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Latest Updates on Google Data Analytics (May 2024)

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, Dataform, 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, Dataform, Looker Studio, Google Analytics & Google Tag Manager.


IAM conditions

This feature enables you to grant access to certain BigQuery resources only if the implemented conditions are met. These rules can be applied to datasets, tables, routines, and models.

The setup needs to be done in the bindings and inside the bindings parameter there is a condition parameter with further information, especially the expression definition.

The following setup grants one person the role Data Viewer for all tables in the dataset “ecom”.

"bindings": [{
  "role": "roles/dataViewer",
  "members": "",
  "condition": {
    "title": "Dataset ecom",
    "description": "Give read access to the dataset ecom",
    "expression": " == projects/project_2/datasets/ecom && resource.type =="

There are a lot of further rules and expressions you can define. Documentation can be found here or here.

New BigQuery ML features

Like in the last months, Google still adds ML features I want to mention here:

  • Support for remote models based on Vertex AI gemini-1.5-flash foundation model. This model is able to perform language tasks for text stored in BigQuery, document classification, audio transcription, and many more
  • With ML.GENERATE_EMBEDDING you can embed videos in a multimodal embedding model as well
  • With the ML.GENERATE_TEXT function you can use grounding and safety attributes now. More information can be found here and here

New SQL Translator

For a long time, Google already offers to translate SQL code from another dialect into BigQuery`s Standard SQL code. Now there are even more dialects supported:

  • Greenplum SQL
  • SQLite 

Improved number of partitions

It's a nice and easy improvement. 

Before the change, the maximum number of partitions was 4.000. When you partitioned your table by date, it was possible to have 10 years of data per table.

This limit increased to 10.000. Now a table can contain more than 27 years of data. 


Generate code in Gemini

This feature is already available in BigQuery and now on Dataform as well.

You can check out this blog post to see what it is capable of.

Add assertions in dependencies

An important feature of building a solid workflow.

Let us explain the new feature with an example:

Model X depends on Model Y. If Model Y has assertions and one of them fails, Model X is still running, because Model Y runs through, just one or more assertions failed. 

Now it is possible to add assertions to dependencies. In our example, this means Model Y needs to run successfully and all selected assertions as well.

How to do this in detail, can be found here.

Looker Studio

Add title to the chart

Usually, you would like to add a title to a chart. So far we have done it by putting a text box above the chart with a shape behind it for the correct background. 

Now you can add a title to every chart in its style tab. Nice and easy new feature. 

It would be good if you could manage the margins in the future as well, then it looks even better.

Improvements for Looker connector

Google added some features to the Looker data source connectors this month:

  • Filters (with conditionally_filter and always_filter LookML parameters) are active in the Looker data source as well
  • Drill fields and links (with drill_fields and link LookML parameters) are available for viewers in the charts drill actions menu
  • Filters from a LookML model (with parameter and filter parameters) are shown as filter-only fields in the corresponding Looker Studio charts

Google Analytics

Saving comparisons

Comparisons are there to show data under certain conditions to compare them. 

Before the change, you always needed to set the rules, every time you needed to do the comparison. 

Now you can create the comparisons once, save them, and then you just select them the next time you need them.

Add persons to specific report collections

You can create collections of reports to put certain use cases together. Before the change, every person who had access to the property could see all published collections. 

Now it is possible to give access to collections just to certain persons. This you can do in the Library menu where you manage the created collections. 

Note: You need to be an administrator of the property to do this management, but I still do not have the opportunity to set up these rules, maybe it takes some time until it is available around the globe.

Google Sheets export

With the share button you can now export data from a report to a Google Sheet immediately by clicking on the share button > download file > Export to Google Sheets.

Send reports by email immediately

It is possible now to send all the charts of one page as an email to other persons, as PDF or CSV.

Switch date formats in reports

In detail reports, you can change from Date to Week or Month for the top left chart now.

Google Tag Manager

No further release for the Google Tag Manager.

Upcoming datadice blog posts for this month

  • Dataform and Github - Coming Soon

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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