Latest Updates on Google Data Analytics (September 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

New rounding modes

BigQuery has already a rounding method where you can set the decimal positions. 

 

ROUND(column_name, 2) AS round_column_name

→ round values of “column_name” two digits behind the comma

Now it is even possible to set a rounding method by creating the table.

Let us take a look at an example:

CREATE TABLE dataset_name.round_functions (

 row_order NUMERIC,

 round_half_even NUMERIC(5,2) OPTIONS (rounding_mode='ROUND_HALF_EVEN'),

 round_half_away_from_zero NUMERIC(5,2) OPTIONS (rounding_mode='ROUND_HALF_AWAY_FROM_ZERO'));

 

INSERT dataset_name.round_functions (row_order, round_half_even, round_half_away_from_zero)

VALUES (1, NUMERIC "1.025", NUMERIC "1.025"),

      (2, NUMERIC "1.0251", NUMERIC "1.0251"),

      (3, NUMERIC "1.035", NUMERIC "1.035"),

      (4, NUMERIC "-1.025", NUMERIC "-1.025");

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The two modes are:

  • ROUND_HALF_AWAY_FROM_ZERO: 

    • Default mode

    • rounds halfway cases away from zero

  • ROUND_HALF_EVEN: 

    • rounds halfway cases towards the nearest even digit

Examples for “ROUND_HALF_EVEN” would be:

 

0,15 → 0,2

0,25 → 0,2

0,35 → 0,3

Case-insensitive datasets and tables

To address datasets or tables was always a case-insensitive operation. It is now possible to define, that the tables and dataset names are case-sensitive. 

 

By creating the dataset you can define the setting:

 

CREATE SCHEMA case_senstive_dataset

OPTIONS(

   location="eu",

   is_case_insensitive = FALSE

)

 

Then we are creating a table inside the dataset:

CREATE TABLE case_senstive_dataset.TeSt_CaSe (

   row_order NUMERIC

)


 

Then the following SQL Queries are working or not:
SELECT *

FROM Case_Sensitive_Dataset.TeSt_CaSe

    → Error, because the dataset name is wrong

 

SELECT *

FROM case_senstive_dataset.test_case

    → Error, because the table name is wrong

 

SELECT *

FROM case_senstive_dataset.TeSt_CaSe

    → Success, because the case of dataset and table is correct

Cloud Console updates

A small but helpful change. While executing a query, after the query has been running for some seconds, the timing details of the execution are shown. Then you can observe how the execution times in the different query stages are changing.

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Execution details

Data Studio

Resizable editor panels

Again a small change for Data Studio, but with a bigger impact but there is still one missing piece to get rid of an annoying part in the dashboard creation process.

 

In the editor mode there are 3 panels resizable now:

  • The data panel

  • The page navigation on the left side

  • The version history

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Change the size of the data panel

But there is one important piece missing: the chart editing panel.

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Google already increased the width of this panel, but it is still not resizable. The problem is, that the names of some dimensions/metrics are too long to show the full name of it during the selection of dimensions and metrics. But if it would be possible to increase the size (just for a moment), you can see the full name of all dimensions and metrics.

Google Analytics

New form interaction events

Google added a new automatic collected enhanced measurement event. The new event is for form interactions. Additionally, it has two parameters with further information:

 

  • form_start: when the user interacts with a form in the session the first time

  • form_submit: when a user submits a form
     

For all newly created web streams these data gets calculated automatically, for all already existing web streams this event needs to be enabled one time manually in the enhanced measurement section.

Note (06.10.2022): For all the GA4 properties we have access to, this option is still not available. It looks like, that it still needs time to be available for all properties (in the EU).

Analytics recommendations

Google added as a kind of information the recommendations. Recommendations show more new technical features or ways to get more accurate data.

E.g. it can show that you should link your Google Ads Account with the GA4 property. For sure the recommendations also depend on the user behavior on the GA4 frontend.

 

These recommendations were shown on the Home page of the property and on some fitting pages at the top or right side.

Google Tag Manager

No further release for the Google Tag Manager.

Upcoming datadice blog posts for this month

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

  • Nested and Repeated Fields in BigQuery - Coming Soon

  • Introduction RAWGraphs - 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.