any case with your old UA property. When it is the case, you will lose information and need to get rid of this connection. 

The shutdown for the UA 360 properties come into action on 1st July 2024.

GA4 Audience API

Google Analytics 4 got a new API to get the user IDs and device IDs of an audience. Before it was already available to send this information e.g. to Google Ads, but now you have also direct access to this data.

Then it should be possible to match the user IDs from the BigQuery export with the one from the API, to know, which users are part of which GA4 Audience.The API documentation you can find here.

Link GA4 with AdSense

It is possible now to link your Google AdSense account with your GA4 property. 

After a successful link, you will receive the following information in your GA4 property:


  • Ad format
  • Ad source
  • Ad unit
  • Page path + query string and screen class


  • Ad unit exposure
  • Publisher ad clicks
  • Publisher ad impressions
  • Total ad revenue

The linking itself you have to do in Google Adsense. A guide you can find here.

New report collection

There is a new report collection available. The Business objectives collection shows reports, based on the business information you select when you create the GA4 property.

In the upper screenshot, you see that a goal like “Generate Leads” was selected during the property creation process. 

You can easily publish this collection, then the reports are available for all users in the property.

As usual, the reports are quite generic as the other default reports so will just get an overview of your current web and app performance. To get more detailed insights, you have to use the different possibilities Google Analytics 4 is offering to create custom reports.

Google Tag Manager

Google Signals for GA4

There was already the option in GA4 properties, to activate the data collection in Google Signals. After activation, you get information like the gender, age and interest of your users, when the users approved this setting in their Google account.

Now it is also possible to enable Google Signals in the GTM settings. It has the same output as the GA4 activation. You just need to check the right box in your GA4 tag.

Further Links

This post is part of the Google Data Analytics series from datadice and explains to you every month the newest features in BigQuery, Data Studio, Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager.

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