Latest Updates on Google Data Analytics (October 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 Marcel Heil 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

Small Updates

It would be wrong to say that BigQuery got no new updates, but there are at least no big new features. So I just want to mention some of the changes:

  • Two new geography functions: ST_ISCLOSED and ST_ISRING

  • Using stored procedures for Apache Spark

  • New BigQuery dashboard metrics for Cloud Monitoring (BI Engine Top Tables Cached Bytes, BI Engine Query Fallback Count, Query Execution Count)

Looker Studio (formerly called Data Studio)

Rebranding to Looker Studio

When you go to https://datastudio.google.com you see that the Logo of the tool changed and the name as well.

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Old URL (still working): https://datastudio.google.com/

New URL: https://lookerstudio.google.com

 

Google wants to make the Looker brand bigger and unify its BI systems. The first step is to bring the Visualization tools Looker and the former Data Studio closer together. 


Looker Studio is still free, but there is a paid version available now, Looker Studio Pro. For now, it has just advantages in managing the dashboard (Team workspaces, Link with GCP, …). Additionally, you have to contact the sales department from Google, to get access.

We already published a more detailed blog post about it in English and German.

Google Analytics

Compatibility across GA4 and UA implementations

If you already have a proper UA tracking implementation it is for sure annoying and a lot of work, to build a GA4 tracking ecosystem on the same quality level. 

 

Google offers some ways to make the change from UA to GA4 easier and faster now. 

  • Use the current UA eCommerce implementation to even fire GA4 eCommerce events

  • Replace the UA implementation with a similar GA4 implementation to get GA4 events. Additionally, this solution is also able to still get UA events out of the GA4 tracking.
     

At the moment, we have no hands-on experience with these new features, so we can not give a first impression, of how well it works.

 

For sure it is still recommended to build your own tracking solution for GA4, but to find a starting point or to collect already GA4 data, you can try out one of the 2 new approaches.

FTP Data Import

For GA4 it is already possible to push data from an FTP system to your GA4 property, when the data is in the correct format, to fill your analysis tool. 

 

They improved this service now to add a schedule to add the data to the property regularly. It is also still possible to add data (just) on demand.

 

The starting point is the data import menu inside the admin section.

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Scheduling the import

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

  • Introduction RAWGraphs - Coming Soon

  • Short Introduction to Dataform - 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.