Latest Updates on Google Data Analytics (April 2022)

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

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Photo by Meduana on Unsplash

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, Data 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, Data Studio, Google Analytics & Google Tag Manager.

BigQuery

BigLake

BigLake is a new service that is highly connected with BigQuery. It is the upcoming Data Lake solution from Google:

  • Query data lakes and warehouses from different providers

  • The data access permissions are on a fine-granular level

  • All common open data formats are supported: Parquet, Avro, ORC, CSV, JSON


To get further information and find Get Started guides, you can take a look here.

Analytics Hub

It is a completely new service from Google and like BigLake highly connected with BigQuery. It would be worth an own blog post, but I want to give an overview of the tool. 

 

Analytics Hub is about sharing data in many ways. The service differentiates between publishers and subscribers of data. Publishers can define a set of tables or views as shared datasets and the subscribers get a read-only link to the data. The publisher of the data gets also usage metrics about the shared data. 

 

In the Frontend it has its own tab.

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Then you can create an exchange or search inside the “Marketplace”.
 

The menu looks like the shared dataset one. You can search for interesting datasets there and do a subscription.

Last possible steps for Rows per page

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The available public shared datasets

For further information, you can take a look here.

New Search function

Google published a new function you can use in BigQuery. The SEARCH function needs two input parameters, the string you want to investigate and the search term. This function has some specialties in relation to the REGEXP_CONTAINS function.

 

Inside the official documentation from BigQuery is a good overview about the features (I just show the most interesting one):

 

SEARCH('foo-bar', 'foo bar') -> true ('-' and ' ' are breakers)

SEARCH('foo-bar', 'foobar') -> false (The search_query is not split)

SEARCH('foo-bar', 'foo\\&bar') -> true (double backslash escapes the & (& = breaker)

SEARCH('foo-bar', 'bar foo') -> true (The order of terms doesn't matter)                      

SEARCH('foo-bar', 'Foo Bar') -> true (Tokens are made lower-case)

SEARCH(['foo', 'bar'], 'foo bar') -> false (No single array entry matches all search terms)

 

Especially the breaker functionality is an interesting one.

New Metadata Information Schemas

BigQuery got 3 new Information Schemas for some kind of metadata:

  • TABLE_STORAGE: Snapshot of current storage usage for tables and materialized views

  • TABLE_STORAGE_TIMELINE_BY_PROJECT: get table storage changes over time at the project level

  • TABLE_STORAGE_TIMELINE_BY_ORGANIZATION: get table storage changes over time at the organization level

Data Studio

Full support for some connectors

The following connectors are upgrading from their beta status and are now fully supported:

  • Amazon Redshift

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2017

  • MySQL

  • PostgreSQL

New data from Google Ads

The Google Ads Connectors are delivering new data from now on. For already connected data sources with GAds data, you have to refresh the fields.

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Some new field examples are:

  • Average basket size

  • average order value

  • Brand

  • Product Title

  • Product Type L1

  • Avg. Product Price

  • Country of sale

Google Analytics

Autosuggest in GA4

Google improved the search for your GA4 insights. When you start to type in a search term, you get some suggestions with Autosuggest. With the arrow keys and pressing the enter button, you can choose one of the suggestions.

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Set Conversion Events

Every event in GA4 can be set as a conversion. Conversion Events are shown in other (more detailed) reports. Google made it a bit easier to mark an event as conversion.

 

Before the change, you had to go to the configuration area to set an event as conversion.

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Now you can also go into Reports > Engagement > Events and mark the events as Conversion.

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Google Tag Manager

Collecting data

It’s difficult to give a rating to this update, without detailed information. So for this point I’ll just list some of the main elements:

  • For server-side tracking, they may now collect aggregate information

  • They may use this data to improve, maintain, protect, and develop the service 

  • They will not share this data with any other Google product without your consent

Upcoming datadice blog posts for this month

  • Drag-and-drop Data Modeling in Y42 (Part 1) - here

  • Effortless Ways to handle ‘Google Analytics 4’ data in BigQuery like a pro - here

  • Raw Google Analytics 4 (GA4) Data in BigQuery (BQ) - here

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.

  • We also started with our own YouTube channel. We talk about important DWH, BigQuery, Data Studio and many more topics. Check out the channel here.

  • If you want to learn more about how to use Google Data Studio and take it to the next level in combination with BigQuery, check our Udemy course here.

  • If you are looking for help to set up a modern and cost-efficient data warehouse or analytical dashboards, send us an email to hello@datadice.io and we will schedule a call.