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Connecting and exporting data from GA4 to BigQuery

First, let me introduce you to what BigQuery is, and why it is so popular these days.

BigQuery is a fully managed enterprise data warehouse that helps you organize and analyze your data with built-in features like machine learning, geospatial analysis, and business intelligence.

The BEST features of BigQuery:

  • Serverless Insights

  • Real-Time Analytics

  • Logical Data Warehouse

  • Data Transfer Services

  • Automatic High Availability

  • Storage Compute Separation

  • Geoexpansion

  • Automatic backup & easy restore.

Why export GA4 Data to BigQuery?

GA4 allows you to link to a BigQuery project where you can run custom queries on a large dataset. You can export all the events from GA4 to BigQuery & then use SQL-like syntax to query the data.

Below are a few reasons why you should export GA4 data to BigQuery:

  • Store data in BigQuery and after processing you can send it to a data warehouse such as Azure, or AWS.

  • Performs advanced analysis on raw data from a GA4 property.

  • Connect multiple data streams from GA4.

  • Join data with other CRM or marketing tools.

  • Export to BigQuery is free of cost.

  • Visualize your data in data visualization tools like Qlik Sense, Tableau, PowerBI, and Google Data Studio.

How to Setup export?

To proceed with BigQuery linking you need:

  • a GA4 property

  • a Google Cloud Account

  • Admin Rights for both

Step by step instructions:

  • In your GA4 property, click Admin and then BigQuery Linking.

  • Click Link to create connection.

  • Click Choose a BigQuery Project.

  • Select your existing BigQuery (Google Cloud) project and click confirm. If your project is not here, make sure you've added it in Google Cloud and refresh this page.

  • Select your preferred data location. Make sure you choose the location where you run your queries. If you choose the wrong region and need to change it after you've created the link, you have to move the data set in Google Cloud and then create a new link, or delete the link and dataset and start over.

  • Select the desired frequency of the data export. Daily for once a day and optional streaming to add table where data from today will be stored until the day are complete and a new daily table will be added. If you have another data stream you can add it to the same BigQuery dataset via Edit. Please be aware that the streaming option is not available for BigQuery sandbox environments. You can, however, enable the streaming export later, if you upgrade to a billing-enabled account.

  • Review the settings and if everything is correct, click submit.

  • The BigQuery link is created. It will take some time (max 24 hours) for your data to appear in BigQuery.

  • When the data starts flowing in you should be able to query the table(s) and see some results!

Now that you have your raw data on user behavior in BigQuery, you can merge all your marketing data into one dataset and make data business-ready to easily create reports. You can make that data work for you by building reports, transforming multiple rows and tables into actionable insights, and ultimately improving your business decision-making.


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