Latest Updates on Google Data Analytics (July 2022)
The highlights of the updates on BigQuery, Data 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, 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.
Appends table change history
A nice new feature to see the historical changes in your data. You can select a table and see which inserts to the table are made when.
But let us go through an example:
At first, let us create a table and put some data inside.
CREATE OR REPLACE TABLE admin.append_test
SELECT 'hamilton' AS driver, 103 AS nr_wins
SELECT 'schumacher' AS driver, 91 AS nr_wins
SELECT 'vettel' AS driver, 53 AS nr_wins
Then I want to append the following entry to the same table.
SELECT 'prost' AS driver, 51 AS nr_wins
We can also check later which information we get when we update a row in the table.
SET nr_wins = nr_wins + 1
WHERE driver = 'vettel'
Lastly, we try out the new “Append” functionality. You have to change the FROM clause a bit and there are two optional values you can add there (in my example both are NULL).
First value: the start date for the data changes you want to see
Second value: the end date for the data changes you want to see
When you set both values to NULL, you get the full history
Additionally, there are two further columns you can address from the function.
_CHANGE_TYPE: The operation which was made
_CHANGE_TIMESTAMP: when the operation was made
_CHANGE_TYPE AS change_type,
_CHANGE_TIMESTAMP AS change_time
APPENDS(TABLE admin.append_test, NULL, NULL)
So you can get all the available fields in the table + the 2 additional fields from the APPENDS function. I think the most important limit is, that currently just the INSERT change_type is supported, so we do not see when we changed the number of wins from Vettel.
Overall a nice feature, when you need the information when the data got added, e.g. when you always append the newest data to the table and you just want the last added data.
Adjust column size
There is no entry in the official Release Notes list, but there is the possibility to change the size of the columns to see the full values now.
A good small adjustment, but it would be better if it shows always the complete column name and I can further expand the column to see the full values.
New trigonometric SQL functions
BigQuery got some new trigonometry functions.
COT: Compute the cotangent for an angle
COTH: Compute the hyperbolic cotangent for an angle
CSC: Compute the cosecant for an angle
CSCH: Compute the hyperbolic cosecant for an angle
SEC: Compute the secant for an angle
SECH: Compute the hyperbolic secant for an angle
An example would be:
SELECT CSC(1) AS x, CSC(2) AS y, CSC(50) AS z
Tip: Better to use the SAFE functions to avoid interrupting your queries if there are input values that would lead to an error.
GA4 data control
For Universal Analytics connector data it was already possible to add the data control, to switch between different datasets/properties. This is now also possible for Google Analytics 4 connectors.
Change IP adresses
It is a small change, but if you use one of the upcoming connectors you have to take a look.
When you use one of the following connectors and the connected database is protected by a firewall, then you have to change the configuration:
Microsoft SQL Server 2017
The following IP addresses need to be opened to have a valid connection with Data Studio still:
126.96.36.199/16 (needs to be opened till the deadline)
The following IP addresses can be closed after the deadline:
The deadline for this change is 21.06.2023.
New GA4 KPIs
Google added some new metrics to their reports. Most of them are celebrating a comeback from Universal Analytics.
The Bounce Rate is back! But it is calculated differently than in UA. In Universal Analytics these are single-page sessions with no further interaction. In GA4 it is the inversed number from the engaged rate. So a session is engaged when the user is on the website for more than 10 seconds, triggers a conversion event, or does a second pageview. All the other sessions are counted as bounced sessions.
Furthermore, there are also new dimensions available that covers the UTM parameter utm_content and utm_term. As usual, these are available on the session and user level:
utm_content: First user manual ad content, Session manual ad content
utm_term: First user manual term. Session manual term
Google also adds conversion rates to the available fields:
User conversion rate: rate of users triggered a conversion event
Session conversion rate: rate of sessions triggered a conversion event
Filter detail reports
GA4 highly focuses on customized reports. So the analysts can create their own reports in the GA4 frontend. To be honest, the possibilities are still quite limited to build comprehensive reports.
Google still adds features to these custom reports. Now you can put filters on custom reports to just select a certain set of data for the charts. You can prefilter values by creating the report or the user can set filters later.
Add a filter to the report
Prefilter the report
Google Tag Manager
No further release for the Google Tag Manager.
Upcoming datadice blog posts for this month
New Data Studio Linking API - Coming Soon
Raw GA4 Data in BQ (Sessions and Engagements) - Coming Soon
Generate Dummy Data With Faker - Coming Soon
Universal Analytics vs. Google Analytics 4 (Part 1) - Coming Soon
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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