16.8 Importing Data into BigQuery
Welcome to this exciting lesson on importing data into BigQuery! If you're eager to start using BigQuery and Looker Studio, you might be wondering how to bring your data (or your client's data) from different sources into BigQuery. Let's explore the various ways you can import data so you can access it, work with it, and connect it to Looker Studio.
Google Analytics 4
First off, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) offers free streaming export with full replication. This means that whatever you track in a GA4 property can be streamed into BigQuery in almost real-time. Before, this feature was only available for GA 360 customers who had to pay for it. Google has now made data export available in BigQuery for everyone to use, and for free.
Google Sheets Integration
BigQuery has a built-in integration with Google Sheets, making it super easy to bring your existing Google Sheet data into the platform. You can define your Google Sheet as an external table in BigQuery, so whenever you update your sheet, the data in the corresponding table will change as well. This creates a low-friction way of bringing your existing data into BigQuery and working with it.
Third-Party Tools and Databases
If neither GA4 nor Google Sheets meets your needs, there are third-party tools that can extract data from various marketing analytics platforms and import them into BigQuery tables for you.
Sometimes these tools don't have direct connectors to BigQuery; however, they may have connections to Google Sheets instead. In such cases, consider getting the required data from your tool of choice into a Google Sheet and then connecting that sheet as an external table in BigQuery.
If neither of these options works for you, hiring someone skilled in app scripts or cloud functions could be a solution. They can use their knowledge of programming languages or cloud services to hit the API of your desired tool and extract data directly into BigQuery. This approach has been used successfully in the past, and with ample documentation available, developers can quickly make sense of it and help you with your data import needs.