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Latest Updates on Google Data Analytics (May 2021)

The highlights of the updates on BigQuery, Data Studio, Google Analytics (GA) & Google Tag Manager (GTM). By Alexander Junke

Photo by Anthony Rosset 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


Google finally announced the possibility to create pivot tables inside BigQuery. With the use of the function PIVOT(), you are able to choose the row and column dimensions for the final table. Let’s take a look at an example query:

The resulting table is:

With this query we created a pivot table to get the number of trips and the average duration per trip for some start station and end station combinations.


  • column: number_of_trips_50
  • row: first one (start_station_id = 6)
  • means that 337 trips starts at station 6 and ends in station 50

BigQuery offers here a lot of customizations to create these pivot tables. With the UNPIVOT function, you can do the same thing vice versa.

Additionally BigQuery has some new functions for geographical topics. You can check them here. The new functions are called ST_STARTPOINT, ST_ENDPOINT and ST_POINTN.

Furthermore it is now possible to rename an existing table with a simple DDL Statement. An example is:

ALTER TABLE IF EXISTS blog_data.blog_test_table

RENAME TO blog_table

Data Studio

For Data Studio came a lot of interesting new features. Google implemented a kind of version control some weeks ago. Now you are also able to give every new version a name, to identify the changes that were made.

At first a quick summary about the current version control in Data Studio.

All editors of the report can see the current draft version of the report. Viewers of the report can just see the published version. After you made the right changes, you set the draft version as new published version.

Now a quick guide on how to use the new version control:

  • at first you have to enable version publishing for this report. Then you are in the draft version (just editors can see this version)
  • then you can give a name to the current status of the dashboard
  • after that you can go to the version history and looks in the changes

That is a nice new feature to get more control over the changes made to the Data Studio dashboards.

Another new implementation is the presentation mode. With the help of that mode you can show the report and choose a period, in which it shows the next page of the report.

Additionally a little change is the new position of the “Refresh data” button. Now you have to click on the button with the 3 dots and there is the possibility to refresh the data.

Google Analytics

Google offered no new features for Google Analytics this month.

Google Tag Manager

Google offered no new features for Google Tag Manager this month.

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.

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



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Data Analytics Boutique, based in Coburg, DE. Building modern, customized and cloud-based data warehouse solutions.