16.12. Connecting Looker Studio to BigQuery
Connecting Looker Studio to BigQuery is a piece of cake, and there are two main ways to do it: directly connecting to a table or writing a custom and dynamic query from within Looker Studio.
Directly Connecting to a Table
First, let's talk about directly connecting to an existing table in BigQuery. Just like connecting to a Google Sheet, you'll select BigQuery as the data connector. From there, choose your project (which is essentially your account), your dataset, and then the specific table within that dataset.
Once you've made these selections, you can connect just like you would with any other tool. You'll see the fields and values for that table, and voilà - you have your data source!
Writing a Custom Query
The second way of connecting involves writing a custom query from within Looker Studio that runs against your project in BigQuery. Instead of performing data modeling in BigQuery itself and saving the result as a table, you're telling Looker Studio to run the query on your behalf.
This approach gets particularly interesting when using parameters. Remember parameters? They allow us to get user input within the Looker Studio interface.
For example, if you don't know what date range the viewer is interested in when creating a report, you can use parameters to get that information from them directly. Then dynamically update your query accordingly before running it against BigQuery.
Leveraging BigQuery's Power
Think about how you can use all this power and flexibility provided by BigQuery for current or future client projects. With such low costs and easy access, learning how to harness its capabilities could add value to whatever work you're doing now.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Can I build an owned data pipeline?
- Is it possible for me to create an ownership strategy for working with data in a unique way, using BigQuery?
Consider how you and your clients use data within various tools and industries. Can you translate that knowledge into SQL, deploy it in BigQuery, and create a repeatable process that adds value to your business? Ponder these questions and see how leveraging BigQuery can make a difference.