Latest Updates on Google Data Analytics (July 2023)
The highlights of the updates on BigQuery, Looker 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, Looker 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.
BigQuery ML changes
Google is heavily promoting the BigQuery ML features. I am not an ML expert, so I will just mention the most important features.
- A lot of new features for the Explainable AI (ARIMA_PLUS_XREG models, ML.GLOBAL_EXPLAIN functions, …)
- Additionally, you can use the Vertex Explainable AI when you registered the model in Vertex AI
- For time series forecasting there is custom holiday modeling available now (the table ml_datasets.holidays_and_events_for_forecasting in the BQ public datasets has the data for some holidays)
Key Constraints improvements
The primary and foreign key constraints in BigQuery have the status of generally available now. Additionally, there are 2 new features:
- You can edit the constraints with the BigQuery API
- The implemented keys are shown in the BigQuery frontend
Select files for the commit
Dataform is a service integrated with BigQuery that allows building data transformation pipelines with version controlling, testing and deploying. Due to that the developers are working in a repository they need to commit and push the changes.
Now it is possible to select the files you want to commit. If there are files you are still working on, but you want to commit some of the changes already, you just select the needed files.
Intervals in charts
There are intervals in time-series charts available. With intervals, you get a better overview of the accuracy of your data and the data range.
In one chart you can add up to 4 intervals. For one interval you can set up the following options:
- Type: How the interval is shown (Area, Bar, Box, Stick, Point, Line)
- Interval label: A description of the interval
- Mode: How to calculate the interval values (Top and bottom, Center and width, Range, Confidence Interval, Standard Error, Standard Deviation)
- Colour: The colour of the shown interval type
- Then you have to select the metrics, based on the mode you chose
Later we will do an own blog post for it where we will go through the types and modes.
Further information you can find here.
Google added already some months ago the reference line to compare the actual values with some kind of a target line. Now there is also a band available, two lines relying on each other. Possibilities would be to
- set a range of expected values to see outliers
- show the min and max values of the current analysis to have a better comparison
For every line in your Looker Studio dashboard charts, you can now change some basic style settings. The following options are available:
- Line weight
- Line style
- Line colour
Single Select filter change
For dropdown filters, you can choose the so-called single-select. Now the option “Allow Select All” is available.
- Checkbox is enabled: As usual, the user can show all values or just one value
- Checkbox is disabled: Just one value is allowed and a value needs to be preselected, else the filter throws an error
Looker Studio Pro changes
Google still adds features to the Looker Studio Pro version and I want to mention them:
- You can send a personal report link and can just be seen by the person who opens the link. Before you send the link around you can already preselect filters or change other things to build a unique user experience
- A new filter bar on top of the report to add quick filters to the dashboard
- Sending scheduled reports in Google Chat
- Based on the new given row-level security of the data in a scheduled report delivery, you can define which e-mail address should see which parts of the data
There are some new revenue metrics available in the exploration mode.
- Gross item revenue — item revenue before tax and shipping
- Gross purchase revenue — total revenue from purchases
- Refund amount — total amount from refunds
Additionally the two duplicated revenue metrics “Ecommerce revenue” and “Event revenue” are deleted. Reports with these metrics will still work until the metric is changed once.
Default conversion value
Every conversion event can have a default value that comes into action if no “value” and “currency” parameter is sent in the event. Then the event gets always the default value assigned every time when the event occurs.
Custom report improvements
The focus of GA4 is creating custom reports by the Analysts. We already discussed a new update for the explore mode. The custom report builder got some new dimensions and metrics.
- Dimensions: e.g. Item brand, Item category, Item name, …
- Metrics: e.g. Gross item revenue, Items viewed in list, Items added to cart
Google Tag Manager
No further release for the Google Tag Manager.
Upcoming datadice blog posts for this month
- New Looker Studio charts - Coming Soon
- Intervals in Looker Studio Time Series charts - Coming Soon
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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