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
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
Google Tag Manager
No further release for the Google Tag Manager.
Upcoming datadice blog posts for this month
- Handle Sessions and Engagements in the Google Analytics 4 (GA4) data in a correct way
- RAWGraphs: A free and open-source tool for data visualization
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.
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Originally published at https://www.datadice.io.