Latest Updates on Google Data Analytics (August 2022)

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

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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

Rename columns

With a new DDL statement, you can change the name of an already existing column. An example would be:

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You have to address the table you want to change and then the original column name and the new name of the column. 

 

When you are querying this table and changing columns, you must change the query to use the new names.

Default values of columns

It is now possible, to add a default value for columns in new or already existing tables. When a new row has no data for a value with a default assignment, it gets the default value, instead of NULL. For E.g. inside a DML statement, you can set default values: 

 

CREATE TABLE admin.table_with_defaults (

  def_time TIME DEFAULT CURRENT_TIME(),

  def_int_1 INT64 DEFAULT 5,

  def_int_2 INT64 DEFAULT 1,

  null_bool BOOL);

 

INSERT admin.table_with_defaults (def_time, def_int_1, def_int_2, null_bool) VALUES (DEFAULT, DEFAULT, DEFAULT, DEFAULT);

INSERT admin.table_with_defaults (def_time, def_int_1, def_int_2, null_bool) VALUES (DEFAULT, 3, 1, FALSE);

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So with the DEFAULT parameter after the selected data type you can set a default value. After that in the inserts, you can use assign new values or use the default values. 

 

As default values, you can use literals, but also some functions like

  • CURRENT_TIMESTAMP

  • RAND (random number between 0 and 1)

  • GENERATE_UUID (random universally unique identifier e.g. cec8dff9-d6ce-4d66-a4d5-458a8048043d)

 

It is NOT possible to reference columns to do some kind of calculation like

def_int_3 INT64 DEFAULT def_int_1 - def_int_2


You can also change the defaults or delete this setting. You can check the documentation here for that.

Data Studio

Visualize GA4 sub- and roll-up properties

Data Studio got some new features for the GA4 connector. Google already added two new kinds of properties for GA4. The sub- and roll-up properties. 

 

Subproperties: 

  • The property gets the data from another property, but you can filter the data for example by events

  • More information here

 

Roll-up properties:

  • The property gets the data from another property, but you can filter the data for example by events

  • More information here

 

Before the change, it was just possible to connect the default properties. Now it is even possible to add subproperties and roll-up properties to your dashboards.

Google Analytics

Logging API

There is a new API for Google Analytics 4 available!

 

With the Logging API, you can get data for accessing the data of the properties. You can see the IP or the email address of the persons who are looking at the different reports. Additional information like the report type which was accessed or the timestamp when the report got visited are offered.

Improvements to Data-Driven Attribution

This attribution black box model from Google got improved. The improvements come into action when the properties do have not much historical data or there is not much daily conversion data in the property. Then the final data of the attribution should be more accurate.

Google Tag Manager

Conversion value for GAds

The GTM server-side tracking still needs a lot of improvements and this is one small step. The GAds tag got separate conversion value fields and the corresponding currency field.

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If no conversion value is selected, it takes the “value” parameter of the selected event data you chose in the tag.

 

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With this configuration, it is much easier to send your conversion data to Google Ads.

 

Tag Coverage

There is also a new feature for client-side tracking. 

 

With the new “Tag Coverage” system you can observe which pages get tracked by the GTM container. This feature is automatically enabled and you see it in the admin section of your client-side container.

 

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In the screenshot above all pages are part of the tracking. In the table, under the summary, you can scroll through all the pages which send tracking information. 

 

The four metrics are the following:

  • Included pages: all pages which are part of the tag coverage

  • Not tagged: never loaded pages

  • No recent activity: not loaded pages in the last 30 days, but before this period

  • Tagged: all loaded pages in the last 30 days


 

It can happen that GTM does not know all the pages which are part of your website. If that is the case, you can add manually URLs or upload a CSV with URLs inside. 

 

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If you see some irregularities in your tracking this is an easy first check you can do, to see how good your tag coverage is.

Upcoming datadice blog posts for this month

  • Universal Analytics vs. Google Analytics 4 (Part 1) - Coming Soon

  • Raw GA4 Data in BQ (Sessions and Engagements) - Coming Soon

  • Working with Nested and Repeated Fields in BigQuery - 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.

 

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.